A year ago today (1st March 2020) I like thousands of other Manchester City and Aston Villa supporters travelled to Wembley for the League Cup final. 82,145 were there that day and now it seems so unlikely that we’ll have anywhere near that figure at a game for some time.
It was the last time I attended a live game of football (I missed the Manchester Derby the week after) although none of us believed that at the time. I enjoyed Wembley that day – as I do every trip (well, at least I do beforehand. 2013 FAC final was not so great, nor one or two semi-finals in recent years!) – and I hope that one day we can all be there again for a major final.
The game itself saw City race to a 2-0 lead within thirty minutes with Rodri (20) and Aguero (30) netting. Villa pulled a goal back 4 minutes before half time and it was a tense match. City did enough to win the game 2-1 of course, becoming the last (and only) team in England to win a major competition in front of a crowd that season.
It’s been a strange year since then for us all and it’s been a difficult year for many of us. I hope that life can return to normal and that football crowds of this size and scale get a chance to gather once more. Here’s hoping.
I’m sure it gets boring to some but for those of us there that day the drama and the emotion can never be forgotten. Here’s my own personal film of the moment the final whistle went on that incredible day when MCFC won the Premier League title in 2012.
I know the camera’s all over the place (I was jumping up and down like everybody else) and the sound isn’t great but I hope it helps to show what it was like to all those who couldn’t be there that day.
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It’s Swansea v Manchester City tonight in the FA Cup and so I thought I’d put together a few historical facts and stats about games between the two clubs.
Game One: The first competitive meeting between the two teams came in Division Two on 25 September 1926. The Blues had been relegated the previous May and the historic first meeting with Swansea Town (Swansea was not a city at this point) ended in a 3-1 City victory at Maine Road, before 24,314 fans. George Hicks, Tommy Johnson & Frank Roberts netted for the Blues.
The return game also ended in a 3-1 win on 12 February 1927. Hicks and Johnson both scored again, with Johnson netting twice. A Swansea crowd of 20,345 watched on.
The first top flight game between the sides didn’t come until 21 November 1981 (following Swansea’s promotion) and saw two each from Kevin Reeves and Dennis Tueart (the first a penalty 4 minutes before half time) help City to a 4-0 win. