Middlesbrough have offered a strong response to Chelsea's request to have their FA Cup quarter-final at the Riverside played behind closed doors.

Chelsea visit Boro on Saturday for the latest match of a sequence that has been overshadowed by sanctions imposed on club owner Roman Abramovich due to his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

With Abramovich unable to make any money from his ownership of Chelsea, the club are under strict measures, unable to negotiate contracts but also restricted in sales of tickets and merchandise.

Tickets have only been released in the case they were purchased prior to the sanctions – such as season tickets – meaning Premier League games against Norwich City and Newcastle United were unaffected.

But the cup tie at Boro, which has only recently been confirmed, is set to go ahead without Chelsea fans in attendance.

The Blues therefore argued no supporters from either side should be present "for matters of sporting integrity" – a stance that was met on Tuesday with widespread criticism and ridicule, including from opponents Boro.

A Boro statement read: "We are aware of Chelsea's request to have Saturday's Emirates FA Cup sixth round tie played behind closed doors and find their suggestion both bizarre and without any merit whatsoever.

"All concerned are well aware of the reasons Chelsea have been sanctioned and that this has nothing to do with Middlesbrough Football Club.

"To suggest as result that MFC and our fans should be penalised is not only grossly unfair but without any foundation.

"Given the reasons for these sanctions, for Chelsea to seek to invoke sporting 'integrity' as reason for the game being played behind closed doors is ironic in the extreme.

"We currently await formal notification from the FA of the next steps but rest assured MFC will resist Chelsea's actions in the strongest terms."

Chelsea must play away at Lille on Wednesday before heading north to meet Boro, who have already eliminated Manchester United and Tottenham from this season's FA Cup.

Chelsea have called for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors to "protect sporting integrity" after they were banned from selling tickets.

The Blues have been granted a special licence to continue operating after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom government.

However, as part of the restrictions placed on Chelsea, they are not allowed to sell any tickets that had not already been purchased prior to last week's announcement.

With no away fans in attendance for next weekend's quarter-final at the Riverside Stadium, Chelsea are pushing for home supporters to also be blocked from attending.

The Premier League club provided an update in a statement published on their official website on Tuesday.

It read: "Despite engaging in extensive discussions with the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the deadline to purchase away tickets has passed without appropriate amendments being made to the government licence which would allow a full allocation of Chelsea supporters to attend. 

"Executives at Middlesbrough had been kind enough to extend their deadline for ticket sales and stadium allocation from 7.30pm last night until 9.30am this morning.

"It is important for the competition that the match against Middlesbrough goes ahead, however it is with extreme reluctance that we are asking the FA board to direct that the game be played behind closed doors for matters of sporting integrity. 

"Chelsea recognise that such an outcome would have a huge impact on Middlesbrough and its supporters, as well as our own fans who have already bought the limited number of tickets that were sold before the licence was imposed, but we believe this is the fairest way of proceeding in the current circumstances.

"We will continue to discuss the issue of ticket sales with OFSI as there are a number of fixtures still to be played this season and we hope to reach a resolution."

Second-tier Middlesbrough, who eliminated Manchester United and Tottenham in the previous two rounds, have already sold out their allocation of tickets for the last-eight tie.

Chelsea are only permitted to spend around £20,000 on travelling to and from games, meaning that they will make the near-10 hour round journey to Middlesbrough via coach. 

The Blues can fly to France for Wednesday's Champions League tie with Lille due to the travel arrangements already having been put in place.

Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning a treble this season as "fairy tales" as he hailed Scott Carson as an inspiration to his young stars.

Veteran former England goalkeeper Carson made just his second appearance in almost three years for City as he came off the bench against Sporting CP in the Champions League on Wednesday.

City's goalless draw completed a 5-0 aggregate win over the Portuguese giants after the thumping win in Lisbon three weeks earlier, and that has only served to ramp up talk of a possible sweep of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles.

Leading the English top flight and through to quarter-finals in the two knockout competitions, it is a rosy picture for City with three shots at silverware remaining.

Asked about that prospect in a news conference on Thursday, Guardiola said: "It doesn't motivate me, absolutely zero, lower than zero. It is fairy tales.

"The reality is tougher than you suggest with this kind of things. You should understand sport at a high level is so competitive, so difficult.

