Swansea City 2-3 Manchester City: FA Cup quarter-final – as it happened

Manchester City came from two goals down to reach the semis, on a controversial night at the Liberty.

And that’s your lot! Ben Fisher was our man at the Liberty, lucky to witness a rip-roaring tie that had just about everything. Here’s his report. Enjoy, and thanks for reading this MBM!

Pep is asked about the two contentious decisions. “I honestly didn’t watch it, but if it’s not a penalty I am sorry, and if it is offside I am sorry. Why VAR is not here is a question for the authorities. I don’t like it, but honestly I didn’t watch the situation.” And the quadruple? “Ask me again at the end of April!”

Graham Potter speaks! Is he proud or frustrated? “Mostly proud to be honest. We were incredible and showed great courage against a top team. They had some chances and we had some luck, but in the end it was a fantastic effort. With the quality they have, we knew we probably needed another goal. The penalty is touch and go, if I’m being kind to the referee. The winner is offside, which is disappointing for the players. Overall Manchester City had chances, I can’t deny they deserved to win the game. But it’s disappointing to lose goals in that manner. But that’s life, and referees make mistakes as well.” A really gentlemanly response to a disappointing end to Swansea’s cup run.

That was a glorious FA Cup quarter-final. As good as it gets. Swansea scored the goal of the evening, a back-to-front flowing passing move gorgeously finished by Bersant Celina. Manchester City created a large number of chances, the kind they’d normally slot away. It looked like being one of those days, until the debatable penalty decision knocked the stuffing out of Swansea. A winner for Manchester City seemed inevitable thereafter, though when it came, it was marginally offside. This will sting Swansea badly - they were so close to reaching the semis for only the third time in their history - but once the pain subsides they’ll feel very proud of their performance, which augurs well for their future. Manchester City, meanwhile, continue to dream of an unprecedented quadruple.

FULL TIME: Swansea City 2-3 Manchester City

And that’s it! Manchester City join Watford in the semi-finals, but only just, benefiting from a couple of late, close, controversial calls to complete a comeback from two down. Swansea were sensational in the first half, but couldn’t hang on, eventually buckling under intense Manchester City pressure.

90 min +5: One last chance for Swansea, as Roberts flings a long throw into the mixer from the right. But Manchester City do just enough to clear.

90 min +4: Aguero runs the clock down near the corner flag. It looks all over.

90 min +2: It’s been a sensational comeback by Manchester City, who look like coming back from two goals down for the first time under Pep. They’ve been two down eight times before; eight times they’ve gone on to lose. But not tonight. Some effort! However the penalty call and the offside winner will take a little shine off it. Expect to hear more.

90 min: There will be four added minutes. Maybe a little more, because a clown in a red puffa-puffa jacket has lolloped onto the field of play. He’s eventually bundled back off, presumably to be thrown in the jug. Imagine that being your 15 minutes of fame. What a toolbag.

GOAL! Swansea City 2-3 Manchester City (Aguero 88)

Aguero has missed some fine chances in his brief period on the pitch. But now he’s scored at last. Bernardo Silva curls a lovely low cross on from the left. At the near post, Aguero stoops to guide a sensationally good header into the bottom left! But it’s another controversial one, because he was a smidgen offside. No VAR here today, much to the home side’s chagrin.

Sergio Aguero of Manchester City scores his team’s third goal.
Sergio Aguero of Manchester City scores his team’s third goal. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images


87 min: Fulton is replaced by Harries. Walker sends a low shot inches wide of the left-hand post. Is anyone going to claim a dramatic late winner? If not, there will be a most acceptable extra 30 minutes of this rip-roaring fun! And maybe penalties to follow. Gotta love the FA Cup!

85 min: This is end-to-end nonsense, a fantastic cup tie. Aguero can’t convert a low David Silva left-wing cross from close range. Asoro romps down the right and sends a shot from distance wide. Manchester City go up the other end and win a corner that comes to nothing.

83 min: How did this stay out? Sterling loops a cross into the Swansea box from the right. Jesus heads down towards the bottom left. Nordfeldt pushes onto the post. The ball rebounds to Jesus, who only needs to poke home from close range. But Aguero gets in the way, taking over and slamming the ball straight at the keeper! What a fiasco!


82 min: Mancehster City are pressing for the winner. They’ve enjoyed 80 percent of possession in the last five minutes. Swansea are all over the shop.

