Largely, City struggled to get their attacking game flowing and had to wait for the hour mark for their first shot on target, through which Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring.
Grealish, who started for the first time in almost a month after suffering from a shin injury, scored his first goal in the FA Cup in an otherwise fairly underwhelming win against the Championship’s bottom side.
His strike, however, was a moment of genuine quality.
Just a day after Pep Guardiola had urged the £100m man not to focus on the statistics given his reasonably slow first season at the club, Grealish expertly controlled a defence-splitting pass from Foden before a clinical finish.
Speaking to ITV after the game, the 26-year-old revealed watching videos of Paris Saint-Germain Messi had played a role in the move.
“We have come up against teams a lot lately sitting in against us, so it has been difficult,” he said.
“It (Foden’s pass) was unbelievable. Before the game on the coach here I was sat next to Phil and was scrolling through Twitter when a video of Messi came up, his passing. We were just watching it.
“As soon as he scored, he came over to me and said, ‘it was just like Messi’.”