Manchester City were very nearly handed the shock of the season in the FA Cup against League Two side Cheltenham Town, being down a goal in the 80th minute. However, late goals from Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, and Ferran Torres sent City through despite a major scare.
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City rotated heavily for this match, with Aymeric Laporte, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, and Eric García starting at the back, despite the fact that García has all but agreed a pre-contract to sign with Barcelona.
Nevertheless, this team was more than capable of seeing off League Two opposition, and while they got the job done, this was a shaky performance in what should have been an easy fixture on paper. While complacency and rotation are definite factors, this is a disappointing showing, with the only real positive being that the team got the result in the end.
City’s FA Cup campaign will continue however, as they remain alive in all four major competitions this season. It did not come easily, and Cheltenham should be applauded for a tremendous effort in leading one of world football’s best and deepest squads for much of the game, but City’s quality managed to shine through.
With City’s nice run of league fixtures continuing, they will need to improve and take maximum points off relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United, especially after the Baggies managed an improbable point at the Etihad Stadium just last month. City control their own destiny in the Premier League title race, and while today was not an encouraging showing from many of the team’s rotational players, in the end, they got through.