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Aguero clinches stunning City comeback win over Swansea

Aguero clinches stunning City comeback win over Swansea
By Eurosport

16/03/2019 at 16:07Updated 16/03/2019 at 21:11

FA Cup quarter-final, Liberty Stadium - Swansea City 2 (Grimes 20' pen., Celina 29') Manchester City 3 (Silva 69', Nordfeldt 78' o.g., Aguero 88')

Sergio Aguero came off the bench to score an 88th-minute winner and complete a controversial comeback as Manchester City kept their quadruple dreams alive with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Swansea.

Pep Guardiola named a strong starting line-up consisting of David and Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus. He also handed a surprise return to Fabian Delph, but his decision backfired after just 20 minutes when the England international conceded a clumsy penalty, which Matt Grimes converted in emphatic fashion.

City took a step closer to an unprecedented quadruple earlier in the week after an impressive 7-0 thrashing of Schalke to confirm their place in the last-eight of the Champions League, but on 29 minutes they found themselves staring at defeat domestically as Swansea - 14th in the second tier - doubled their advantage. Former City player Bersant Celina completed a stunning move to sweep the ball past Ederson to give the visitors a mountain to climb.

Bersant Celina of Swansea City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Swansea City and Manchester City at Liberty Stadium

Bersant Celina of Swansea City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Swansea City and Manchester City at Liberty StadiumGetty Images

But City clawed their way back with Bernardo Silva's goal in the 69th minute to give the Citizens renewed hope.

City needed a contentious penalty to level the scores nine minutes later when the referee Andre Marriner controversially pointed to the spot after Raheem Sterling went down under the challenge of Cameron Carter-Vickers, despite the Swansea defender appearing to make contact with the ball. Aguero's effort cannoned off the post and cruelly deflected off Kristoffer Nordfeldt before crossing the line.

And Swansea had every right to feel aggrieved with City's dramatic late winner as Aguero appeared to be in an offside position when he met Bernardo Silva's beautiful cross to finish with a stooped header.

TALKING POINT - Swansea pay a cruel, harsh penalty for lack of VAR

The use of VAR has been hugely controversial in recent weeks, making headlines most notably in Manchester United's Champions League victory over PSG, but it was the absence of the technology that has cost Swansea dear in the FA Cup. Had VAR been in use tonight, Swansea would have likely sealed a deserved place in the semi-final for the first time since 1955. It is simply mind-blowing that the technology can't be used at the Liberty Stadium - a venue that hosted Premier League football for seven years. Heartbreaking for Graham Potter's side, but it's sheer ecstasy for Manchester City. If they go on to do the unthinkable and claim four trophies in May, they will look back on this hugely dramatic night in south Wales as a pivotal moment in their journey.

PLAYER RATINGS

Swansea: Nordfeldt 8, Roberts 7, Van der Hoorn 7, Carter-Vickers 7, Grimes 7, Fulton 7, Celina 8, Byers 6, Dyer 6, James 8, Routledge 6. Subs: Asoro 5, John 5, Harries 5.

Man City: Ederson 7, Walker 6, Otamendi 6, Laporte 6, Delph 4, Gundogan 5, David Silva 6, Bernardo Silva 8, Sane 6, Mahrez 5, Jesus 6. Subs: Aguero 8, Sterling 7, Zinchenko 7.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Bernardo Silva (Man City)

The catalyst for City's comeback with a stunning goal with the outside of his boot, the Portuguese then landed a beautiful pin-point cross on Aguero's head to win the game.

KEY MOMENTS

20' - GOAL! Swansea 1-0 Man City: It's an emphatic penalty from Grimes as he smashes the ball in the corner of the net. Can you believe it? Swansea lead City.

29' - GOAL! Swansea 2-0 Man City: Unbelievable scenes in south Wales! Swansea have taken a two-goal lead! And what a lovely move it is. They work it down the left, James plays it inside to Dyer, he finds Celina who sweeps the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box!

69' - GOAL! Swansea 2-1 Man City: Game on here at the Liberty Stadium! Swansea fail to clear Walker's simple cross into the box. Pinball ensues, it falls to Bernardo Silva and with the outside of the boot he slams the ball into the corner of the net. A sublime goal.

77' - PENALTY TO MAN CITY! Sterling goes down inside the box after Carter-Vickers' challenge and the referee Andre Marriner points to the spot. Swansea rage. It looked soft but the decision has been made... Remember, no VAR in operation.

78' - GOAL! Swansea 2-2 Man City: City are level! Aguero sticks his spot-kick to the left, it hits the post, deflects off Nordfeldt and over the line. It's going to go down as Nordfeldt's own-goal.

88' - GOAL! Swansea 2-3 Man City: Aguero is the hero as City complete a remarkable second-half comeback! Bernardo Silva curls in a beautiful cross and Aguero finishes with a stooping header. But is he offside? Goal stands, as there is no VAR here to check.

KEY STATS

  • Bernardo Silva is the fourth Man City player to record double figures for both goals and assists in all comps this season (also Sterling, Sane and Mahrez). The only other Premier League players to have done so this term are Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba.
  • Kristoffer Nordfeldt's own goal was the seventh that Manchester City have benefited from in all competitions this season - more than any other Premier League side.
  • Bernardo Silva's goal was his 10th of the season in all competitions for Manchester City (41 appearances), one more than he netted in the whole of 2017-18 (9 in 53 appearances).
  • This was the first time in 24 games in all competitions that Manchester City conceded the first goal of the match, last doing so against Hoffenheim in December before coming back to win 2-1.
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