Report | Swansea City 1 Manchester City 3
Swansea City’s FA Cup run came to an end despite a battling display against Manchester City in their fifth-round tie at the Liberty Stadium.
Kyle Walker’s cross found its way into the net to give the visitors the half-time lead, and quickfire strikes from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus put the Premier League leaders firmly in control after the interval.
But Steve Cooper’s side never wilted, and got a deserved goal as striker Morgan Whittaker marked his debut with an excellent finish with 13 minutes to go.
The result ended the Swans 10-match unbeaten run, but there was no shame in losing to Pep Guardiola’s men, who are now 22 games unbeaten with 15 victories in a row and look well set to add more silverware to the Etihad Stadium trophy cabinet.
And they will now return to Championship action against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday with everything to play for in the promotion battle.
The Swans showed five changes from the win over Norwich, with Joel Latibeaudiere, Ben Cabango, Ryan Manning, Yan Dhanda and Jordan Morris coming into the side.
It saw Latibeaudiere face his former club, while Morris made his full debut following two substitute appearances following his arrival on loan from Seattle Sounders, while Paul Arriola was on the bench..
The visitors have been in supreme form of late and they started on the front foot with Jesus cutting in from the left and getting away a shot that Freddie Woodman parried.
The Swans responded with Morris showing good pace to get away from Eric Garcia and pull a threatening cut-back into the City area, only for it just to fail to get to the arriving Matt Grimes.
City were having plenty of the ball but the Swans were defending stoutly, and when they did work another opening for Jesus he steered a Benjamin Mendy cross wide of the target.
Aymeric Laporte headed a deep corner back across goal and wide before Woodman got down to stop a low Ferran Torres strike.
But the pace of Morris and Jamal Lowe was causing problems at the other end, and the pair were heavily involved in a move that ended with Grimes getting in behind the defence and swinging in a cross that would have found an unmarked Jay Fulton without Rodri’s intervention.
Having defended so well, the hosts fell behind in frustrating fashion.
Walker bent a dangerous low ball into the box with a couple of blue shirts primed to try and convert, however, Torres and Jesus did not make contact and the ball trickled through into the far corner of the net.
Swansea responded well, Connor Roberts whipping in an excellent cross that Fulton met at the near post, but the Scot could not keep his header down.
And just before the break they spurned two further chances with Lowe unable to connect with Dhanda’s lofted pass, before Marc Guehi glanced a header wide from a corner.
Guehi then recovered brilliantly to thwart Sterling as he broke toward goal from halfway to ensure the hosts were just the one goal adrift at the interval.
But the Premier League side doubled their lead less than two minutes into the second half through Sterling, as he ran on to Ilkay Gundogan’s through ball to steer a low shot into the far corner.
It was soon 3-0, Jesus showing lovely control to swivel away from a defender and send a low volley beyond a helpless Woodman.
At the other end Dhanda flashed a volley over the bar after Grimes had seen a dangerous cross headed out to the midfielder.
Cooper opted to freshen things up and handed out three debuts as January signings Arriola, Whittaker and Kieron Freeman came on for their Swansea bows.
The hosts continued to bravely battle as they soaked up the pressure from the visitors, with Latibeaudiere making a magnificent last-ditch tackle to deny Mendy a simple finish.
And the Swans went straight up the other end to pull a goal back through Whittaker. The young striker coolly controlled a firm ball into his feet to volley across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Joel Latibeaudiere, Ben Cabango, Marc Guehi (Jake Bidwell 66); Connor Roberts (Kieron Freeman 66), Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain), Ryan Manning; Yan Dhanda (Conor Hourihane 77); Jamal Lowe (Paul Arriola 65), Jordan Morris (Morgan Whittaker 66).
Unused Substitutes: Lewis Webb, Ryan Bennett, Andre Ayew, Kyle Naughton.
Manchester City: Zack Steffen; Kyle Walker, Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy; Bernardo Silva (Phil Foden 66), Ilkay Gundogan (Tommy Doyle 57), Rodri (Claudio Gomes 72); Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling (captain, Riyad Mahrez 56).
Unused Substitutes: Ederson, Adrian Bernabe, Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Referee: Peter Bankes