MANCHESTER City manager Pep Guardiola was full of praise for the atmosphere at Rodney Parade and a determined display from Newport County AFC after Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash.

City were 2-0 up and in control after second-half strikes from Leroy Sane and Phil Foden before Padraig Amond pulled one back for County in the 88th minute to set up a nervy finish.

Two more late goals from Foden and Riyad Mahrez ensured that the result was never in doubt, but Guardiola admitted that it was a “tight” contest.

“It was a really tough game,” said the Catalan coach.

“They showed us how incredible they are and a big compliment for them.

“They use their points where they are better than us. What they do, they do incredible.

“They attack the channels with the long balls for Matt and with the second balls they are physical and strong and every throw-in and every free-kick is dangerous because they train a lot and they do it really well.

“It was difficult with the grass,” he added. “Every pass is one second slower.

“In the first 20 minutes we suffered because we needed time to adapt and in the second-half we made an incredible performance.

“Football is not always playing on the biggest stages with a good surface. We had to adapt and that can help us to be a better team.”

South Wales Argus:

Asked about the atmosphere at Rodney Parade, Guardiola said: “The home crowd was amazing. The support for the team was incredible. They were chanting ‘who are you?’ That was nice. It was a good atmosphere. This is English football. The cup is like this.

“I understand completely why Leicester and Middlesbrough suffered a lot in this stadium. It was tight and we knew it would be. We scored the third goal in the last minute and the fourth on 94.

“A lot of managers at this level are well prepared but, unfortunately for them, they don’t have the players I have.”

South Wales Argus:

Michael Flynn was happy to return the compliments.

"Getting to share the touchline with Pep Guardiola was magical for me," said the County boss.

"He said ‘you should be proud, you’re doing a fabulous job and good luck.’

"They’re such an excellent team. Their players, their manager and their staff are full of class.

"They invited our players into their changing rooms. Our players have gone in and sat with their players and that means a lot to any players, especially League Two players.

"I can’t speak highly enough of Manchester City, their players and Pep Guardiola.

"He’s a serial winner and he’s shown us respect by the team he’s put out, he’s shown the FA Cup respect and he’s shown his own fans respect because they travelled a long way."

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