80 min: That was a very soft penalty. Carter-Vickers got something on the ball. But did he also clip Sterling? A little bit, perhaps. Anyway, it was given. Swansea’s heads are addled. Suddenly, they’re in real danger of losing this tie. Aguero has a shot that Fulton blocks. David Silva has another pop; that one’s deflected away too.

GOAL! Swansea City 2-2 Manchester City (Nordfeldt og 78)

Aguero slams the spot kick onto the bottom of the left-hand post. It comes off the base of the post, flies across the face of goal, and clips Nordfeldt’s trailing heel - he’d gone the right way - and into the net. What terrible luck for the Swansea keeper.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero takes their penalty.
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero takes their penalty. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images via Reuters
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot.
Aguero celebrates City’s second goal . Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images via Reuters


Penalty for Manchester City!

77 min: Sterling, the ball at his feet to the right of the D, suddenly turns on the jets. He races into the area. Carter-Vickers sticks out a leg. Sterling goes over, and the ref points to the spot!

Swansea City’s Cameron Carter-Vickers concedes a penalty after fouling Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.
Swansea City’s Cameron Carter-Vickers concedes a penalty after fouling Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images via Reuters


76 min: Sterling slips a pass down the right for Walker, who fizzes a low one towards the near post. Aguero is at the right-hand edge of the six-yard box. You’d expect him to at least get something on target, but his control lets him down and Swansea escape.

74 min: Jesus plays a Phil Mickelsonesque flop down the inside-left channel. It drops to Sterling, just inside the Swansea area. A perfect pass that’s carved Swansea open, but Sterling’s lost the flight of the ball and can’t get a shot away. Shame, that would have been quite a goal.

73 min: Zinchenko glides down the inside-left channel before slipping a pass across the face of the box for Sterling, coming in from the other flank. Sterling leans back and sends a dismal shot sailing over; by his own superb standards, he should have done much better.

72 min: Before the goal, Manchester City weren’t quite kaput exactly ... but they were beginning to look ragged. Now there’s an extra bounce in every footstep. They’re getting to the loose balls first again. Swansea will need to dig in.

70 min: A pause before the restart because Fulton had taken a whack while blocking one of those Aguero efforts. That gives Swansea’s fans time to pick themselves up and trill those hymns and arias again. But Manchester City’s supporters are now singing too. It’s going to be a hell of a ride now!

GOAL! Swansea City 2-1 Manchester City (Bernardo Silva 69)

And here it is! Walker crosses from the right. Roberts doesn’t manage to clear. Aguero has a couple of snapshots blocked. The ball breaks left to Bernardo Silva, who power-curls a delightful effort around Nordferldt and into the top right! The atmosphere’s changed all right. Game on!

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva scores their first goal.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva scores their first goal. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images via Reuters
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring their first goal .
Which he’s pretty pleased about. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images via Reuters


67 min: Sterling dribbles his way down the left but eventually runs the ball out of play for a goal kick. On the touchline, Guardiola is beginning to look highly irritated. He’s literally hopping mad, waving at his players and ranting with great feeling. Time’s beginning to run out for his players. A goal soon enough would change the atmosphere.

65 min: The pace of James sends Manchester City into a flat spin yet again. They’re all over the place as he tears into the box from the left. Gundogan does extremely well to step in and ease him off the ball. Ederson is then able to intervene with Routledge lurking on the penalty spot.

64 min: Manchester City make their final change ... unless this goes to extra time, of course, in which case they’ll be able to make another. Mahrez is replaced by Aguero. The entire cavalry’s on, then.

62 min: Manchester City are teetering on the brink here. Celina slides a pass down the left channel for James, who hopes to round Ederson, racing out from his box. But the keeper does just enough to intercept and clear. Anything else, and that would have been game over. Manchester City have never come back from two down under Pep; 3-0 would have surely been it.

61 min: Dyer has been quiet. So he’s replaced by 19-year-old Joel Asoro, who comes with tactical notes in hand. He’s not managed to pass them on to anyone yet, though.

59 min: Zinchenko’s first act is to go nose-to-nose with Roberts. The head gone, less than two minutes after coming on. Manchester City need to simmer down if they’re going to get back into this. As things stand, their quadruple dream is slipping from their grasp.

57 min: Manchester City make a double change. Delph and Sane are hooked, Zinchenko and Sterling coming on. “Just wondering if a quick Jesus throw (37 min) is one theological step above a Hail Mary Pass?” quips Bob Lemon.

56 min: Manchester City are finding James hard to handle. He rips down the left and forces the visitors on the back foot yet again. What pace he’s got! The ball’s worked to Byers out on the other flank; he runs it out for a goal kick.