"What I'm happy with is we are in the quarter-finals, the best eight teams in Europe. It will be so tough, the opponent we are going to face, and I guess for the opponent it will be tough to face us.

"Step-by-step, we now recover and increase and improve our level and at the end, we will see."

Guardiola handed Champions League debuts to teenagers CJ Egan-Riley, James McAtee and Luke Mbete, while Fernandinho made his 100th appearance in the competition, the fourth Brazilian to reach that mark, following in the footsteps of Roberto Carlos (120), Dani Alves (111) and Marcelo (101).

The youngsters that City hope to keep bringing through from their academy, in the manner that Guardiola's former club Barcelona have cultivated youth talent down the years, have plenty of international stars to admire.

Guardiola made a point that 36-year-old Carson should be the player they watch, to learn how he values every moment of his City career.

"One of the best advice I could give to young players is stay around Scott Carson as much as possible in the locker room and on the pitch," Guardiola said.

"It's the best advice they can get, the best learnings they can get. You have to be there to know him. He's experienced enough, he lived many, many things."

Carson's surprise and popular cameo against Sporting gave him just a second appearance in the Champions League, a full 16 years and 338 days after he played for Liverpool against Juventus as a 19-year-old. That made it the largest gap between appearances for any player in the competition's history, and Carson pulled off a fine stop to stave off a possible home defeat.

"He's at the end of his career, so every second he's training and every minute he gets on the pitch and off the field in the locker room, he values it," Guardiola said.

"It's like young actors need to be with old actors on the set. They are wiser, and they have the values in the football profession."

Former Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri believes his old club can win the quadruple this season, as the EFL Cup winners prepare to host Inter in the Champions League.

The 30-year-old, who is now plying his trade in Major League Soccer after joining Chicago Fire in February, won the Champions League, Premier League, and FIFA Club World cup titles in a three-year spell at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side defeated Chelsea to win the EFL Cup last month, and are preparing for a Champions League second-leg clash with the Italian champions, boasting a 2-0 lead from the first leg at San Siro.

With the Reds sitting just six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and advancing to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, recent talk has surrounded the prospect of Klopp's men completing an unprecedented quadruple this term.

Shaqiri, who scored eight goals in 63 appearances for the club, has talked up their chances of doing so, as long as the Reds can keep their key players fit.

"They must do everything perfect, to win everything", Shaqiri told Sky Sports. 

"But if one team can do it, then for sure Liverpool is one of them.

"I think it's important to go from competition to competition, because there are so many with the Carabao [EFL Cup], FA Cup, and they are still in all of these competitions.

"Everyone needs to be fit and healthy, because injuries as you know are always difficult to deal with, but Liverpool have a great team and they dealt until now with everything.

"I'm really looking forward to the end of the season, [to see] how they're going to finish, but everything is possible." 

Liverpool's recent EFL Cup triumph represented the 10th major trophy of Klopp's coaching career, and the in-form Anfield side have not lost a game in any competition since a 1-0 reverse to Leicester City on December 28th. 

Salomon Rondon scored twice to send Everton into the FA Cup quarter-finals at the expense of non-league Boreham Wood.

Thursday's contest at Goodison Park was preceded by a moving tribute to Ukraine amid the escalating conflict in the country following Russia's invasion last week.

Everton players, including Ukrainian Vitaliy Mykolenko, named captain for the match, came onto the pitch draped in blue-and-yellow national flags. Boreham Wood also bore Ukraine colours along with a shirt carrying Mykolenko's name.

The traditional Z Cars theme that usually accompanies Everton players onto the pitch then changed to John Lennon's Imagine, with the starting line-ups then holding a banner that read 'Imagine all the people, sharing all the world'.

The Premier League club had this week severed ties with three Russian sponsors, each of which is linked with Alisher Usmanov, the club's billionaire backer who has had assets frozen as part of sanctions imposed by the European Union. Usmanov called the action "unfair" and vowed to take legal action.

Boreham Wood have enjoyed a remarkable run in this season's competition, reaching the fifth round without conceding a goal even during qualifying, and they were resolute against Frank Lampard's side for much of the contest.

Rondon, who had earlier missed a clear chance with a header, broke the deadlock after 57 minutes with a near-post finish from Jonjoe Kenny's low cross.

Richarlison had a goal disallowed but Rondon forced a header over the line from an Andros Townsend delivery to settle the match six minutes from time.

