Champions League: The All-English Affair you won’t be Able to Keep your Eyes Off!

Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

The last time Manchester City won a tie on aggregate after an away first-leg loss came in 1971. It was the European Cup Winners’ Cup and a quarter-final against Górnik Zabrze of Poland.

Even then, they needed a replay after each side won 2-0 at home; City were 3-1 victors in the third game.

Much has changed since then, not least the competition rules and the stature and wealth of City as a club.

That is why when you study the us Champions League betting odds, you still find them among the favourites to win the competition, despite a first leg defeat last week.

Talking Points

If entertaining Champions League highlights are your thing, this is a game well worth tuning into.

City have scored 16 goals in their four home games in this season’s competition, yet Pep Guardiola’s side have won seven of their last 14 European matches, home and away – losing a further six.

Moreover, City have also now played five games against English clubs in European competition and lost them all. Indeed, Gabriel Jesus’s early goal in the quarter-final second leg against Liverpool 12 months ago is the only one they have managed in those five fixtures, with eight conceded.

Manchester City have to overturn the one-goal deficit in the second leg of Champions League against Tottenham

Sergio Aguero misses the penalty kick during the first leg of Champions League quarter-finals

As Champions League games go, City know they have work to do once the action begins. They missed the chance to strike in the first leg when Sergio Agüero had a first-half penalty saved by Hugo Lloris. That proved costly when the ever-influential Heung-Min Son scored what proved the only goal with 12 minutes remaining.

Yet they also know Spurs are missing their talisman Harry Kane so the goal threat of their opponents is somewhat reduced.

City, though, could be without the unsung cog in their midfield should Fernandinho struggle to shake off an injury – he was absent from their weekend Premier League success against Crystal Palace and that would be a big blow.

The pressure is certainly all on the hosts as these sides prepare to clash for the second time in what will be an 11-day triple bill. The Premier League game at the City of Manchester Stadium is scheduled for Easter Saturday (April 20) – three days after this match.

Following a torrid run of league form, which saw Spurs go five games without a win, Mauricio Pochettino’s men could be coming into form at just the right time having won their last three fixtures without conceding a goal.

They will also be pleased to see the statistic that they have progressed to the next round on each of the past nine occasions in which they have won the first leg of a European knockout match (excluding qualifiers).

City are favourites but this is far from a cert. Who is your money on?

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History

Over the years there has been very little between Tottenham and City.

In 157 competitive meetings, both have now recorded 61 wins with 35 draws – although City had won three in a row before the first-leg defeat in this tie.

These sides have quite a lot of recent history too – most of it in favour of City.

City have lost just one of their last eight meetings with Tottenham in Manchester (won six, drawn one). Yet in English domestic knockout football, Spurs have won nine of the teams’ 14 ties – including five of the last six.

In this season’s Premier League, a sixth-minute Riyad Mahrez goal proved enough for City to pick up three points against Spurs at Wembley in late October.

Betting Tip

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Manchester City Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.43
April 18, 03:00 (GMT+8)

If I was a Spurs fan, I’d certainly fancy a punt on my side when the 1X2 odds are available @ 9.50. Even the draw is an attractive looking @ 5.00.

City @ 1.30 suggests this will be a home banker which of course, it will not.

Asian Handicap odds also lean strongly in favour of the home side. You can back City -1.50 @ 1.94 or – 1.75 @ 2.23, whereas Spurs +1.25 @ 2.26 suggests they are real underdogs.

Over 3.50 goals @ 2.26 is tempting, as is Double Chance Spurs or Draw @ 3.25.

I can’t see a goal-free encounter here. In fact, you have to go back to the opening day of the 2010/11 season for the last time these sides played out a goalless draw.

Vincent Kompany and David Silva are the only survivors from that match from either side. In fact, it was Silva’s City debut.

I expect City to pull this tie back and reach the semi-finals but my bet is actually on goals.

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Aguero poised to boost City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is upbeat about the prospect of Sergio Aguero being fit to feature in the Champions League clash with Tottenham on Tuesday evening.

The Argentinian frontman has missed the last two Citizens games due to a slight niggle, but appears to have trained okay in the last couple of days and is likely to be in contention for the quarter-final first leg tie in the capital.

Guardiola told reporters: "He feels better, he trained with the team for the first time (on Monday) and feels better."

