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City complete thrilling comeback to punish Swansea

Pin Swansea came close to a major cup upset. EFE
Swansea came close to a major cup upset. EFE

City complete thrilling comeback to punish Swansea

Having trailed by two goals, Manchester City pulled off a remarkable second-half comeback to beat Swansea and advance to the FA Cup semi-finals.

Swansea came within minutes of a huge FA Cup upset, and had fully deserved the two-goal advantage they enjoyed at half-time. They attacked from the off, pressing Manchester City in a way few Premier League teams have managed this season. Their endeavour was rewarded on the 20 minute mark, with Connor Roberts cutting into the area from the right-wing and provoking a desperate lunge from Fabian Delph. Referee Andre Marriner pointed straight to the spot, and Swansea's Frank Grimes made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

Things got even better for the hosts just seven minutes later, with Bersant Celina sending a beatiful curling effort into the top corner of the City net. The home crowd seemingly couldn't believe what they were witnessing, and were strangely quiet as the half drew to a close.

City emerged for the second-half with renewed intent, and immediately set about stretching the Swansea defence to its limit with fast, relentless possession football. But having failed to make a breakthrough after 15 minutes of second half football, City manager Pep Guardiola went for the jugular, making three substitutions in quick succession. Raheem Sterling, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Sergio Aguero were introduced, with Leroy Sane, Fabian Delph and Riyad Mahrez making way.

The changes worked, and almost immediately the visitors had pulled a goal back. Bernardo Silva scored through a fine strike with the outside of his boot, and suddenly it was game on. City had a penalty five minutes later, with Raheem Sterling being brought down after bursting into the box from the right. Up stepped Aguero, who sent a shot crashing off the left-hand post before bouncing into the net off Swansea goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt's ankle. It was a cruel twist of fate for Swansea, and more bad luck was to come. 

With just two minutes of normal time to play, Sergio Aguero met Bernardo Silva's inch-perfect cross to head home. But replays showed the Argentine had been marginally offside - an action which will only strengthen the support of many for VAR. As the rain poured down, Andre Marriner blew the final whistle and brought an end to an extraordinary game - one Swansea will feel bitterly disappointed to lose. Manchester City march into the FA Cup semi-finals, and their quadruple bid is still firmly on.

Charles Whitehead

Charles Whitehead

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