Everton will now face Crystal Palace in the quarter-finals this month.

Roman Abramovich has decided to sell Chelsea.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Russian-Israeli businessman announced his decision to sell the London club, which he purchased in 2003.

Abramovich has said his decision is "in the best interest of the club", as it comes against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has put him under intense scrutiny.

The 55-year-old oligarch has been photographed with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the past, and while it was claimed last week that Abramovich has no involvement in politics, a spokesperson for the Blues' owner suggested to the Press Association on Monday that he was "trying to help" achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Russian businesses and high-profile individuals have been hit with crippling financial sanctions by nations all over the world since the attack began last Thursday, and there have been calls in the United Kingdom for Abramovich to be targeted next.

Should Abramovich secure a sale, he leaves Chelsea as a footballing superpower...

The trophies

Chelsea have won 19 major trophies since Abramovich bought the club, with the Blues succeeding in every single available competition at least once.

Their haul includes five Premier League titles (2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15, 2016-17) and two Champions League triumphs (2011-12, 2020-21).

The Blues have won the FA Cup on five occasions since 2003, last doing so in 2018, while they have added a further three EFL Cup titles to their honours list, too.

Chelsea's success in Europe has not just been restricted to the Champions League. They won the Europa League in 2012-13 and 2018-19, and the Super Cup last year.

February brought Club World Cup glory for the first time, completing the set under Abramovich.

Since the owner arrived in 2003, Chelsea have accumulated 1,449 points in the Premier League, more than any other side.

Of the 709 top-flight games during Abramovich's ownership so far, they have won 432, drawn 153 and lost 124, scoring 1,309 goals and conceding 621 for a hugely impressive goal difference of 688.

The managers

Chelsea have flitted through managers during Abramovich's tenure. Indeed, current incumbent Thomas Tuchel is the 15th different coach (including caretakers and interims) to work at Stamford Bridge since 2003.

After dismissing Claudio Ranieri in 2004, Abramovich landed a superstar manager in Jose Mourinho, who would go on to lead Chelsea to their first top-flight crown since 1955 and defend the title the following season.

Mourinho's first stint really was special. He won 124 games, losing just 21 times, and turned Chelsea from pretenders into a true superpower. Of any permanent manager during Abramovich's ownership, the Portuguese's first spell produced the best win ratio (67 per cent).

Yet past success means little as soon as things turn sour for Abramovich, and Mourinho was replaced in 2007-08. His successor, Avram Grant, led Chelsea to their first Champions League final, but John Terry's penalty shoot-out slip proved costly.

Luiz Felipe Scolari proved a bust but Guus Hiddink, in his first, more successful interim spell, subsequently delivered FA Cup joy in 2009, and a 72.7 per cent win rate from his 22 matches in charge (16 victories). 

Carlo Ancelotti was next through the door. He claimed a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009-10, while Roberto Di Matteo secured the club's first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out defeat of Bayern Munich.

Mourinho's return yielded a fourth Premier League success, but the Special One's second spell deteriorated quickly and he was sacked in December 2015 with Chelsea sitting 16th. Hiddink came in for a second interim spell but won just 10 out of 27 matches (a 37 per cent win ratio).

Chelsea won a trophy in each season under Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri. Club great Frank Lampard was given the job in 2019 but lasted just 18 months, finishing with the lowest win ratio of any permanent Chelsea boss under Abramovich (52.4 per cent). Tuchel took the same side to Champions League glory.

The players

Superstar managers must have superstar players to manage, and Chelsea have certainly had their fair share of those during Abramovich's time at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard made 354 league appearances from 2003 to his departure in 2014, scoring 136 goals, but John Terry tops the top-flight appearances list during Abramovich's reign, with 411.

Petr Cech was arguably the best goalkeeper in world football in his prime, and he ranks third on that list (333), while current captain Cesar Azpilicueta will go down as a club great, even if he will never be considered among world football's true elite.

Eden Hazard scored 85 league goals in 245 games across his seven years with the Blues. Michael Essien was a superb player for Chelsea after joining in 2005, while Claude Makelele, signed in 2003, was crucial to Mourinho's initial success.

Only Lampard scored more goals than Didier Drogba (104), though Diego Costa was brilliant in Mourinho's second spell. Jorginho, Antonio Rudiger, Edouard Mendy and N'Golo Kante have proved superb signings in recent years.

