How A Manchester City Old Boy Almost Derailed Pep Guardiola's Quadruple Bid

How A Manchester City Old Boy Almost Derailed Pep Guardiola's Quadruple Bid
19:24, 16 Mar 2019

Of all the teams that could have denied Manchester City the Quadruple, few could have predicted it would have been Swansea City. But for a long time tonight it looked like that might happen.

The Championship side battled manfully as they tried to ensure Pep Guardiola’s wait for a first FA Cup Final win continued but they were blitzed in the second half by the Premier League leaders.

Last season, City were embarrassed by League One Wigan in this competition in the fifth round and this was a game which had a similar feel from the early stages. City’s Fabian Delph was sent off in that game at the DW Stadium and against Swansea the same player was shown a yellow card which led to a penalty, slotted home by Matt Grimes after 20 minutes.

In the first ever FA Cup meeting between the sides, things got even better for the Welsh side when Bersant Celina curled home a well-worked second goal in the 28th minute.  

Nobody could have seen this shock coming after the way City ruthlessly saw off Schalke in the Champions League during the week. Their 7-0 performance was simply stunning which made it even more difficult to accept this was the same team.

But City proved a different proposition after the break and the introduction of Sergio Aguero proved decisive. City finished the tie off with goals from Bernardo Silva and Aguero either side of a Kristoffer Nordfelt own goal - the Swansea goalkeeper unfortunate that Aguero’s penalty attempt hit the post only to hit the back of him and go in. Fans and pundits alike bemoaned the lack of VAR at the game which would have surely have denied the Sky Blues a penalty.

For a long time, the story of the game looked like it would be all about Celina, a player who joined Swansea from Manchester City and someone Guardiola knows all about.

Most people would have only have been aware of Celina because an appalling penalty attempt against West Bromwich Albion in midweek but this goal will go some way to erasing that memory. Celina’s own story is fascinating. He was raised in Norway after his family fled the war in Kosovo and was picked up by Manchester City as a teenager and was coached by Patrick Vieria at the club’s much-vaunted Academy.

During his time in Manchester, he’d been loaned out to FC Twente in the Netherland and also Ipswich Town but given the chance to join Swansea, Celina decided to quit City for Swansea after only managing to make four appearances.

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