Aguero has scored 29 goals so far this season in all competitions and is 21/20 to find the net at any time on Tuesday evening, with City 14/5 to secure a draw at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Meanwhile, Guardiola also spoke about the star Spurs centre-forward, Harry Kane, while talking up the strength of the whole Lilywhites side.

He added: "They are good in their movements, runs in behind, how strong they are physically in all departments. It's an incredible team.

"I have said a thousand times since I came here in England about them, but of course Harry Kane – who can deny (his importance).

"He is the No.9 for the international team, he is an incredible striker and he has everything – right foot, left, movement, he keeps the ball and sets up the ball. He is intelligent and when he is in the box he does everything."

Kane is 9/2 to score the opening goal of the game against the Citizens, with Spurs 12/1 to claim a 1-0 victory on home turf.

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Pep embraces the challenge

Having recovered from Liverpool's late winner on Sunday, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says that the fight for the title is a great challenge.

Jurgen Klopp's side went two points clear at the top of the Premier League after victory over Tottenham on Sunday.

The lead could change hands once again if City beat Cardiff at home on Wednesday night and with the title race seemingly set to go to the last game or two, Guardiola accepts it is an exciting last few weeks of the season.

At a press conference ahead of the Cardiff game, the City boss said: "No-one said it would be easy. We knew it, I knew it. It is a better challenge. It is an incredible team to fight against them.

"It is amazing to live this opportunity. The main target (against Cardiff) is to come back to the top of the league with six games left.

"Then we go to Wembley (in the FA Cup) to achieve the one final I never played in my life and the oldest trophy. We pass tough moments to live that moment."

Guardiola also told the press conference that Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph will be missing on Wednesday night with Gabriel Jesus set to deputise upfront.

City are 1/20 to win and regain top spot in the table with Cardiff 40/1 and the draw 18/1.

While City are competing at the top of the Premier League the visitors on Wednesday night require the three points in their fight against relegation.

Neil Warnock's side are five points adrift of safety towards the bottom of the table as they try to prevent an immediate drop back into the Championship.

Guardiola though said, after seeing them play at the weekend, that his team won't be complacent, adding: "It will not be a problem. We know how we are going to play and it is a final every game.

"Cardiff are alive, based on what I saw against Chelsea. It's not a team that is already done."

City are 4/9 to win the Premier League title again this season with Liverpool 7/4.

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Premier League Manchester City vs Cardiff City: A Tale of Two Cities

Manchester City vs Cardiff City

Two entirely different worlds clash on Wednesday night at the Etihad Stadium, when the big match is Premier League: Manchester City vs Cardiff City.

On the one hand, we have Manchester City, reigning league champions and, according to Liverpool’s head coach, Jurgen Klopp, the best team in the world, certainly with some of the best players. And then we have Cardiff City, an unexpected arrival in the Premier League and odds on for a quick return to the Championship. This game could have big ramifications at either end of the table, but only if we have a major shock.

The Sky Blues have it all going for them at the moment and it’s hard to see any other outcome than a home win and a return to the top of the Premier League for Pep Guardiola’s stars.

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Talking Points

Sky Blues’ quadruple dream is on

A pretty comfortable win over Fulham kept the Sky Blues in charge of their Premier League destiny. They have already won the Carabao Cup and remain in three other competitions, favourites to win the league, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Manchester City will face Brighton in the semi-final of the FA Cup next weekend and Spurs in the Champions League quarterfinals. Pochettino’s Whites aren’t in the best form, taking just one point from five league games. So I fully expect the Sky Blues to advance further in both competitions.

Only a late and rather scruffy goal gave Liverpool a win over Spurs on Sunday, to return the Reds to the top of the table. But I strongly suspect it will be Guardiola’s team back at the top by Wednesday night.

Sergio Aguero just seems to be getting better and better and is the league leading scorer with 19 goals having bagged another at Fulham. And his goals are sure to fire the Citizens to more trophies.

I’d catch the Manchester City vs Cardiff City highlights as soon as you get the chance; I’m sure there’ll be goals!

Bluebirds against the world!

Can The visitors disappoint Manchester City vs Cardiff City betting odds and win in Etihad Stadium?

