LONDON: Premier League leaders Manchester City recovered from two goals down to beat Championship side Swansea City 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium yesterday to progress to the FA Cup semi-finals.
Watford also reached their second FA Cup semi-final in four seasons with substitute Andre Gray scoring three minutes after coming on to seal a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace earlier.
Having secured a last-eight spot in the Champions League to go with their League Cup title, City made a strong start as they looked to continue their quest to become the first side to win all four major trophies in an English season.
However, they were opened up after 20 minutes by Connor Roberts who drew a foul from Fabian Delph in the penalty area and Matt Grimes converted from the spot to give Swansea the lead.
Nine minutes later it was two as former Manchester City youth player Bersant Celina finished off a flowing Swansea move to stun his former employers.
The Premier League side struggled to break Swansea down after the break, but Bernardo Silva’s goal in the 68th minute got City back in the match.
From then on in it was all Manchester City and an own goal off the back of Swansea goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt after substitute Sergio Aguero’s 77th-minute penalty had come back off the post levelled the tie.
Aguero missed a glorious chance to score seven minutes from time, but the Argentine striker had the final say when he headed the winner two minutes from time.
Etienne Capoue side-footed Watford ahead in the 27th minute at a blustery Vicarage Road as the hosts had the better of the first half but Palace responded after the break.
Michy Batshuayi punished a defensive lapse to equalise for Roy Hodgson’s side just past the hour mark and it was Palace who looked to have the upper hand moving into the closing stages. But it was Watford who secured a last-four date at Wembley when Gray, who had just replaced Will Hughes, volleyed a 79th-minute winner to send their fans home dreaming of a second FA Cup final appearance after they lost the 1984 showpiece. They had to survive a late scare though when Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka drilled a low shot wide after a defensive blunder.
Gray’s winner secured a hat-trick of 2-1 wins for Watford over Palace this season after Javi Gracia’s team won both Premier League matches by the same margin.