The Liberty Stadium, Wales
FA Cup Quarter Final
23/03/2019 5:20 pm
Referee: Andre Marriner of The West Midlands
|Grimes (20' pen), Celina (29')||Bernardo Silva (69'), Nordfeldt (78' og), Agüero (88')|
|1 Kristoffer Nordfeldt||31 Ederson|
|23 Connor Roberts||2 Kyle Walker|
|5 Mike van der Hoorn||30 Nicolas Otamendi|
|21 Matt Grimes||14 Aymeric Laporte|
|17 Cameron Carter-Vickers||18 Fabian Delph||Zinchenko 57'|
|27 Jay Fulton||Harries 86'||20 Bernardo Silva|
|28 George Byers||John 73'||8 Ilkay Gündogan|
|12 Nathan Dyer||Asoro 61'||21 David Silva|
|10 Bersant Celina||26 Riyad Mahrez||Agüero 64'|
|15 Wayne Routledge||33 Gabriel Jesus|
|20 Daniel James||19 Leroy Sané||Sterling 57'|
|16 Joel Asoro||3 Danilo|
|19 Barrie McKay||7 Raheem Sterling|
|24 Declan John||10 Sergio Agüero|
|25 Erwin Mulder||35 Oleks Zinchenko|
|30 Yan Dhanda||47 Philip Foden|
|46 Courtney Baker-Richardson||49 Aro Muric|
|50 Cian Harries||50 Eric Garcia|
Johnny On The Spot: #FIGHTBACK! Manchester City’s enduring talisman Sergio Agüero had seen enough. Stripped from a seated bench start the Argentinian hotshot led a rip-roaring assault upon a shell-shocked Swansea.
How Agüero remains unheralded in England despite putting in season after season of absolute consistency and deadly accuracy is one of the stunning mysteries of the Premier League era. There was an element of “here comes the cavalry” in the eyes of City’s other outstanding performer on the night, Bernardo Silva. This brilliant footballer, still renowned as “Bubble Gum” on the French riviera where his ability to play as if the ball is glued to his feet was legendary at Monaco, had already started an extraordinary fightback with a sumptuous outside of his left foot goal. All of a sudden there was a zip and cutting edge to City’s performance which for far too long in this classic FA Cup contest had been sadly lacking. City had been transformed from being unable to beat the first man in the area coming in from the wings to utterly swarming over their hosts like killer bees.
Without wishing to take anything away from a game Swansea who in the first half provided plenty of endeavour going forward, in these pages I have often suggested that when on the type of winning run that Pep Guardiola’s Blues currently are, the only way they will lose is if they contrive to beat themselves. Step forward the two polar opposites to the aforementioned Bernardo and Kun. In naval terms, in key positions, Fabian Delph was lost at sea whilst Riyad “Rodney” Mahrez was simply rudderless. Their collective indecision and wastefulness flooded through the side quite remarkably. As the wasted corners, spurned gilt-edged chances and silly offsides mounted up, so too did the loss of possession despite being offered up acres of space to operate in. Both men were hooked and can expect to be benched for City’s trip to Fulham as our lengthy injury list is eased by a perfectly timed international break.
The Blues, with one cup already bagged, will shortly enter the penultimate month of an already incredible season battling to defend their Premier League title, an FA Cup semi-final secured and a Champions League Quarter Final on the horizon. The omens remain exceedingly good. 64 goals have been scored in 2019 with only 10 conceded, a whopping 142 netted across the four campaigns.
The City side were roared on by a boisterous 3,500 strong travelling support and the scenes when Kun struck the winner were memorable. It could yet prove to be the case that “The Liberty Fightback” will provide the launchpad for a big, big season finish.
JB’s Man of The Match: Bernardo Silva. Player of the Season elect.