Cheltenham Town 1-3 Man City: Six-time winners avoid FA Cup shock

23 January 2021 0 By Total Football News

Cheltenham Town came within nine minutes of one of the biggest shocks in recent FA Cup history before Manchester City staged a dramatic late rally to crush the dreams of the gallant League Two side.

The Robins, 72 places below City who lie second in the Premier League, threatened huge embarrassment for Pep Guardiola's side after Alfie May put Cheltenham ahead on the hour after a trademark long throw from captain Ben Tozer caused chaos in the area.

City, who made ten changes to the team that beat Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday, spared their embarrassment when Phil Foden, the game's outstanding player, arrived at the far post to turn in substitute Joao Cancelo's long cross in the 81st minute.

And the turnaround was complete three minutes later when a rare moment of slackness in the outstanding Cheltenham defence, with goalkeeper Josh Griffiths superb, switched off and Gabriel Jesus scored from Fernandinho's delivery.

Ferran Torres scored Manchester City's third with the last kick of the game to give the scoreline a cruel reflection on Cheltenham's heroic efforts.

It was so cruel on manager Michael Duff and his players, who now go back the battle for promotion from League Two, while City will be away at Swansea in the fifth round.

Pride of Cheltenham

The sight of Manchester City manager Guardiola disputing where Cheltenham could take a throw-in said everything about the way the League Two underdogs gave their mighty opponents a serious fright.

Tozer's throw-ins were causing all manner of problems and led to Cheltenham's goal but there was so much more to their performance than that set-piece weapon, a threat any manager in the game would utilise.

Cheltenham tried to play football when they got the chance, with goalscorer May, who has done the hard yards in non-league before playing for Doncaster and now Cheltenham, a leading light.

Robins keeper Griffiths, who suffered the ignominy of being beaten from 71 yards by his Newport County opposite number Tom King in midweek, was in defiant form as he saved well from Riyad Mahrez and Torres, showing command throughout. Tozer's headed goalline clearance from Benjamin Mendy in the first half was also symbolic of their 'they shall not pass' approach.

There may have been no fans inside this compact stadium but there was still a real sense of occasion, the game being halted in the first half because of a firework display nearby.

In the end this will be a bitter disappointment to Cheltenham but they can be rightly proud and take huge confidence into their League Two promotion battle.

More to follow.

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Cheltenham Town

Starting XI

  1. Squad number20Player nameGriffiths

    Average rating

    8.00

  2. Squad number5Player nameRaglan

    Average rating

    8.03

  3. Squad number4Player nameTozer

    Average rating

    8.78

  4. Squad number15Player nameBoyle

    Average rating

    8.16

  5. Squad number11Player nameBlair

    Average rating

    8.19

  6. Squad number18Player nameAzaz

    Average rating

    8.34

  7. Squad number7Player nameThomas

    Average rating

    8.16

  8. Squad number8Player nameClements

    Average rating

    8.26

  9. Squad number17Player nameFreestone

    Average rating

    8.26

  10. Squad number10Player nameMay

    Average rating

    8.66

  11. Squad number19Player nameLloyd

    Average rating

    8.19

Substitutes

  1. Squad number2Player nameLong

    Average rating

    7.81

  2. Squad number14Player nameWilliams

    Average rating

    7.82

  3. Squad number16Player nameAddai

    Average rating

    7.69

Manchester City

Starting XI

  1. Squad number13Player nameSteffen
    Average rating

    4.96

  2. Squad number78Player nameHarwood-Bellis
    Average rating

    4.58

  3. Squad number50Player nameGarcía
    Average rating

    4.43

  4. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating

    4.56

  5. Squad number22Player nameMendy
    Average rating

    3.95

  6. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    4.46

  7. Squad number69Player nameDoyle
    Average rating

    4.75

  8. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating

    4.96

  9. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    6.56

  10. Squad number21Player nameTorres
    Average rating

    5.09

  11. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating

    4.87

Substitutes

  1. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    5.28

  2. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    5.56

  3. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    5.64

Line-ups

Cheltenham

Formation 3-5-2

  • 20Griffiths
  • 5RaglanBooked at 48mins
  • 4TozerBooked at 84mins
  • 15BoyleBooked at 24mins
  • 11Blair
  • 18AzazSubstituted forWilliamsat 81'minutes
  • 7Thomas
  • 8ClementsSubstituted forAddaiat 89'minutes
  • 17Freestone
  • 10May
  • 19LloydSubstituted forLongat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Flinders
  • 2Long
  • 6Bowry
  • 14Williams
  • 16Addai
  • 22Harris
  • 30Ebanks

Man City

Formation 4-4-2

  • 13Steffen
  • 78Harwood-BellisSubstituted forRúben Diasat 68'minutes
  • 50García
  • 14LaporteBooked at 60mins
  • 22MendySubstituted forCanceloat 77'minutes
  • 26Mahrez
  • 69DoyleSubstituted forGündoganat 68'minutes
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 47Foden
  • 21Torres
  • 9Gabriel Jesus

Substitutes

  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 7Sterling
  • 8Gündogan
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 16Rodri
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 27Cancelo
  • 31Ederson
  • 82Bernabé

Referee:
Stuart Attwell

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Cheltenham Town 1, Manchester City 3.


  • This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55766769