City will travel to Newcastle United in the quarter-final of the FA Cup after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday. City were far from their best and despite dominating the game from start to finish, only Sergio Aguero’s 53rd-minute goal separated the two teams on the night.
WHAT HAPPENED? The first-half was fairly uneventful by City standards with Wednesday defending deep and in numbers. It was very much a case of attack v defence with the hosts just keen to keep City out during a one-sided first 45 minutes. There were chances – Sergio Aguero missed an attempted near-post flick from Benjamin Mendy’s low cross, Gabriel Jesus had a couple of half-chances and Nicolas Otamendi saw a header smack the crossbar from Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick. But City failed to register a single shot on target – a rarity indeed. City looked more threatening in the opening five minutes of the second -half than the entire first 45 with Mendy striking the bar and Aguero and Bernardo both working Owls’ keeper Joe Wildsmith to varying degrees. But with increased purpose and momentum, City finally broke the deadlock on 53 minutes as Mendy found Aguero on the edge of the Owls’ box and the Argentine took one touch before hitting a low shot that Wildsmith got a hand to but couldn’t prevent continuing into the back of the net. It was his 23rd of the season and he scored in front of the 4,500-strong travelling City fans. Mahrez forced a number of saves from Wildsmith as City looked to kill the game off and almost paid the price with a couple of late scares as the hosts finally threw caution to the wind. But anything other than a City victory would have been harsh given the shot ratio of 20 to 1 in favour of the FA Cup holders. City are now just one game away from yet another Wembley appearance. Pep Guardiola’s side are on track for a second season of Community Shield, Carabao Cup and FA Cup successes after reaching the FA Cup quarter-final with victory over Sheffield Wednesday. If City can complete a domestic treble of silverware, it would be an incredible achievement and one that has never been done before. The Premier League title might not be heading back to the Etihad this season, but if every other domestic piece of silverware did, it would be another fantastic campaign for Pep Guardiola’s side.
WHAT IT MEANS City are now in the last eight and as a result the Premier League fixture with Chelsea will now be rearranged for another date. The FA Cup sixth round tie with Newcastle United will take place over the weekend March 21-23 with dates to be confirmed in due course.
WHAT’S NEXT? City travel across the city on Sunday to take on Manchester United in the Premier League. The game at Old Trafford will kick-off at 4.30pm before the Blues host Arsenal at the Etihad the following Wednesday, also in the Premier League.
MATCH DETAILS: Sheffield Wednesday (0): Wildsmith; Palmer, Iorfa, Börner (Lees, 45’), Fox; Pelupessy, Murphy, Lee (Hunt, 62’), Bannan, Da Cruz; Forestieri (Fletcher, 55’)
Manchester City (1): Bravo; Cancelo, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, David Silva; Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Agüero (Sterling, 85’)
Goal: 0-1, Agüero (53’)
Referee: Michael Oliver. Bookings: Palmer (36’), Mahrez (88’)