Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Man City, second-tier Coventry reach FA Cup semis


LONDON: Manchester City is banking on Wembley Stadium being a key staging post in its pursuit of a second straight treble of major trophies.

One of a possible three lateseason trips to English football’s national stadium was booked when City reached the semifinals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

If that came as no real surprise, second-tier Coventry’s progress to the last four certainly did.

Man City ousted Newcastle with a 2-0 victory secured by two deflected shots by Bernardo Silva in the first half. Pep Guardiola’s team has now advanced to the FA Cup semifinals for six straight seasons, an unpreceden­ted achievemen­t in the 153-year history of the competitio­n.

The day’s drama came a few hours earlier at Molineux as Coventry scored two goals deep into stoppage time to beat Wolverhamp­ton 3-2 and reach the semifinals for the first time since 1987 the year the team won the cup.

United States striker Haji Wright completed the remarkable comeback in the 10th minute of added-on time, three minutes after Ellis Simms with his second goal of the game equalized for Coventry.

Sitting in eighth place in the Championsh­ip, Coventry was the lowest-ranked team to get to the quarter-finals. The club from central England has endured a turbulent and financiall­y rocky past couple of decades since relegation from the Premier League in 2001 but can look forward to another trip to Wembley, where it lost the Championsh­ip playoff final to Luton at the end of last season.

It also gives Mark Robins, Coventry’s manager, another magical FA Cup moment. Robins likely saved Alex Ferguson from getting fired three years into his storied tenure as Manchester United manager by scoring the winner in an FA Cup third-round match against Nottingham Forest midway through the 1989-90 season, when Ferguson was under severe pressure. That is widely heralded as a turning point in Ferguson’s trophy-laden tenure that lasted nearly 27 years.

For many, Guardiola ranks just as high as Ferguson and back-to-back Premier LeagueCham­pions League-FA Cup trebles would surely put him in a class of his own.

To do that, City would have to return to Wembley, where the FA Cup semis are held, two more times this season.

For the FA Cup final on May 25 and the title match in the Champions League, which is also being hosted by the famed London venue a week later.

The FA Cup quarterfin­als will be completed Sunday when Manchester United hosts great rival Liverpool and Chelsea is at home to second-tier Leicester.

Sitting in eighth place in the Championsh­ip, Coventry was the lowest-ranked team to get to the quarter-finals

 ?? ?? Man City ousted Newcastle with a 2-0 victory
Man City ousted Newcastle with a 2-0 victory

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