54 min: A corner for Manchester City down the right. From the set piece, a hectic game of pinball ensues. But Swansea are getting the breaks. Shots are blocked, ricochets fall to home boots. Eventually they clear. Carter-Vickers and van der Hoorn have both been immense so far.

52 min: Swansea knock it around the back awhile, but nearly play themselves into trouble, and Nordfeldt is forced to hack into touch in the fretful style. Nothing much comes from the resulting throw, deep in Swans territory. But a warning that the hosts can’t get too carried away, despite playing with great style so far. “Why don’t teams of a similar level to Swansea in the Premiership just give it a go against Man City?” wonders Andy Tuohy. “That back line really doesn’t like it up ‘em! Most teams look it as a dead rubber, so they may as well give it a go and have an outside chance of getting something out of it rather than parking and losing, which is what happens most of the time bar the odd blip. Wait 75 minutes before parking it. But, of course, Man City might well tonk them 6-2 or something now I’ve said that.”

50 min: This is turning into a wild end-to-end affair. James totally skins Otamendi for pace down the left, but Laporte comes across to double up and eventually the Manchester City duo manage to wrest possession back.

49 min: Celina’s ankle must be just fine, because now he races into a large gap in the Manchester City midfield. He’s allowed to make up 40 yards, then shoots from distance. Well over the bar. Manchester City go up the other end, Sane twisting and turning down the left. But he can’t get a shot away, nor find a team-mate in the middle.

47 min: Bernardo Silva makes good down the right His low cross is hacked clear by Roberts, but only onto Jesus, six yards out. The ball clanks just wide of the right-hand post. Another incident to file under One Of Those Days?

Swansea get the second half underway! No changes. Manchester City are quickly on the front foot, Sane bursting down the left. There are no gaps to exploit, though. Gundogan then tries to release Mahrez down the middle with a cute chip, but van der Hoorn heads clear.

Half-time entertainment. This quarter-final has been very entertaining so far. Will it join the pantheon? Only time will tell. But how about this classic Joy of Six on that very subject? Here’s Bobbie!

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HALF TIME: Swansea City 2-0 Manchester City

Nothing much happens in the added-on time. That’s the half-time whistle. As the players troop off, a rattled Laporte gets himself in a silly tangle with Routledge and is booked for his trouble. And no wonder the visitors are losing their heads! Swansea City weathered an early storm, then hit them with a quick one-two. The second goal, a passing move from back to front, was a thing of Rodgers-era beauty. A Swansea win was 20-1 against! Well, it’s on, unless Manchester City can sort themselves out in the second half. What a 45 minutes we have coming up!

45 min: Laporte takes a speculative shot from 25 yards, but it’s easily blocked. There will be two added minutes.

44 min: Gundogan tries to release Sane down the left, but his pass is too heavy and Nordfeldt can come out and smother.

43 min: Grimes whips a high free kick towards the far post. Carter-Vickers climbs highest, but can only send a weak header wide left. That was a good chance to turn an unlikely scoreline into a positively trippy one.

42 min: Routledge spins Laporte out on the right, and is hauled down for his trouble. It should be a yellow card, but the referee only dishes out a lecture. But it is a free kick, and a chance for Swansea to cause more bother in the box.

40 min: Mahrez shapes to shoot on the edge of the Swansea box. But he has the ball nicked off him, and suddenly James is romping up the left. He cuts inside and looks for Routledge through the middle, but the pass isn’t so good this time. Once again, though, Manchester City looked a bit tatty at the back. They’re there to be got at, if you’re adventurous enough. Some Premier League teams should give it a go sometime.

39 min: Sane rolls a pass down the left to release David Silva into the area. Silva crosses; the ball comes back off Roberts and out off the Manchester City man for a goal kick. Nothing’s working for them, all of a sudden. What a start they had to this game, as well.

37 min: A quick Jesus throw down the right frees Bernardo Silva into acres of space. Swansea were sleeping a little bit. Bernardo loops a cross into the area for Sane, but it’s uncharacteristically inaccurate. Swansea clear.

35 min: Might this simply not be Manchester City’s day? Bernardo Silva skins Grimes down the right. His low cross finds David Silva six yards out. He must score, but Roberts sticks a leg out to block his shot on the line. The ball then pinballs off Nordfeldt and somehow spins round the right-hand post instead of going in. The resulting corner leads to nothing.

34 min: Manchester City win a corner out on the left. It’s a total non-event. A few quadruple-hunting faces betray a little frustration.