There have been flops, perhaps none more so than Fernando Torres, while the world-record fee for a goalkeeper splashed out on Kepa Arrizabalaga does not seem so wise and Timo Werner has struggled since his move from Germany in 2020. Romelu Lukaku could well be added to that list if he does not discover his best form.

Jurgen Klopp hailed Takumi Minamino's performance in Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup win over Norwich City as the winger's "best game" for the club.

Minamino scored both of Liverpool's goals before half-time to help the Reds into the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since Klopp took over as manager in 2015.

Japan international Minamino has scored three goals in this season's FA Cup, to add to his tally of four goals in five games from Liverpool's triumphant EFL Cup campaign.

Klopp acknowledged the 27-year-old's importance to his side, telling ITV Sport: "Taki is an incredible player - a big part of it tonight was for sure the best game he had for us.

"He played a super game and was a constant threat, kept all the balls. I'm really happy for him.

"Without him we wouldn't be in the quarter-final, and we wouldn't have been in the final of the EFL Cup."

Norwich pulled a goal back through Lukas Rupp in the second half at Anfield, but could not prevent Liverpool from progressing in one of three competitions they are hoping to win in addition to the EFL Cup this season.

Veteran Reds midfielder James Milner echoed Klopp's sentiments regarding Minamino, describing him as a hugely popular character in the dressing room.

"He's a great guy," said Milner. "He's been patient. There's competition all over the field but every time he comes in he's ready and he delivers.

"He's such a nice guy you're delighted for him every time he scores.

"Every single day he's at that level. He's brilliant in training, great temperament no matter what's happening, you can rely on him.

"He keeps bagging important goals and I'm absolutely delighted for him to get those two."

Thomas Tuchel says he does not know what impact Roman Abramovich's announcement that he will sell Chelsea will have on the club after his side overcame Luton Town 3-2 in the FA Cup.

Abramovich on Wednesday confirmed he will sell up after 19 years as owner of the European champions, saying the decision is "in the best interest of the club".

The Russian stated that he will ask for any loans to be repaid and has instructed his team to set up a charitable foundation, where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. Abramovich revealed the foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.

Tuchel's side were later caught cold on the pitch at Kenilworth Road on a huge day for the Blues, as Reece Burke and Harry Cornick edged Championship Luton ahead either side of Saul Niguez's equaliser.

However, Timo Werner's second-half strike restored parity before Romelu Lukaku delivered the decisive strike.

But the focus after the game turned back to Abramovich's announcement, and Tuchel stated that it would be impossible for him to know what will happen following what the club's owner described as "an incredibly difficult decision" for him.

"Maybe I heard it a little bit earlier than you, but still it was close to kick-off," Tuchel told the BBC when asked about the situation at the Premier League club.

"We heard the rumours throughout the day, of course, it is on television when we have team meetings and the guys are talking about it, everybody talks about it - it is big news.

"Let's wait and see, hope for the best and see what the day brings. Every decision he takes for the club is the right decision, it's his choice, it's his club and it's not on me to comment."

When pushed for an answer on what the news could mean in the short term, Tuchel responded: "Even if I want to [tell you], I don't exactly know. 

"In the very short term, for us as a team, staff and players, hopefully it won't mean too much and maybe change nothing but the situation is now out there, it's a big situation. 

"I can understand that there will be a lot of reports, but we try to cancel the noise, as we always do, and to stay focused, which is not always easy.

"We showed again that we can do it and we will try again on Saturday [against Burnley]."

A much-changed Chelsea were largely unconvincing against Nathan Jones' Championship side but Tuchel was delighted with a performance that meant more in the circumstances.

Asked if the result was of greater significance with the ongoings off the field, Tuchel added: "Yeah I think so, we're not living on an island - the guys have an internet connection, the TV is running and we see the news and the rumours.

"It is not normal to be so attached to something and play on the same day in a match where focus is absolutely key, to win is not so easy but it makes it a bigger performance and that is why I'm very happy."

Liverpool reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time under Jurgen Klopp after Takumi Minamino scored a brace in a 2-1 victory over Norwich City at Anfield.

Minamino scored his second and third FA Cup goals of the season to give Liverpool a 2-0 half-time lead without influential trio Mohamed Salah, Fabinho or Virgil Van Dijk.

