Late goals from Manchester City's Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres turned around what looked like being one of the biggest FA Cup upsets of all time against Cheltenham Town.
The League Two outfit took the lead just before the hour mark when City failed to deal with Ben Tozer's long throw and Alfie May nipped in to divert the ball into the roof of the net.
The lead held until nine minutes before the final whistle when City's lone shining star Foden ghosted in at the far post to divert home Joao Cancelo's cross.
Foden wins Young Player of the Season for second year in a row
Three minutes later the tie was decided in City's favour when Jesus was found alone in the centre of the box by a long chipped ball from Fernandinho and the striker controlled sublimely before tucking away calmly. Torres made sure of City's place in the fifth round in injury time.
City will travel to South Wales to face Swansea in the next round.
TALKING POINT - Nine minutes from Cheltenham’s greatest ever long-shot
Not numerically true perhaps, you see outsiders pass the winning post at greater odds than 25/1 just down the road at the great course, but none of these would have had transcended the sporting landscape like a win from the League Two side here.
Yes, City had 10 different players from the side that beat Aston Villa in midweek but this was still easily the most expensive side on view on Saturday. Had Cheltenham held on it would have surely usurped results like Hereford's iconic win over Newcastle in 1972, Wrexham beating Arsenal in 1992, Oldham beating Liverpool 3-2 in 2013 and Bradford winning at Chelsea two years later.
And Alfie May would have had his name go down in FA Cup history with the likes of Ronnie Radford, Ricky George and Mickey Thomas. It didn't quite live up to these heights in the end, but certainly a night the club will never forget.
Alfie May of Cheltenham Town celebrates
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH – Ben Tozer (Cheltenham Town)
Phil Foden was fantastic but a truly Herculean effort from the Cheltenham skipper has to be rewarded here. His performance included one of the best clearances you will ever see when he got his head to Ben Mendy’s rocket on the goal-line which ensured Cheltenham stayed in the game early on.
That was just one of a number of clearances from the big centre back who also hurt City at the other end with his smart-bomb long, fizzing and dipping throws which proved so crucial. Charlie Raglan and William Boyle were worthy deputies alongside him at the back, but Tozer's performance was one of the great displays of leadership you will see in the competition.
Cheltenham: Griffiths7, Raglan 7, Tozer 9, Boyle 7, Blair 6, Freestone 6, Thomas 7, Clements 7, Azaz 8, Lloyd 6, May 7. Subs: Long 6, Williams 6, Addai 6.
Man City: Steffen 6, Garcia 6, Harwood-Bellis 6, Laporte 5, Mendy 7, Fernandinho 6, Doyle 7, Mahrez 6, Torres 6, Foden 9, Jesus 6. Subs: Dias 6, Gundogan 7, Cancelo 7.
2’ CLOSE! Almost a goal straight away from City lovely lofted ball from Mahrez and Jesus gets behind the Town defence but Griffiths spread himself and jumped high to just avoid being lobbed.
12’ WOW! Great clearance off the line by Tozer. The ball fell to Mendy on the edge of the box and he struck it like a rocket towards the top corner by the Town skipper.
54’ ALMOST! So close from Jesus! He really had to score. Foden played a lovely through ball and Jesus cut inside in front of Raglan before striking past Griffiths and off the outside of the post.
59’ GOAL! Cheltenham 1-0 Man City (May): No way! A long throw from Tozer was deflected into the six-yard box where May turned the ball into the top corner.
81’ GOAL! Cheltenham 1-1 Man City (Foden): Heartbreakingly Foden, who has always looked the most likely for City, ghosted in at the far post to turn home Cancelo's cross.
85’ GOAL! Cheltenham 1-2 Man City (Jesus): Fernandinho chipped a ball down the middle of the goal and Jesus controlled the ball well before slotting home.
90+4’ GOAL! Cheltenham 1-3 Man City (Torres): Torres turns in after Gundogan ran onto Cancelo's pass and pulled back from the by-line for the Spain international.
Guardiola says 'Premier League is most difficult trophy' ahead of final day
'A shame Stevie can't play' - Klopp hoping for Gerrard help in title race
Share this article