While the FA Cup has always been a special competition in England, it became extra special for City at the start of the current decade, when Roberto Mancini’s side ended the long wait for silverware by beating Stoke City at Wembley.
For a whole generation of fans who had never seen City win anything, it was an emotionally-charged day when Yaya Toure’s goal sank the Potters.
It was the end of one era, and the start of another and with City finally free of more than 30 years of hurt, Mancini’s men then kicked on again to win the Premier League a year later.
How much belief that FA Cup triumph gave City as the game against QPR went into added time, but it’s fair to say the knowledge that it had been done before meant that it could be done again.
Since Wembley 2011, City have treated the FA Cup with the respect it deserves, fielding strong teams and playing to large crowds at the Etihad.
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There was to be no successful defence of the FA Cup in 2011/12, with United beating a 10-man City 3-2 in the third round.
The following season (2012/13) would see City go all the way to the final again, before agonisingly conceding in the last minute against Wigan Athletic – incredibly, one of three defeats by the Latics who would be in a different division on each occasion – Premier League, Championship and League One.
Manuel Pellegrini’s first attempt to win the FA Cup in 2013/14 was ended at the quarter-final stage by – you guessed it – Uwe Rosler’s second tier side, who won 2-1 at the Etihad.
And the campaign after, another side City have historically struggled against – Middlesbrough – ended the Wembley dream at the fourth round.
Pellegrini’s final attempt to win the FA Cup was in 2015/16, but progression in the Champions League and a refusal by the authorities to move the FA Cup fifth round tie with Chelsea to a more favourable slot saw the Chilean field a youthful reserve side who were beaten 5-1.
Pep Guardiola’s first campaign saw City go for every trophy with a strong XI and it so nearly paid off.
City cruised through to the semi-final and led 1-0 against Arsenal, but the Gunners came back to 2-1 in extra time.
And Pep’s second attempt also looked to be going well, with City into the last 16 and facing League One Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
One of the biggest shocks of recent times saw Will Grigg punish 10-man City late on and the dream was over for the Premier League champions-elect.
But it was third time lucky for Pep, as a rampant City side went all the way to the final and thrashed Watford 6-0 to lift the FA Cup for the first time in eight seasons.
It was City’s 15th trip of the decade to Wembley (Carabao Cup x5, Community Shield x3, FA Cup x7) – prior to 2011 we’d had just one trip – the Full Members’ Cup Final – in 30 years!
Our decade record in the FA Cup makes for impressive reading with 44 ties played, 34 wins, two draws and eight losses.
Arsenal, who have won the FA Cup three times in the past decade and have won the competition more times than any other club, won 31 times in the same period.
And no team has scored more FA Cup goals in the past decade – City’s 119 goals from 42 ties is an average just shy of three goals per game.
Of our 23 ties played away from the Etihad, City have won 17.
The top scorers over the past 10 years are:
- Sergio Aguero- 19
- Carlos Tevez - 7
- Gabriel Jesus - 7
- David Silva - 6
- Yaya Toure -6
- Raheem Sterling - 6
So, while City have dominated the FA Cup statistically for 10 years, spare a thought for Newcastle United who haven’t tasted FA Cup success for 65 years – ironically a 3-1 final triumph over City in 1955.
Whoever triumphs at St James’ Park on Sunday evening, they will book a semi-final place at Wembley against either Norwich, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Sheffield United or Leicester City and another tough hurdle to overcome.