Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was full of compliments for Swansea City’s performance who gave the Premier League champions a serious scare during this evening’s FA Cup quarter-final tie at the Liberty Stadium.
Graham Potter’s side led 2-0 at half-time. Connor Roberts was genuinely fouled cutting into the penalty area from the right. After Celina’s spot-kick miss at West Brom on Wednesday and Oli McBurnie’s absence, Matt Grimes took over the penalty-taking duties and confidently struck the ball past the goalkeeper’s right.
Nine minutes later, Swansea City scored a stunning goal as they worked the ball down the left side of the pitch. Quick forward passes from deep saw Routledge, Dyer and then Celina involved in the final third as the latter curled in to finish off a sublime attacking move, one that Manchester City themselves would have been proud of.
Take a minute out of your day and look at what Swansea have just done to Man City in the #FACup…
— BT Sport (@btsport) March 16, 2019
One of the most impressive aspects of our performance and it’s something that Pep mentions in his post-match press conference is the bravery we showed and the commitment in playing our own way rather than adjusting our approach simply because we were hosting one of the best sides in club football.
“Of course (I have sympathy). I enjoy to watch his team, the courage they played with and the type of players they want,”
“David Silva told me when I just arrived in my first season in England, I came here to play in the Carabao Cup, and they told me this team always want to play.
“We saw it in in the first 20 or 25 minutes. We don’t see that too often.
“They had courage to play and they played good.
“(Daniel) James is incredibly fast, so it’s not easy. We knew that, we spoke about it.
“We had a real test, especially after the adrenaline of the Champions League and everybody was talking about the draw.
“Nobody asked me one question about Swansea (in his pre-match press conference).
“So you have to say congratulations, it was incredible. But we didn’t give up. We adjusted things and the quality of our players made the difference.”
As you would expect, Manchester City controlled the game with their quality but our defence remained solid, resolute and determined to block every shot and pass that came inside the 18-yard box. We rolled our luck here and there and Nordfeldt made some great saves but we were edging closer and closer towards a memorable cup victory until the controversy began around the hour mark.
Cameron Carter-Vickers made contact with the ball as Sterling made a run inside the penalty area but the referee saw enough to award the penalty. Aguero’s spot-kick came back off the inside of the post and over the line off Nordfeldt’s back. There was further controversy for their third and winning goal as Aguero headed home from an offside position.
Despite the frustrations of the result and the poor decisions – allowing Manchester City to make a comeback from 2-0 down, we should still be delighted and proud of the performance we put in. Nobody gave us a chance before the game, even more so after we’ve lost six in the last eight games but we looked determined to put on a good show and give a good account of ourselves; we did exactly that.