Neil Warnock was furious that Cardiff was denied a result against Chelsea by an appalling offside call

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has never kept a club up in a full season of top flight football, but he has guided teams to promotion on eight occasions; none was more impressive than getting the Bluebirds up from the Championship last term.

Almost every pundit, certainly we here at us, predicted a rapid return to the second tier but, despite being in the thick of the relegation mire all season they are still fighting. Huddersfield is already relegated and Fulham is sure to follow soon, but the Bluebirds occupy the last relegation spot, five points adrift of safety… so time is running out.

Warnock was furious with the officials after his side lost to Chelsea on Sunday when Maurizio Sarri’s Blues scored two late goals the first of which was a metre offside. The Cardiff boss was apoplectic with rage and must feel the world is against him and his side, particularly as his best defender, Sol Bamba, is out for the season injured.

Losing that game in such unfair circumstances could have one of two effects. Cardiff’s siege mentality might be strengthened or the cruel blow could end their season. A hammering at the Etihad might push it nearer the latter, but don’t expect Warnock’s men to stop fighting any time soon.

History

The Sky Blues have won the last three meetings between these two teams, the last being a 0-5 exhibition in Wales back in September when influential wide man Bernardo Silva was on target, as he was at the weekend.

Manchester City is on a run of 12 wins and will be hard to stop so Cardiff midfielder Harry Arter may have to resort to adding to his nine yellow cards.

Betting Tip

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Manchester City vs Cardiff City Manchester City -3.00 @ 1.88
April 04, 02:45 (GMT+8)

The Manchester City vs Cardiff City betting odds unsurprisingly suggest we’re about to witness the most one-sided match of the season. The hosts are at 1.064 to win with the Bluebirds at a gigantic 38.00 to get a shock victory. 38.00!!

A draw at 9.50 is pretty big too, so do Warnock’s fighters stand any chance at all?

Well, Victor Camarasa is Cardiff’s best player and top scorer with five; and he put his team ahead with a smart finish against Chelsea. A trademark long throw into the box which somehow finds its way to Camarasa is the Bluebirds’ best chance. But with only five goals for the season, it isn’t a big chance.

A 4-0 scoreline is as low as 6.40 and that wouldn’t surprise anyone.

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Premier League: City Cruise on the Thames, Back to the Summit

Fulham 0-2 Manchester City

When you are embarking on what could be the most illustrious period in your club’s history, the goal is to get your job done as quickly as possible and move onto the next one.

And that is exactly what reigning Premier League champions Manchester City did down by the Thames as they took care of their relegation-bound opponents inside half an hour to return to the summit.

Yes, it must be remembered this Fulham side cost a small fraction of the near-billion pounds it cost to get Manchester City to where they are today.

Yet the attitude and character of players assembled have to be at the top level to be in with a chance of an unprecedented quadruple as the campaign reaches its closing stages.

Pep Guardiola’s squad have both in abundance, which is why they still are well on course to achieve that remarkable feat.

Highlights of the game

City may have felt that they would be in for a tough time in West London; Fulham have pushed both Chelsea and City’s title rivals, Liverpool, close over the past month.

Yet a close look at the statistics and most us followers would have said this was an away banker.

Fulham had not only lost seven successive league matches, but also 11 of their last 12 games in all competitions since the turn of the year. They have the worst form of any Premier League team over the past 10 matches, earning just three points.

They had also conceded 70 league goals this season, more than any other top-flight side. They’ve given up at least two goals in each of their last 11 league games – a Premier League record.

That unwanted record extended to 12 matches inside 28 minutes of their encounter with City.

The Fulham rearguard had already made two important blocks before the deadlock was broken after just five minutes.

Bernardo Silva, a player whose sublime dribbling ability is underrated by many, showed neat footwork on the edge of the area and fired low beyond Sergio Rico.

Ilkay Gundogan then tested Rico’s palms and the returning Kevin de Bruyne called the Fulham keeper into action before City grabbed a second their utter dominance merited.

They tend to pounce on the kind of mistakes that young Joe Bryan made 20 yards from goal.

In a flash, Bernardo Silva had gained possession and squared the ball to Sergio Aguero, who raced into the area and expertly poked the ball past a helpless Rico.

Aguero, rested by Argentina during the recent international break, looked fresh as he notched his 19th Premier League goal of the season. Perhaps surprisingly to many observers, it was only his fourth goal away from home.