Lukas Rupp pulled a goal back after 76 minutes but Norwich failed to deny the Reds a fourth win over the Canaries this season, having already beaten them twice in the Premier League and once in the EFL Cup.

Norwich boss Dean Smith can now devote his full attention to trying to keep the club in the Premier League, while Klopp pursues silverware on three fronts having already won the EFL Cup last Sunday.

The opening goal came after 27 minutes, when Divock Origi controlled Konstantinos Tsimikas' cross and deftly squared to Minamino, who lashed the ball past a helpless Tim Krul from just outside the six-yard box.

Minamino scored his second six minutes before the interval, blasting high into the net from the corner of the six-yard box after Ben Gibson failed to clear a corner.

Norwich substitute Josh Sargent sent a header wide of Liverpool's goal after 18 minutes of a more balanced second half.

Sargent's vision then carved Liverpool open as he played Rupp in for a fine goal, driving the ball low into the net from the edge of the box after Joe Gomez failed to make a block.

Jon Rowe, on as a second-half substitute for the visitors, burst into the box with six minutes left and sent a shot across goal towards the top corner of the net, forcing a fingertip save from Alisson that ensured Liverpool advanced.

What does it mean? Klopp in unchartered territory

Given all Klopp has achieved at Liverpool it's hard to believe they will contest their first FA Cup quarter-final under the German following this triumph.

Indeed, this was only Klopp's second fifth-round tie as Reds boss, the first ending in defeat to Chelsea.

Liverpool last reached the quarter-finals in 2014-15, eventually losing to Aston Villa in the semi-finals.

Minamino up for the cups

Minamino's brace means he has scored eight goals in domestic cup competitions since the start of 2020, twice as many as any other Liverpool player in this period.

Painful night for Placheta

Smith replaced Przemyslaw Placheta at half-time, after the winger suffered a painful looking fall over the advertising hoardings, having been unable to make an impact before that nasty tumble.

What's next?

Liverpool's Premier League title chase resumes on Saturday when West Ham visit Anfield, while Norwich continue their battle for survival at home to Brentford.

Romelu Lukaku scored the winner to secure Chelsea's place in the FA Cup quarter-finals with a battling 3-2 win at Luton Town, after Blues owner Roman Abramovich announced he was selling the club.

Abramovich confirmed he had put Chelsea up for sale, saying the decision is "in the best interest of the club" before kick-off and Thomas Tuchel's side started slowly on the pitch on Wednesday.

Saul Niguez cancelled out Reece Burke's second-minute opener against a much-changed Blues side, but Harry Cornick restored Championship side Luton's lead in the first half at Kenilworth Road.

Timo Werner equalised after the interval, before teeing up Lukaku with 12 minutes left to ensure Chelsea's place in the last eight, which will be played on March 19.

 

Burke glanced a header into the top-right corner from Luke Berry's corner after just 102 seconds – the fastest goal Chelsea have conceded in all competitions this season.

Tuchel's side levelled things up after 27 minutes when the ball fell kindly for Saul to curl into the bottom-right corner, before substitute goalkeeper Harry Isted expertly denied Saul, Kenedy and Romelu Lukaku within a frantic four-minute period.

Luton regained the lead after Malang Sarr's unconvincing offside trap allowed Cornick in to finish past Kepa Arrizabalaga following Carlos Mendes Gomes' throughball. 

Chelsea boasted 82 per cent possession in the first 15 minutes after the interval, but their reward did not arrive until the 68th minute when Werner poked past Isted after a superb Ruben Loftus-Cheek long pass.

Werner turned provider for the winning goal, when he found space inside the area and drilled across for Lukaku to apply the finish with a sliding tap-in.

Frank Lampard backed Everton's decision to cut all commercial ties with Russian companies following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The Toffees suspended their commercial sponsorship arrangements with Russian firms owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, and Lampard said they had made the correct decision as it "felt right for the club".

Everton are among a growing list of organisations to have distanced themselves from Russian sponsorship in a show of support for Ukraine.

Lampard, whose players carried Ukrainian flags onto the pitch ahead of their clash with Manchester City on Saturday, told reporters: "As I interviewed with the board and [having] a close relationship with the board, I have absolute faith that they are making the right decisions, as they see them, in the right way.

"The way we behaved last Saturday against Manchester City, I thought we were one of the forerunners of behaving well and showing solidarity and unity in the right way.

