Cheltenham, looked to pull off a major upset in the FA Cup when they welcomed Manchester City to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Three divisions separated the two sides; heading into the biggest game in Cheltenham’s history.
The Robins FA Cup Dream Over at Hands of Manchester City
A Spirited Performance by Cheltenham
Pep Guardiola named 10 changes to his Manchester City side from their game against Aston Villa, with Phil Foden the sole survivor retaining his place.
It was a fast start from City with the first chance coming inside 25 seconds. Riyad Mahrez trying to catch the goalkeeper out but his lobbed attempt was saved. Cheltenham played excellently and looked a good outfit throughout the first half keeping a frustrated City at bay.
However, Benjamin Mendy was inches from opening the scoresheet minutes later. His pile driver on the half volley looked destined for the back of the net however Ben Tozer miraculously headed the ball up and over the bar to keep the scores level.
Fireworks then halted play heading towards the 40th-minute mark which allowed both managers to gather their players for some much needed tactical refreshers. The sides went in goalless at half time.
City, eager to avenge their rare goalless half looked inspired to punish Cheltenham. They went close on the 52nd minute when Phil Foden whose feet and trickery was causing problems for Cheltenham throughout played a lovely through ball to Gabriel Jesus but his low shot hit the right-hand post and went out of play for a goal kick. Then in the 58th minute, Cheltenham had a throw-in. The deadly throw is known as a speciality for defender Ben Tozer and it proved dividend. Launched in the box, City couldn’t contain Cheltenham’s big aerial presence and striker Alfie May went unnoticed and poked home to make it 1-0 to Cheltenham.
It took the Premier League side, 22 minutes to get back into the game. The constant relentlessness from 20-year old Foden levelled the scores in the 80th minute with a lovely first-time volley after a flighted ball in from Joao Cancelo.
City looked hungry and sought-after finishing the tie in 90 minutes. Five minutes from time, they had their reward. Fernandinho produced a world-class ball to Gabriel Jesus who finished with ease to crash Cheltenham’s hopes. Even though Cheltenham put up a good fight, it looked like they had run out of steam at the end, Ilkay Gundogan rounding up the scoring after tapping in from a Ferran Torres cross to make it 3-1 to City and diminish any upset.
Nightmare Last Ten Minutes for Cheltenham
A performance that Cheltenham can be proud of. Matching one of the giants in world football is no easy task, and for 80 minutes they looked confident and assured.
The Robins now turn their attentions back to the league when they face Oldham Athletic in Sky Bet League Two action on Tuesday looking to mount a promotion push.
Pep Guardiola’s side romped to a 5-0 victory over West Brom despite the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero on Tuesday night.
Full time: Cheltenham Town 1-3 Manchester City
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