Man City in FA Cup semis, Wolves KO Man United
Manchester City’s quest for a quadruple is still on, thanks to a bit of luck and some help from the referee, but Manchester United have only one remaining chance for silverware after being dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolverhampton Wanderers.
On a contrasting day for the two rivals, City came from two goals down to defeat second-tier Swansea 3-2 in the quarterfinals while United went down 2-1 at Wolves.
Watford also reached the semis after substitute Andre Gray scored two minutes after coming off the bench to secure a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace.
Wolves held on to win a game it dominated, but Swansea couldn’t protect its 2-0 lead against a City side that benefited from two refereeing mistakes.
City were incorrectly awarded a penalty that led to the equaliser before Sergio Aguero scored the winner from an offside position to end Swansea’s hopes of pulling off a massive upset.
Adding to City’s good fortune was the fact the equaliser had only gone in after the ball bounced off goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
It all kept coach Pep Guardiola on track for a possible four titles. City have already won the League Cup, lead the way in the Premier League and are into the Champions League quarterfinals.
City almost saw their FA Cup campaign ended by a Championship side for the second straight season, having lost to Wigan in the fifth round last year.
In a game played in driving rain, Matt Grimes gave Swansea the lead from the penalty spot in the 20th minute. Bersant Celina then doubled the lead by finishing off a sublime move with a curling first-time finish into the corner in the 29th.
It was a goal that had all the hallmarks of City’s slick attacking play, which was missing from the visitors for most of the match.
Guardiola’s team still found a way back into the game in the 69th when Aguero had a shot blocked before playing the ball out to Bernardo Silva, who rifled a shot with the outside of his boot into the corner.
City continued to pressure Swansea, and the penalty came when Cameron Carter-Vickers was adjudged to have fouled Raheem Sterling in the box, even though replays clearly showed he got the ball.
Aguero’s spot kick then hit the post before the ball went in off the luckless Nordfeldt.
The Argentina striker then headed the winner in the 88th. However, replays showed he was offside when the cross was delivered, highlighting the absence of video reviews for the game. VAR was only in use at Premier League stadiums in the quarterfinals.
“If it’s not a penalty, I’m sorry. If it’s offside, I’m sorry,” said Guardiola, who added that he had not seen replays of either incident. “Why is VAR not here? That’s the question for the authorities.”
WOLVES HANG ON
Wolves reached the semis for the first time since 1998 after Raúl Jiménez and Diego Jota scored in a six-minute span in the second half.
Jiménez swivelled in the box and fired a shot that went past two defenders and goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who had made a string of saves to keep United in the game.
Jota then finished off a lightning counter-attack to double the lead, which never looked under threat until Marcus Rashford pulled back a consolation goal deep into injury time.
In the early game, Gray latched on to Roberto Pereyra’s chip into the area and volleyed in left-footed in the 79th minute as Watford became the first team to book a place in the last four.
In the last quarterfinal, Millwall host Brighton today.
Premier League scores: Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2; Burnley 1 Leicester 2 and West Ham 4 Huddersfield 3.