33 min: The goalscorer Celina appears to have gone over his ankle at some point. He’s down getting a little treatment. He doesn’t want to go off, and insists on trying to run it off.

32 min: Nordfeldt can do no wrong at the moment. Bernardo Silva takes a shot from the edge of the box. It’s straight at the keeper, but fiercely hit, and it still needs stopping. Nordfeldt hooks the ball away from danger.

31 min: The home fans singing their hymns and arias. Manchester City are in proper bother here!

SENSATIONAL GOAL! Swansea City 2-0 Manchester City (Celina 29)

Manchester City are beaten at their own game! Swansea play from the back, Nordfeldt slipping a pass out from his own area. The ball’s soon with James, out on the left. James drifts inside, then shifts the ball to Routledge, in the middle 30 yards out. Routledge plays a first-time ball back to Celina down the inside-left channel. Celina - who missed in farcical scenes from the spot four days ago at West Brom - opens his body and sends a delightful first-time effort into the top right! Ederson had no chance!

Swansea City’s Bersant Celina fires in the Swans’ second.
Swansea City’s Bersant Celina fires in the Swans’ second. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images
Swansea City’s Bersant Celina celebrates after scoring their second goal.
Cue lots of happy faces. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images


27 min: Manchester City knock it around the back, teasing Swansea forward. Then they suddenly spring forward. Jesus scampers into the Swansea box from the left, but can’t find anyone in purple with his cross. A suggestion that the ball might have flicked a Swansea hand there, but nothing’s awarded.

25 min: It’s tipping down in Swansea. On the touchline, Pep is too busy frowning and looking enigmatic to put his hood up. His side have lost a little of that early momentum since falling behind. The hosts looking much more confident.

23 min: Grimes nearly goes from hero to zero in 180 seconds. His dreadful clearance up the Swansea left is intercepted by Mahrez, who feeds Jesus. The Manchester City striker rolls a pass across the face of goal from the right, but it just evades Sane, who was hoping to tap in from a couple of yards. Grimes wipes his brow.

22 min: That’s got the home crowd going, and City look a little shaken about what’s happened to them. Sane is caught offside, over-eager in his attempt to chase a David Silva pass down the left.

GOAL! Swansea City 1-0 Manchester City (Grimes 20 pen)

Grimes wastes no time. He pops the ball on the spot and lashes it into the top left! Swansea, on the ropes pretty much since the get-go, lead the champions of England!

Matt Grimes of Swansea City scores his team’s first goal from the penalty spot.
Matt Grimes of Swansea City scores his team’s first goal from the penalty spot. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images
Swansea City’s Matt Grimes celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game from a penalty.
Grimes celebrates his goal. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA


Penalty for Swansea!

20 min: And here’s another example! Delph stands off Roberts, out on the right touchline. Roberts is able to bring a long pass down, cut inside, and Delph panics, sticking out a leg and tripping his man from behind as he enters the box! A no-brainer, in more ways than one.

Swansea City’s Connor Roberts is fouled by Manchester City’s Fabian Delph resulting in a penalty being awarded.
Swansea City’s Connor Roberts is fouled by Manchester City’s Fabian Delph resulting in a penalty being awarded. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images via Reuters


18 min: Some good first-time flicking by Roberts, Celina and Routledge nearly opens Manchester City up down the right. Routledge’s control, as he enters the box, lets him and Swansea down. But once again Swansea have proved that, for all the visitors’ dominance, they sometimes let their concentration slip at the back.

17 min: Sane should be OK to continue. Sterling had been warming up, just in case, but he’s back in the dugout now. On the pitch, Manchester City continue to dominate, Jesus nearly finding his way through the middle. Not quite.

15 min: Sane is holding his hip, looking a little pained. The Manchester City bench are keeping an eye on him. He’s still fit enough to get a cross-cum-shot in from the left, though this one doesn’t seriously trouble Swansea.

13 min: Sane scampers down the left and loops a cross towards the far post, where Bernardo Silva crashes a shot goalwards from eight yards. Nordfeldt parries brilliantly. The keeper has already earned his corn this evening, and we’re less than a quarter-hour in.


12 min: Manchester City bomb upfield with Swansea light at the back. Sane feeds Mahrez who slips a pass down the inside-right channel for Walker, bursting into the box. But just as Walker’s preparing to shoot, James comes across and eases him out of the road, allowing Nordfeldt to gather. That’s sensational tracking back.