"I think [cutting ties with Russian sponsors] again is a show of us as a club doing the right thing. And it's a suspension, as the statement said today. And I think it was the right thing to do.

"At that point for me, it's very important I concentrate on football and the things I'm paid to do, which is to try and obviously win the game in front of us."

Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich announced on Wednesday that he would be selling the club but Lampard said he had no comment on his former club's situation.

Lampard won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups as a player at Chelsea, before rejoining them for a spell as manager, but he said he knew nothing of the internal workings at Stamford Bridge now.

"I only read what you read. I'm not at Chelsea any more," said Lampard. "I had an amazing time at Chelsea.

"If I say that you take as you find, I can only be very thankful that I was in the period of the club which Roman Abramovich came into and changed the face of it and on a football level we were very successful.

"I had absolute support in my time as a player and as a manager, for what anyone wants to think from the outside.

"I've got no comment on them now. I'm Everton manager and I don't have enough knowledge to give anything more than that."

Tottenham need to discover some "stability" within their performances, says Antonio Conte, but he is staying patient.

Spurs' inconsistency came to the fore again on Tuesday, as Conte's team suffered an FA Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough, losing 1-0 to the Championship side after extra time.

It was Middlesbrough's first FA Cup win over Tottenham, in their seventh such meeting, while it was a historic defeat to Spurs – never before had they been eliminated from a domestic cup match after losing in extra time against a side from a lower division.

Since the turn of the year, Tottenham have lost seven of their 13 matches. Among Premier League sides, only Brentford (eight) have lost more games in all competitions in that timeframe.

It is a frustrating issue for Conte, whose team thrashed Leeds United 4-0 on Saturday and beat Manchester City the week before, yet those victories were wedged alongside defeats to Burnley, Southampton and Wolves.

"We need to make this team more stable than it has been in the past. This is still the big problem," Conte told a news conference.

"I'm the coach of this team and when you're the coach of this team your players are the best in the world.

"Then for sure I can consider my players the best in the world but we can work and we can improve for the future and also reflect on this defeat. This defeat has to hurt me, my players and everyone one that works in Tottenham."

Conte has been in a fiery mood in recent media conferences, especially after defeats. In fact, after the loss at Turf Moor, he seemed to cast his own future into doubt. 

This time, he was more reserved, even when asked what it would be like to end the season without a trophy.

"In this moment I'm the last person, I don't think about myself," he answered. "When I speak with my players, we have to think about 'us', not 'me'.

"For me there is no problem and for me there is the desire, the will, the patience to try to continue to work very hard to improve, to make this team more stable than the past, because I think this is the key that can change the situation."

 

Conte revealed he has been taking a "carrot and stick" approach so far at Spurs.

"Sometimes it's important for the coach, when you have the media conference, there also has to be a strategy," he added.

"Sometimes it has to be strong, sometimes it has to be light.

"My old coaches in Italy, they taught me that the coach sometimes has to use the carrot, sometimes they have to use the stick.

"I have to use the right way. After Burnley [I used the] stick and then we won. After Leeds, [I use] the carrot, [now] we lost! The coach has to be clear in his instruction. I know there is a lot of space for improvement."

Spurs' focus will now switch fully to their bid for Champions League qualification. They host struggling Everton in the Premier League on Monday.

Pep Guardiola welcomed the show of support for Oleksandr Zinchenko as the Ukrainian defender captained Manchester City in their FA Cup win at Peterborough United.

With his country experiencing a Russian military invasion, Zinchenko stepped up to assume leadership on the football pitch after being handed the armband by Fernandinho.

It was a move designed to show solidarity with the 25-year-old as he waits for news from what Guardiola described as "this nightmare" in Zinchenko's homeland.

"It's not an easy period for Oleks," Guardiola told a news conference. "His family, his country, but playing football is the best for him at the moment."

In a separate BBC interview, Guardiola said of the left-back: "Unfortunately his citizens in Ukraine are living in a terrible and crazy and insane situation. All the people here at Peterborough, not just our fans, showed him warmth.

"Hopefully this nightmare can finish as soon as possible."

Goals from Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish in the second half carried City through to the quarter-finals.

Both were set up by Phil Foden, whose pass to Grealish for City's clincher particularly caught the eye.

Grealish later revealed it was inspired by watching clips of Guardiola's former Barcelona charge Lionel Messi in action.

