Man City hit back to reach FA Cup semis after Swansea scare


Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Sergio Aguero kept alive Manchester City’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple as they survived a major FA Cup scare in a thrilling fightback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Swansea in Saturday’s quarter-finals.

Aguero had watched from the substitutes’ bench as second-tier Swansea roared into a stunning first half lead through goals from Matt Grimes and Bersant Celina.

But the Argentine emerged as City’s saviour on a rainy night in south Wales by setting up their first goal for Bernardo Silva, before completing the comeback with a last-gasp winner after Swansea keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt scored an unlucky own goal from the Argentina striker’s penalty to draw City level.

Having already won the League Cup and advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals, Premier League leaders City remain in the hunt for a clean sweep of all four major trophies.

It was a fortunate escape for City on Saturday however, as replays showed Raheem Sterling was fortunate to win the penalty that led to the equaliser, while Aguero was marginally offside for the winner.

City boss Pep Guardiola had named a strong starting line-up and Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva both went close early on.

It only looked a matter of time before City took the lead but Swansea ensured it was anything but one-way traffic.

They showed they could give the visitors a run for their money with a neat passing game that pushed City on to the back foot.

Grimes put Swansea ahead from the penalty spot in the 20th minute after Fabian Delph carelessly fouled Connor Roberts after the City defence was wrong-footed by Mike van der Hoorn’s crossfield pass. 

Grimes had not scored in his three-and-a-half years at the Liberty Stadium but took over penalty duties following Celina’s embarrassing spot-kick miss in a 3-0 midweek defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

The 23-year-old centre back made the most of Delph’s misjudgement by confidently driving the ball high into the roof of the City net.

– Disintegrated –

It went from bad to worse for City nine minutes later as Guardiola’s defence disintegrated following a nine-pass move involving seven Swansea players.

This time Swansea attacked with pace and purpose and, after fine play on the edge of City’s box by Nathan Dyer and Daniel James, space opened up for Celina to curl the ball delightfully beyond Ederson.

Guardiola looked flummoxed in the technical area as he mulled over finding a way back into the tie while Aymeric Laporte lost his head following referee Andre Marriner’s half-time whistle and was booked for shoving Swansea winger Wayne Routledge in the chest.

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One Response

  1. Ivan March 16, 2019

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