10 min: Swansea suddenly show their quality! Celina strokes a pass down the left for James, who scuttles inside and lays off to Celina, who tries to sashay his way through the middle. Not quite, and the ball breaks through to Ederson, who clears. Celina made the wrong decision there; he had Roberts in acres of space to his right. Had he made that pass, Roberts would have been one on one with the keeper. That’ll give Swansea heart after a very shaky start.

8 min: This is a very worrying start by Swansea. Sane should be in down the left, but he overruns it and has to settle for a corner off Roberts. That comes to nothing, but Mahrez is soon probing down the right, and his cross to the far post clips off James and out for yet another corner ... though they’re not awarded that one, the ref missing the deflection.

6 min: There’s a massive gap between Swansea’s back four and the rest of the team. Jesus romps through it, then slips a pass to Sane, who enters the box in trademark silky style and batters a shot towards the bottom left. Nordfeldt saves well at his near post, though the ball loops to Mahrez, whose rushed header floats inches wide of the left-hand post. Had it been on target, Nordfeldt, back up on his feet, was not getting there.

4 min: ... nothing much. Swansea are getting their defensive headers in, if nothing else, van der Hoorn standing tall.

3 min: Manchester City stroke it around for fun. Swansea have barely had a touch yet. Bernardo Silva slides a pass down the right for Walker, who earns Manchester City’s second corner of the evening. That leads to ...

1 min: ... Swansea half clear. Walker plays the ball back into the mixer from the right, and David Silva is caught offside on the penalty spot.

And we’re off! Manchester City get the ball rolling and launch it long. They’re soon probing down the left, and after 25 seconds Sane enters the box and wins the first corner of the match. From which ...

The teams are out! A cracking atmosphere at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea City are kitted out in their all-white kit, while Manchester City wear third-choice purple and orange. Freed From Desire by Gala blasts out of the PA. We’ll be off in a minute!

And then it’s Pep Guardiola’s turn! “All the players in the squad have quality, and so we always try to do the best line-up to win the game. Swansea are a club with experience in the Premier League. They lost their last games against Norwich and West Brom but they played very good, so the results don’t define what happened. And in the FA Cup, one game away, anything can happen and we know how tough it will be after weeks of playing many games in many competitions. We expend a lot of energy in a lot of games, so today we will see if we have some more to qualify for Wembley for the semi-finals. Then we rest a little bit during the international break. We need everybody.”

Swansea boss Graham Potter speaks to BT Sport. “This is an opportunity for us to play against the best, a great test, a learning opportunity. Then you just hope we can have a piece of magic and pull off a miracle. They’re a fantastic top team, but that’s what we’re going to try to do. We have to try to be us, of course you have to adapt, but there’s no point not being yourself. It’s a game our players should enjoy. Nobody’s expecting us to win, but we’ll try our best. ”

Swansea make just the one change to the team that went down 3-0 at the Hawthorns during the week. Jay Fulton comes in for Kyle Naughton.

Manchester City give Swansea maximum respect by fielding a very strong team. I suppose their squad is packed with so much quality it’d be pretty hard to do anything else, but the point stands. Four changes from the side that humiliated Schalke on Wednesday night: Danilo, Alexander Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguer make way for Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus.

The teams

Swansea City: Nordfeldt, Roberts, van der Hoorn, Carter-Vickers, Grimes, Fulton, Byers, Celina, Dyer, James, Routledge.
Subs: Asoro, McKay, John, Mulder, Dhanda, Baker-Richardson, Harries.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Delph, Bernardo Silva, Gundogan, Silva, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Sane.
Subs: Danilo, Sterling, Aguero, Zinchenko, Foden, Muric, Garcia.

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).



This is the first time Swansea City and Manchester City have met in the FA Cup. But that’s about as good as the stats get for the Swans. Manchester City have won ten of their last 11 matches against Swansea. Last season they won their two Premier League encounters 4-0 and 5-0. On Wednesday, Manchester City beat Schalke 7-0, Leroy Sane delivering a masterclass; Swansea’s midweek effort was a 3-0 loss at West Brom, during which Bersant Celina filed a contender for worst penalty of all time.

Then again, there’s always hope. Swansea haven’t been beaten at home since Boxing Day. Manchester City are unlikely to be playing their full-strength team. Pep Guardiola’s side were knocked out of the cup at third-tier Wigan Athletic last season. And they let in a goal at Newport County earlier in this cup run.

Plus, in the FA Cup, you just never know. So could Graham Potter’s mid-table Championship side put paid to Manchester City’s quadruple dream? Or will the reigning English champions take another step towards an unprecedented achievement? It should be fun finding out. It’s on!

Kick off: 5.20pm GMT.