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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola urged referees to "protect" players after Leroy Sane was injured during the FA Cup win at Cardiff City.

City were comfortable winners over Cardiff despite the physicality meted out to them by their Championship hosts, goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling keeping alive their quadruple hopes.

Guardiola's approach to the domestic cup competitions is to be admired, with the Manchester City manager choosing strong teams even against lower league opposition.

De Bruyne's eighth-minute free-kick was a candidate for the cheekiest goal of the season as he sent the ball under the Cardiff wall, while Sterling's header gave City a two-goal cushion before half-time.

Bernardo Silva appeared to have doubled the visitors' lead with a thunderous 26th-minute shot but his goal was ruled out because the officials deemed Leroy Sane to be off-side and interfering with play.

"Referees have to protect, not just mine, all players".

Bennett was booked and then eventually sent off for collecting another yellow card for a foul on Diaz in the second half. But when playing against this City side in their current terrorizing form, you need more than just courage.

"I have said many times: the only thing they [referees] have to do is protect the players".

"So we went to look for one player in the middle and we found that extra pass quite well".

Cardiff were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men in first-half stoppage time when Bennett scythed down Sane with a nasty-looking high tackle.

"Sané will be out for a while - minimum two or three weeks, one month", Guardiola said. That's why you are here and why I'm here.

"That's why football is nice, everybody can play", he said.

City chose to slow the game down in the second half with lots of possession and very little movement and out of fear of being caught, Cardiff didn't really apply the necessary pressure to dispossess them.

City won 3-2 at Bristol in the Carabao Cup (League Cup) semi-final second leg to reach the final with a 5-3 aggregate win.

"Maybe in the future it is going to happen, but we have not paid more than £100 million for one player, or £90 million, or £80 million.

Not the Manchester City players, [all] the players". This should see Yaya Toure play as the deepest of the midfielders against Cardiff City. They almost scored when Claudio Bravo struggled to control a shot from distance and had to stop the ball from going over the line, but that was the only time Cardiff had a real chance.

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