Match ends, Swansea City 1, Manchester City 3.
Manchester City rewrote English football’s record books as a comfortable 3-1 win over Swansea City sent them into the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus were on target as Pep Guardiola’s team won a 15th game in a row in all competitions, with Swansea pulling one back late through debutant Morgan Whittaker.
This triumph means that Manchester City have set a new record for successive domestic victories of an English top-flight club, surpassing the previous best of 14 achieved by the Preston team from 1891-92 and Arsenal since 1987-88.
After easing to their recent victory, Guardiola’s men remain in contention for a quadruple, while Swansea, who are third in the championship, are back to focus on their bid to join Manchester City in the Premier League next season.
This was an early taste of the size of the task they face if they were to secure promotion in May – though not all opponents will be as formidable as current Premier League leaders.
Manchester City have not lost since November and have never looked like being beaten here as they took control from the start and went on for half an hour as Walker’s cross missed everyone in a crowded penalty area and rolled into the net.
If the goal was a little soft, it was no more than the visitors deserved considering their control.
A Swansea revival looked unlikely and any slim home hopes were quickly extinguished in the second half.
First, Sterling found time and space to roll a shot low into the bottom corner of the net, then Jesus turned and headed home from close range.
Swansea’s application was rewarded late when Whittaker, who had only been on the pitch for 12 minutes, finished smartly from Ryan Manning’s post.
Guardiola’s side in the groove
Manchester City juggernaut continues to drive.
During their record-breaking victory, the men from Etihad Stadium have scored 40 goals and conceded just five.
Still, the Guardiola’s team had worked hard to beat League Two Cheltenham Town in the previous round of the cup, and the Spaniard had warned before this draw that a rigorous investigation awaited in South Wales.
He had not forgotten 2018-19 when Graham Potter’s Swansea side gave Manchester City a significant scare at this point in the FA Cup quarter-finals, only going 2-0 up to lose an exciting competition 3-2.
Guardiola acknowledged that Sergio Aguero’s late winner that day should have been banned – while his side was also given a dubious penalty – but there was nothing controversial about this success.
Manchester City lifted the FA Cup – as part of a domestic treble – after their last win at Swansea, and are now just three wins away from claiming the trophy again.
They are already through to the Carabao Cup final – they meet Tottenham in April – and are five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.
They also remain in the Champions League, with Borussia Monchengladbach coming in the last 16, so the prospect of an unprecedented quadruple continues.
However, Manchester City will have to overcome stricter tests than this if they are to achieve the extraordinary.
Swansea could not hold the ball as they liked, and therefore found themselves defending themselves on long spells, where Jesus saw one shot parried and sent another wide early.
Aymeric Laporte headed over and Ferran Torres’ shot from close range was saved by Freddie Woodman.
Swansea creaked, but would not have expected them to regret it, as Jesus and Torres did not connect with Walker’s low cross from the right.
But while waiting for a touch, Woodman was left with the wrong foot as the ball escaped everyone and went in at the far post.
Swansea tried to respond before the break, with Jay Fulton and Marc Guehi standing wide on either side of a sweet move that ended with Eric Garcia blocking Jamal Lowe’s shot.
Any chance of a resuscitation disappeared shortly after restart when Swansea opened and Rodrigo found Sterling on the left flank.
The English striker had an age where he could pick his place and made no mistakes and passed the ball over the helpless Woodman to claim a 12th goal of the season.
Three minutes later came the third goal when Bernardo Silva found Jesus in the penalty area and he turned around before heading home from point-blank range.
Whittaker, a January signing from Derby County, was one of a number of other substitutes in Swansea.
The 20-year-old only scored his second goal in senior football with practically his first touch in a Swansea shirt as he checked Manning’s center and rolled a shot into the bottom corner.
Swansea head coach Steve Cooper:
“In the first half, the tone in the tone was set quite quickly, but we had some semi-decent moments.
“But we were naive about how we started the second half, especially the goals we gave away, and a really tough challenge became massively tough after that, and the game looked itself.
“We certainly did not hide. The pace of the game remained the same, but we continued. We did not concede another goal and we scored a goal. We have to play against and see one of the best teams in the world live.
“We will always learn from what we do, in the tough moments as well as the heights, and we will look to take that with us in our games going forward.”
- 44CabangoBooked in 37 minutes
- 5GuehiReplaced withBidwellon 66 ‘minutes
- 23RobertsReplaced withFreemanon 66 ‘minutes
- 21DhandaBooked in 70 minutesReplaced withHourihaneon 77 ‘minutes
- 9LoweReplaced withArriolaon 65 ‘minutes
- 11MorrisReplaced withWhittakeron 66 ‘minutes
- 10And Ayew
- 20Bernardo SilvaReplaced withThe footon 66 ‘minutes
- 16RodriReplaced withGomeson 72 ‘minutes
- 8GündoganReplaced withDoyleon 57 ‘minutes
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 7SterlingReplaced withMahrezon 56 ‘minutes
- 47The foot
Second half ends, Swansea City 1, Manchester City 3.
Offside, Manchester City. Benjamin Mendy tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.
Offside, Manchester City. Benjamin Mendy tries a through ball, but Ferran Torres is caught offside.
Attempts missed. Tommy Doyle (Manchester City) right footed shot from the center of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.
Claudio Gomes (Manchester City) wins a free kick in his own half.
Paul Arriola fouls Swansea City
Offside, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez tries a through ball, but Benjamin Mendy is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Gabriel Jesus.
Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick in his own half.
Error by Jay Fulton (Swansea City).
Goal! Swansea City 1, Manchester City 3. Morgan Whittaker (Swansea City) left footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Manning with a cross.
Replacement, Swansea City. Conor Hourihane replaces Yan Dhanda.
Error by Tommy Doyle (Manchester City).
Morgan Whittaker (Swansea City) wins a free kick in his own half.
Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Error by Joel Latibeaudiere (Swansea City).
Corner kick, Manchester City. Conceded by Ben Cabango.
Attempt blocked. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Tommy Doyle (Manchester City) shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
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