Raheem Sterling netted the first goal for Manchester City against Rotherham on Sunday. Photo: Rui Vieira/AP

LONDON – Premier League champions Manchester City began their FA Cup campaign with a 7-0 thrashing of Rotherham on Sunday, but Fulham, battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League, were beaten 2-1 by fourth-tier Oldham.

Barnet ensured there would be a non-league presence in the fourth round with a 1-0 win away to second-tier Championship club Sheffield United.  

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola may have made eight changes from the team that beat Premier League leaders Liverpool on Thursday.

But he still fielded a strong side for the visit of Championship club Rotherham, with Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus all starting as playmaker Kevin de Bruyne returned from injury.

De Bruyne played in Sterling for a 12th-minute opener, and City then scored twice in the closing stages of the first half.

Phil Foden, the England Under-21 international, got on the end of a cross from Ilkay Gundogan in the 43rd minute, before Rotherham defender Semi Ajayi turned the ball into his own net.

Jesus made it 4-0 early in the second half before Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane added further goals.

* Denis Odoi put Fulham ahead in the 52nd minute at Craven Cottage, but Sam Sturridge drew Oldham level with a penalty, before Callum Lang’s header two minutes from time sealed a comeback win.

Daniel Iversen compounded Fulham’s misery by saving an Aleksandar Mitrovic penalty just moments earlier.

Elsewhere, Barnet beat Championship high-flyers Sheffield United thanks to Shaquile Coulthirst’s 21st-minute penalty.

Watford manager Javi Gracia changed his entire starting side from the team that drew 3-3 at Bournemouth, with Venezuela forward Adalberto Penaranda making his Hornets debut against non-league Woking.

But hopes of Woking, 110 places adrift of the Hornets, enjoying a shock win suffered a setback when Will Hughes curled in a 13th-minute shot from the edge of the area.

Watford made it 2-0 16 minutes from time when Troy Deeney scored from close range.

Millwall came from a goal down to beat Championship rivals Hull 2-1, substitute Shane Ferguson scoring twice inside the closing eight minutes.

QPR beat Championship leaders Leeds by the same scoreline, Jake Bidwell scoring a 75th-minute winner for the west London club.

AFP