"The pass from Phil was excellent. It was quite similar to the pass from Phil that he did to Joao [Cancelo] in Brugge in the Champions League, and the control was excellent from Jack," Guardiola said.

The City boss added: "They were brilliant goals. The quality for Riyad and the second goal the same. It was good.

"We created chances. All of them were brilliant. Riyad always had this quality in the final third – he is the best player in the final third that we have. He scored a fantastic goal. I'm so proud for the game he played."

There was cause for slight concern ahead of Sunday's derby against Manchester United, with Guardiola substituting starting centre-backs Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake at half-time due to what he hopes are only minor knocks. Aymeric Laporte and John Stones proved capable replacements.

The City manager said Dias was "not feeling good in his leg", while Ake suffered a blow when committing a first-half foul.

"That's why, for caution and to be alert, we made the substitutions," Guardiola said. "It was not planned. I would say it was a medical decision."

Tottenham became the second high-profile scalp in as many FA Cup rounds for Middlesbrough as Chris Wilder's men won 1-0 after extra time to secure passage to the quarter-finals.

Boro academy graduate Josh Coburn was the hero, firing home superbly in the second half of the additional 30 minutes after coming on as a substitute. 

Antonio Conte's men were hoping to avoid the fate suffered by Manchester United last month, but Spurs ultimately paid the price for their wastefulness as the hosts claimed a memorable victory.

Flashpoints were few and far between in the first 45 minutes, but the contest did generally improve after the interval, with Harry Kane scoring only to see his tap-in disallowed for a foul.

Both sides were indebted to their goalkeepers as the game went to extra time, and Middlesbrough were rewarded for their greater endeavour as teenager Coburn landed the decisive blow.

A low-quality first half provided very little to get excited about until 40th minute when goalkeeper Joe Lumley was beaten to the ball out wide as he flew out of his area, but Matt Doherty miscued his eventual effort as he shot over the empty net.

It was hardly the precursor to a second-half onslaught, however, with Boro the next to go close in the 53rd minute through a free Matt Crooks header that went over.

Spurs finally tested Lumley just before the hour, the goalkeeper preventing Eric Dier's 30-yard free-kick from finding the top-right corner, and Kane had a goal disallowed from the resulting corner after tugging a defender's shirt.

Chances began to flow for both sides towards the end of regulation time, with Paddy McNair's last-ditch challenge denying Steven Bergwijn, while Lumley and Hugo Lloris made crucial saves from Isaiah Jones and Son Heung-min, respectively.

Extra time beckoned and not only did Boro look sharp at the back, they carved Spurs open with 107 minutes played, Coburn smashing beyond the helpless Lloris.

Phil Foden was inspired by Lionel Messi in his assist for Jack Grealish at Peterborough United, according to the Manchester City goalscorer.

Foden assisted both goals in City's 2-0 FA Cup win on Tuesday as they reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the fifth time in six seasons under Pep Guardiola.

A pass under pressure to Riyad Mahrez led to the breakthrough on the hour mark, but Foden's ball for Grealish really caught the eye.

His pinpoint delivery was controlled expertly by Grealish, who finished calmly before revealing time spent watching clips of Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi had helped the pair.

"[The pass was] unbelievable," Grealish told ITV.

"It's funny – before the game, on the coach on the way here, I sit next to Phil, and I was scrolling through Twitter and a video of Messi came up, and it was Messi's passing. Me and Phil were just watching it.

"As soon as he passed that ball, obviously I scored and he came running over to me and said, 'It was just like what we were watching before the game'. Just like Messi, wasn't it?

"Obviously I have that kind of link-up with Phil. It's been a long time coming, because I don't think he's assisted me yet, but it was a good moment for myself."

The goal was Grealish's first in the FA Cup and only his fourth in a City shirt, although Guardiola had spoken before the match of disregarding "the statistics" when it came to his £100million man.

That theme has clearly been consistent in conversations between player and coach, although Grealish finished with a game-high five chances created.

"I expect more," he said. "I want to get a lot more, but I've been speaking with the manager a lot recently and he's been helping me.

"I want to get goals and assists, but he has said to me it's not all about goals and assists. I've played in a lot of big games this season that the manager's trusted me in that I haven't scored or assisted in, but I feel like I've done alright.

"For me personally, obviously I do want to get more goals and assists, but hopefully that will come now for the big part of the season."

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