It was once again clear to see why Fulham have kept just two clean sheets in the league, the lowest of any Premier League side.

One of the top players in the country since his arrival in English football in 2011, Aguero has been involved in more Premier League goals against newly-promoted teams than any other player with 36 (29 goals, seven assists).

Fulham needed to respond quickly if they had any chance of getting back into the game. But with top striker Aleksandar Mitrovic missing through injury, they lacked a heavyweight presence in attack.

Gundogan went close to a third before the break as City continued to control the match in the second period without overexerting themselves. Although, they will hope the sight of Aguero leaving the fray just before the hour mark is because Guardiola wanted to rest his talisman and not due to a knock.

Aguero, who has produced so many Premier League 2019 highlights singlehandedly, also has his eyes on an individual prize, too.

Just because Aguero left the fray didn’t mean City’s goal threat was weaker. Rico pushed away a fine effort from Raheem Sterling, who has eight goals in his last four starts for club and country.

Kyle Walker also crashed a shot against the post late on as City eased to victory against their spirited but limited opponents, who failed to muster a single effort on target.

A gulf in resources, a gulf in class. So the Premier League 2019 betting odds take another swing back towards City.

So much for squeaky bum time! Liverpool, it’s over to you.

Key statistics

Fulham are the first English top-flight side to concede at least two goals in 12 consecutive league games since Newcastle from May-October 1977 (14 games).

City have won their past seven league meetings against Fulham.

City have scored 12 goals without reply in their last four matches with Fulham.

It’s almost a decade since Fulham beat City – a 3-1 Premier League win at the Etihad Stadium in April 2009.

City have scored in all of their last 24 matches against Fulham.

Fulham have lost 26 of their last 27 Premier League matches against the established top six, including all 12 this season. Their goal difference of -43 is the worst in the top four divisions.

City have won their last seven league games, scoring 18 and conceding two goals. They have also scored 15 goals in their last four games in all competitions.

Guardiola’s side has scored 81 league goals this season, more than any other top-flight side.

What’s next?

Scott Parker and Fulham lose to Manchester City in their recent Premier League clash

Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker looks dejected following his squad’s loss to Manchester City

Fulham have just six games remaining to save their season.

A trip to Watford awaits on Tuesday (April 2) before Everton visit Craven Cottage in a fortnight’s time.

City’s schedule is somewhat more congested. This was the first match of a spell of nine games in 29 days.

They host Cardiff in the Premier League in midweek, meet Brighton in next weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals, and then travel to Spurs in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final – the first of three clashes with the North Londoners in 11 days.

 

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Silva: Seven more wins needed

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva was delighted to see his side keep their Premier League title hopes in their own hands by claiming a 2-0 victory at Fulham.

The Portugal international netted the opening goal at Craven Cottage, before Sergio Aguero added a second as the Citizens cruised to a seventh successive league success.

The result lifted the Citizens a point above Liverpool at the top of the table, with the Reds playing host to Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

And, with the two title rivals having currently played 31 games apiece in the top flight so far this season, Silva told Sky Sports: "When you're top of the league, it's in your hands. If we win the seven games left, we will be champions.

"We were very motivated knowing that Liverpool have (played) one more game than us. We had to start the game with high intensity and that is what we did.

"This season the team has been very focused after international breaks, almost the entire squad is available and we are ready for hopefully the next two months to try and win some titles.

"The team is very excited. This is the moment all players want to live. We can win them all, or lose them all. Everything is on the table."

Next up for the Citizens is a visit from Cardiff City on Wednesday evening, with the meeting of the two sides earlier this season in South Wales having finished in a 5-0 victory for the visitors.

The men from Manchester are 1/12 to claim all three points and are 6/1 to win the game 3-0, with the Citizens 4/11 to eventually retain their Premier League title.

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Premier League: Squeaky Bum Time Starts Here!

Fulham vs Manchester City

Welcome back, Premier League.

After the final international break of the campaign, it is back to the most exciting show on earth and the start of the run-in – what Sir Alex Ferguson famously dubbed ‘squeaky bum time’.

A clash between bottom and top, with one chasing several honours and the other destined for the drop.

But is this really the us away banker most of you think it is?

