Man City have enjoyed some epic FA Cup semi-finals over the years - here are some of the most memorable games...
10. March 26, 1955: City 1, Sunderland 0 (Villa Park)
After an absence of 21 years, the Blues returned to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, looking to progress to a fifth final. Sunderland and City had both won their home league fixture against each other that season and there was little to separate the teams at Villa Park where almost 60,000 people crammed in.
With Sunderland knowing there would be a chance of meeting Newcastle in the final, the tension in the ground and on the pitch was tangible, but it would be Roy Clarke's solitary goal that settled the tie and sent the Blues into the final against Newcastle, who had seen off minnows York City after a replay. However, it would be another year before the Blues etched their name on the trophy again…
9. March 17, 1956: City 1, Tottenham 0 (Villa Park)
Skipper Roy Paul had vowed to steer City back to Wembley following the heartbreak of losing the final the season before - and he was as good as his word. The Blues were focused and determined throughout their epic run towards the final and approaching 400,000 fans had already watched their progress by the time Bobby Johnstone scored the only goal of a tight affair against Spurs. Birmingham City awaited in the final and for Bert Trautmann, a place in history…
8. March 19, 1904: City 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1, Goodison Park
The Blues’ first FA Cup semi-final ended in victory against a Sheffield Wednesday that had already beaten Tom Maley’s side in the league as well as drawing the return fixture. City were challenging for the title and were determined to bring some silverware back to Hyde Road so this game was pivotal in the 1903/04 season.
Inspired by Billy Meredith, City won 3-1 in front of a crowd 53,000 – easily the most fans they’d ever played in front of – with goals from Meredith, Billy Gillespie and Sandy Turnbull sending the Blues through to the final against Bolton.
7. March 18, 1933: Derby County 2 City 3 (Leeds Road)
The Blues returned to the last four of the FA Cup having lost to Arsenal the previous year, more determined than ever to make it to the final. Wilf Wild had fashioned a side capable of ecstatic highs or demoralising lows – if ever a season when the words ‘typical City’ were first said, this was it!
The game against the Rams proved to be exciting and ebbed and flowed and the 51,961 crowd lapped it up. Goals from Ernie Toseland, Fred Tilson and Jimmy McMullan proved enough to send City through to the final where Everton would win 3-0.
6. March 27, 1926: City 3 Manchester United 0
City’s second FA Cup semi-final in three years and a chance for a first appearance at Wembley was the carrot at a packed Bramall Lane for a Manchester derby with a difference. It was barely two months since the Blues had won 6-1 at Old Trafford, so confidence was high in David Ashworth’s side – and it showed as they brushed the Reds aside with two goals from Tommy Browell and another from Frank Roberts in a comprehensive 3-0 win. That set up another final with Bolton – though this time the Wanderers would get their revenge for 1904…
5. March 17, 1934: City 6 Aston Villa 1 (Leeds Road)
City returned to Leeds Road in 1933 for their third successive FA Cup semi-final and a second in succession at Huddersfield Town’s home. There was no indication of the goal feast ahead with the two league meetings producing just one goal between the clubs – and tend days earlier the Blues had left Villa Park with a hard-fought 0-0 draw. So the events of the day left the City fans ecstatic and the Villa fans stunned as four goals from Fred Tilson and strikes from Alec Herd and Ernie Toseland completed a memorable 6-1 victory. There’d be no stopping City this time and they went on to lift the FA Cup for only the second time by beating Portsmouth 2-1 in the final.
4. March 22, 1969: Everton 0, City 1 (Villa Park)
With the Blues relinquishing their league title without so much as a whimper, the FA Cup suddenly became Joe Mercer’s only hope of a trophy in what had been a disappointing season. In their way was a dogged Everton team full of talent and clear favourites for the final.
But City hadn’t become a poor team overnight with almost the same squad who had won the league the year before and it was that class that just edged a thrilling semi, won by Tommy Booth in the last minute of normal time to send the Blues to Wembley where they would beat Leicester City 1-0.
3. April 11, 1981: Ipswich Town 0, City 1 (Villa Park)
Though this wasn’t perhaps City’s greatest semi-final display, the fact that John Bond had somehow steered a side who had been bottom of the league with no wins in their opening 12 games, to an FA Cup final makes this game stand out slightly above all the others. Having signed Gerry Gow, Tommy Hutchison and Bobby McDonald, the Blues transformed into the form team of the First Division, but still went into this game against Bobby Robson’s title-chasing Ipswich as underdogs. There were no goals in normal time and the match went into extra time. Then, in the 100th minute of the 100th year of FA Cup football, Paul Power stepped up to curl a delightful free-kick past Paul Cooper to send the City fans wild and the club to Wembley to face Tottenham.
2. April 14, 2013: Chelsea 1, City 2 (Wembley Stadium)
Though the Blues were reluctantly about to hand the Premier League title back across Manchester, the FA Cup offered Roberto Mancini’s side a chance for redemption.
Facing holders Chelsea, under the intermediate management of Rafa Benitez, City needed to make the most of the West Londoners’ hectic schedule by racing out of the blocks. The Blues had already beaten Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League six weeks earlier and started the game as slight favourites and it was Yaya Toure’s powerful midfield surges that Chelsea found difficult to cope with. Finally, on 35 minutes, Samir Nasri converted from close range after the ball fell kindly to him in the box to put City ahead.
Vincent Kompany should have doubled the lead in first-half injury time, but two minutes after the re-start, Sergio Aguero’s soaring header from Gareth Barry’s cross gave Mancini’s side breathing space. Demba Ba made reduced the deficit on 66 minutes and there were some nervy moments late on, but the Blues held firm to take their place in the final against Wigan Athletic.
1. April 16 2011: Man United 0 City 1 (Wembley Stadium)
The first Manchester derby to be staged at Wembley was a memorable occasion for all City fans with the Blues edging a tense game 1-0. City survived a number of early scares and were under the cosh for the first-half hour before gradually working their way into the game.
Then, ten minutes after the break and following a Michael Carrick error, Yaya Toure picked up the ball 30 yards out, burst past two challenges into the box and fired through the legs of Edwin van der Sar for what turned out to be the only goal of the match. United were later reduced to ten men when Paul Scholes was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Pablo Zabaleta and the Blues ended up deserved winners, claiming a first FA Cup final place for 30 years.