That’s a fair scoreline even if Walker’s goal was fortunate. Swansea have had a couple of chances of their own, to be fair, but it’s been more or less all Man City in possession.
Half-time: Swansea 0-1 Man City
45 min: Jesus tricks down the right and drills across goal but Sterling, under pressure from Latibeaudiere, can’t *quite* convert at the back post.
44 min: Guehi outmuscles the relatively quiet Sterling at the other end – rather throwing him over, which VAR would probably have frowned upon if it was present – and, just for now, the game is fairly end-to-end.
43 min: Swansea now have a spell of good possession. They do look sharp and confident on those occasions they can force the issue.
40 min: Chance for Lowe! He’s onside after Dhanda plays him through, but the ball won’t quite come down for him and Garcia is in to snick the ball away before he can convert. Guehi can’t quite get enough purchase to guide the resulting corner in. Swansea aren’t out of this.
39 min: Swansea try to play out but City hound them and Manning slips over a bit comically near the touchline. So hard to try and play City at their own game.
37 min: Cabango is booked for having too much of a go at Gundogan.
36 min: A sweet City move sees Mendy pop up in an odd inside-right position, but Grimes sweeps up assiduously.
34 min: Swansea will be kicking themselves at such a sloppy concession. Now they need to edge forwards more often when they can, without getting picked off by a relentless City. Tricky, huh? They have shown they can be bright on the flanks though and that was a chance for Fulton.
32 min: Nearly an instant response! Roberts overlaps on the right and picks out the onrushing Fulton with a perfect delivery that he thunders high & wide. Could have hit the target there and equalised.
Goal! Swansea 0-1 Man City (Walker, 30)
Well … Walker did not mean that! He whips a low ball in from the right, outside the angle of the box and Torres tries to help it in. Torres gets no contact but his movement is enough to outfox Woodman, who dives but sees the cross drift beyond him and in!
29 min: A Gundogan ball flashes across goal and City old boy Latibeaudiere deals with it calmly, controlling and then passing out.
27 min: And still. City have all the ball but aren’t creating too much at the moment, though Fulton has just blocked a Gundogan shot on the edge of the box.
22 min: Marvellous save from Woodman! Torres surges through the inside-right channel, blasts one towards the far corner and the keeper tips it wide quite superbly. Woodman also deals with the resulting corner, punching away. Swansea remain level for now.
21 min: Garcia is down in the box after another good little foray from Swansea, who made ground down that left side again and required a decent clearance from Gundogan when the ball came in. The defender will be OK.
20 min: “As a Welshman, I’m very happy to see Swansea doing so well, and I’d love to see them progress in the FA Cup,” writes Matt Dony. “As a Liverpool fan, I’ll be really annoyed if Swansea beat City, after the weekend’s result. Such is the life of a football fan. Almost never happy.”
18 min: Another City shot, Swansea conceding possession and Torres rather snatching at a shot after Jesus heads down. Woodman gathers with ease.
16 min: Now a Man City corner. They look so confident. It’s another fun-filled Gundogan effort … and Laporte runs all the way round the back and heads across goal, the ball bouncing not far wide!
15 min: Chance for Jesus, who is found by a clipped ball from the left by Mendy and jabs an instinctive sidefooter a yard wide of the near post.
14 min: City are passing, passing, probing, but Swansea are keeping their shape well. Guehi whacks a ball from the left away.
11 min: “Does Gundogan usually put corners in jauntily then?” asks Richard Hirst. The Germany midfielder finds corners to be great fun.
9 min: Good attack from the Swans there though with Morris, the USA forward making his first start, sprinting down the left before offering a cutback that City defend before it reaches Dhanda.
8 min: Guehi, an excellent defender on loan from Chelsea, makes a useful interception in the box. It remains all Man City.
6 min: Man City are now very much hogging the ball, as they do. A decent Mendy cross is turned behind for a corner by Manning. Gundogan puts that in quite flatly, and it’s sliced away.
4 min: Jesus went down after taking that shot, and took some sustained treatment. Was it his ankle? He will run it off, by the looks of it.
2 min: But City spring forward as soon as I type that, and Woodman beats away a 20-yard drive from Jesus.
1 min: Swansea have started on the front foot; they’ll want to give City a real examination today.
Ok, the teams are now lining up at the Liberty – fasten your seatbelts …
“City will not have the benefit of the razor-sharp passing from Sunday’s main assist man Alisson Becker tonight, so I wouldn’t get too overconfident if I were them,” cautions Peter Oh.
Pep Guardiola on a potential 15 matches unbeaten if City win: “If that happens ok, we will see. Focus on winning the game, that is what we have to do.”
If that doesn’t pump you up, then can I ask what will?
Rick refers to this tie, two
years ago, when the Swans raced into a two goal lead before City bit back. I’d settle for that much excitement tonight!
Rick Harris is brimful of optimism:
“Always dangerous to make rash statements like ‘sure to be a better match than the Man Utd v West Ham snoozefest we all slogged through last night.’ Manchester City have been entertaining if fits and starts but they have also ground out results in quite a few games. The main difference of course is that there isn’t the deathly presence of VAR, so I think we can rely on Pep’s boys getting a couple of dodgy decisions in their favour like the last time they played Swansea.”
Several other ties happening later today. We’ll have Leicester v Brighton, Sheffield United v Bristol City and Everton v Spurs. There’s a lot of football going on these days.
Swansea are flying under their manager Steve Cooper. Do you know why? Fear not – Ben Fisher does:
I make that five changes for Swansea from their big win over Norwich. Ex-City defender Joel Latibeaudiere comes in. As for City, that’s a verrrrrry strong side. Only four starters (Gundogan, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Sterling) from the filleting of Liverpool but that’s testament to what Pep Guardiola has available.
Swansea City: Woodman; Roberts, Cabango, Latibeaudiere, Guehi, Manning; Fulton, Grimes, Dhanda; Morris, Lowe. Subs: Webb, Naughton, Bennett, Freeman, Bidwell, Hourihane, Arriola, Ayew, Whittaker.
Manchester City: Steffen; Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo, Torres, Sterling; Jesus. Subs: Ederson, Stones, Zinchenko, Mahrez, Cancelo, Foden, Doyle, Gomes, Bernabe.
We go again. It’s FA Cup round five, night two – and a very nice-looking tie between All Conquering Swansea and All Conquering Manchester City.
The Swans sit third in the Championship, although they’d be in the top two if they won a game in hand. They’re a bit of a surprise package really but are playing some really tremendous stuff. City are … well … you know by now. They’re back to being City and threatening to run away with the Premier League. But they’re facing a team that might just be feeling as confident as they do, so there’s every chance they might be run pretty close this evening.
So it’s an attractive one! And sure to be a better match than the Man Utd v West Ham snoozefest we all slogged through last night. These two will come out to play, so I hope you will too – keep in touch with your emails and tweets, and let’s enjoy this one together.