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Talking Points

Certainly Fulham gave champions Manchester City’s title rivals Liverpool a scare last time out and this time the Cottagers may be boosted by the return of Andre Schurrle who has missed the last five games with a virus.

You wonder how Fulham may have fared this season had the talented Schurrle been more widely available over the past seven months.

When he was appointed caretaker manager a month ago, Scott Parker knew the task he faced down on the Thames and so it has proved.

Encouraging home displays against both Liverpool and Chelsea have given him reason to believe he could be the man to help the club bounce back to the top flight should, as it seems likely, they be relegated.

The fact remains, though, that Fulham have lost seven successive league matches and, since turn of the year, have lost 11 of their 12 games in all competitions.

They also have the worst form of any Premier League team over the last 10 matches, earning just three points and have kept just two clean sheets in the league — the lowest of any Premier League side. Just one of those has come at home.

Fulham have actually conceded 70 league goals this season, more than any other top-flight side. They have conceded at least twice in each of their last 11 league games, which is a Premier League record.

In contrast, Pep Guardiola’s side have netted 79 league goals this season, more than any other top-flight side, and the in-form Raheem Sterling has eight goals in his last four starts for club and country.

It should be an away banker as City roll into town, but we know football is not always like that.

After tests of a different kind were overcome in their last two outings – both in FA Cup and also in Europe(City have scored 13 goals in their last three games in all competitions) — Guardiola’s men are hoping to welcome back key men as they chase an unprecedent quadruple triumph.

Several big names (have they got any players who aren’t!) are training again after injury, including Kevin De Bruyne, captain Vincent Kompany, Benjamin Mendy, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and, perhaps most importantly of all, the underrated Fernandinho.

Even without some of those names,City have won their last six league games, scoring 16 and conceding two goals.

They also have the best form of any Premier League team over the last 10 matches, dropping just three points out of a possible 30.

Who is your money on?

Newly appointed caretaker manager Scott Parker believes he is the man to help Fulham to bounce back in Premier League

Fulham caretaker Scott Parker watches over warm-up before Premiere League match against Chelsea

History

City have won the past six league meetings against Fulham and scored 10 goals without reply in their last three matches.

Indeed, it’s almost a decade since Fulham beat Manchester City – a 3-1 Premier League win at the Etihad Stadium in April 2009 when Clint Dempsey (two) and Dickson Etuhu (a former City youth player) were on target and City had Robinho and Daniel Sturridge among their substitutes.

You have to go back to September 2011 for the last time Fulham took points off City – a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage where the hosts fought back from two goals down from Bobby Zamora and an own goal after Sergio Aguero had netted twice.

Betting Tip

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Fulham vs Manchester City Total goal 2-3 @ 2.49
March 30, 8:30(GMT+8)

After producing Premier League 2019 highlights galore so far, Aguero and company will surely relish meeting opponents who have been defeated in 25 of their last 26 Premier League matches against the established top six (drawn one), including all 11 this season, and have a goal difference of minus 41 – the worst in the top four divisions of English football.

Unsurprisingly then, Premier League 2019 betting odds are one-sided beyond.

1X2 City @ 1.13 and 1X2 Fulham @ 20.00 are as wide as any I’ve seen in recent years.

Even the draw is offered @ 7.40.

Asian Handicap has City -2.50 @ 2.03 and over 3.75 goals at 1.98 which also shows how this one is expected to go.

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Guardiola praises Citizens spirit

Pep Guardiola hailed the mentality of his Manchester City side after they hit back to secure a 3-2 victory at Swansea City and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

The Citizens were 2-0 behind at half-time at the Liberty Stadium, before they launched a stirring comeback, with a Bernardo Silva drive and an own goal drawing them level, before Sergio Aguero headed in what proved to be the winner.

And Guardiola was delighted to see such a strong response from his players, with City still in the hunt for a possible quadruple this season.

He told BBC Sport: "Fighting for everything is the most important thing for the club.

"People say we are going to win three or four titles and the day we drop one competition they say it's a big failure for Manchester City.

"The most incredible thing after what we achieved last season, is in this stage we are fighting for everything.

"So, most important for the club – more than winning one title – is having the mentality to be there until the end and fight for the titles in this stage of the season.

"That's important because for the future, for the new players and managers who are coming, they will learn from this group of players, and this group of people – that we never give up and fight for every single game and title until the end.

"That is the best lesson."

The Citizens can be backed at 2/5 to lift the FA Cup this season, while they are 4/11 to retain their Premier League title and 2/1 to triumph in the Champions League for the first time in their history.

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FA Cup: Sergio Breaks the Bravest of Hearts in South Wales

Swansea City 2-3 Manchester City

The quadruple is still alive!

Swansea – and lots of other supporters up and down the country – dreamed about the magic of the FA Cup for nearly 70 minutes.

They had gone toe-to-toe with aristocrats Manchester City to stun everyone from South Wales to Singapore.

What happened in the final 21 minutes was simply heartbreaking for the underdogs, especially with video replays – VAR was not in use in this tie – showing City’s winner was slightly offside and their second goal arose from a penalty kick which was questionably awarded.

But what you can’t deny is the character and class in this expensively assembled City side.

In a tie which produced numerous FA Cup 2019 highlights, it’s the plaudits for Swansea and the prize for City.

Highlights of the game

Swansea City controversially lose to Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals

Swansea City players complain to the referee after a penalty is awarded to Manchester City during their FA Cup clash

After their midweek blitz in Europe, you would have been hard-pushed to find any us fan backing Swansea, let alone FA Cup 2019 betting odds.

Swansea crave a return to the top flight after going down with a whimper last May, and the home team certainly needed their fans with them after recent frustrations.

Two goals in eight mad minutes certainly did that, yet those stunned spectators, not least the Swans’ own faithful.

First, Fabian Delph (who received harsh criticism on social media for his showing) lunged in on Connor Roberts. Matt Grimes made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Then a former City youngster, Bersant Celina, curled a superb first-time shot past a helpless Ederson.

When Roberts cleared off the line to deny David Silva when it looked all ends up a goal, Swansea (looking to reach the FA Cup semi-final for the third time, having done so in 1926 and 1964), may have sensed it was their night.

Kristoffer Nordfeldt had been in fine form from the outset, denying Leroy Sane with a smart save before Riyad Mahrez’s follow-up header drifted wide.

Next, he produced a fine save to prevent Bernardo Silva from opening the scoring.

To a man Swansea gave everything and, while at times it was akin to an attack-vs-defence exercise, they held out until, with 21 minutes remaining, Bernardo Silva pulled one back with a fine finish with the outside of his foot.

It was hard to see the spirited Championship outfit holding out at this stage, but the way they were pegged back was incredibly unfortunate.

It was the unfortunate Nordfeldt who had the final touch after substitute Sergio Aguero’s penalty – awarded for a challenge by Cameron Carter-Vickers on Raheem Sterling – hit the post and bounced over the line off the goalkeeper.

He was not downhearted, producing a superb double save to deny Aguero’s header and then keep out the rebound with his legs.

Kyle Walker went close, but there can be no denying Aguero as the world-class talisman sealed their place in the semi-finals with a diving header from a Bernardo Silva cross.

It was marginally offside, and the fact VAR was not in use – as it is only in place at Premier League grounds – was little comfort the hosts. It should be used in this competition in every tie or not at all.

Not that it was City’s fault.

The result meant their unlikely quadruple bid – the chase to win all four trophies – remains a possibility.

Swansea were gutted, City ecstatic.

Cruel, class, character, controversial – so many words. Pick any of them. This was a classic cup tie.

Juventus Asian Handicap -1.75 @ 1.92 Over 3.00 @ 1.98 1X2 Juventus @ 1.22CLICK HEREDisclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.Serie A

Key statistics

City have won 11 of their last 12 meetings in all competitions.

They won the two league encounters with Swansea last season by an aggregate score of 9-0.

This is the first-ever FA Cup meeting between Swansea and Manchester City.

Since reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals, Swansea have lost three of their four games, although they had been unbeaten at home since Boxing Day until tonight.

The Swans have been eliminated in seven of their last eight FA Cup ties against Premier League opponents. The exception to that was a 2014 success at Old Trafford against Manchester United.

City have lost just once since Boxing Day.

What’s next?

It’s international break time now and then the relentless period which will shape City’s season begins.

They resume action at Fulham a fortnight today (March 30) before a spell of seven games in just 22 days in all competitions (Premier League, FA Cup semi-final and Champions League) including three matches against Spurs in under a fortnight.

Swansea, 15th in the table, have a similar spell in Championship fixtures, beginning at Nottingham Forest two weeks today.

 

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Premier League: City Squeeze Past West Ham

Manchester City 1-0 West Ham

A second-half penalty, coolly converted by Sergio Aguero, was enough for Manchester City to beat West Ham and keep the heat on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

It was a frustrating night for the Sky Blues until Aguero’s penalty, and while it was a harsh award, West Ham did well to keep the score down to one as City dominated from virtually the first whistle to the last.

Pep Guardiola apologised for the way he succeeded Manuel Pellegrini as City boss back in 2016, and the Hammers coach received a warm reception on his return.

The Sky Blues, just as they are now, were chasing a historic quadruple under Pellegrini, but the speculation surrounding Pep’s arrival seemed to derail them. And this was the Hammers boss’ first visit to the Etihad since. And his team came quite close to derailing Guardiola’s trophy charge.

Highlights of the game

It was one-way traffic from the first minute as Manchester City surged forward, and Kevin De Bruyne hit a searing drive from 25 yards which whistled just past Lukasz Fabianski’s post. And the Hammers keeper’s upright was rattled on five minutes when De Bruyne pulled the ball back for David Silva who crashed his shot against the post.

As City swarmed all over the Hammers, De Bruyne was involved again. He cut the ball back for Sergio Aguero, but his backheel was wide. The Hammers overcame relegation-threatened Fulham last week, thanks to a controversial handled goal by Javier Hernandez, but it took them 25 minutes to get into City’s penalty area when Vincent Kompany beat Andy Carroll to a cross from Michail Antonio.

Arsenal First Half Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 1.81 1X2 Draw @ 3.30 Total Goals 2-3 @ 1.99 CLICK HEREPremier League

The Etihad crowd became a little subdued as their side failed to turn possession into goals, and tonight’s Premier League 2019 updates came through at half-time with the news that Liverpool had gone 2-0 up against Watford.

The Sky Blues began the second half as they did the first, but it was West Ham who came close to breaking the deadlock just after the break. Manuel Lanzini fired a low ball across the penalty area, and Carroll slid in at the far post but shot straight at Ederson.

Guardiola had seen enough and made a change, bringing Bernardo Silva on, and he had an immediate impact. He ran at the heart of the West Ham defence and felt a touch from Felipe Anderson’s outstretched leg which was enough to send him sprawling. Sergio Aguero stepped up and slotted the penalty home to give City a rather lucky lead. It was a harsh penalty, to say the least, but the Sky Blues were happy to take anything after an hour without a goal.

The game was almost out of sight a couple of minutes later, though, but Ryan Fredericks made a heroic goal-line clearance from David Silva and then Aguero. City began to look a little leggy, but De Bruyne continued to dominate the game and brought another save from Fabianski late in the game.

Bernardo Silva off the bench lifts Manchester City in Premier League match against West Ham United in Etihad Stadium

Bernardo Silva in action after coming off the bench for Manchester City

Key statistics

Few Manchester City vs West Ham predictions suggested this game would be goalless at the break, and Pellegrini must have been as delighted as Guardiola was frustrated. The Sky Blues had 78 per cent possession and 11 shots to nil. But only one shot was on target.

The final shot count in this 100th encounter between these two teams registered 20 to two, and City managed seven on target.

West Ham has been hovering around the middle of the table for much of the season and finished the evening in tenth.

Sergio Aguero was the man for the big moment again and he has been on the winning side in each of his last 24 league starts at the Etihad.

And Pep likes playing the Hammers; he has been on the winning side in all of his seven games against West Ham. But this was the first time in 16 Premier League games at the Etihad that City had failed to score two goals.

What’s next?

Pep takes his Sky Blues on a trip to the South coast next Saturday when they take on mid-table Bournemouth. The Cherries are always happier on their home turf and will be keen to recover from their latest drubbing on the road, having lost 5-1 to Arsenal this evening.

Manchester City have the first of their targets in the bank, having bagged the Carabao Cup last weekend. The league champions will be determined to stay in the hunt in the other three. Keep up with our us tips for the coming round of fixtures over the next couple of days.

The Hammers are at home to Newcastle this weekend, and the Magpies will arrive in good spirits having just defeated Burnley as they climb away from the danger zone.

 

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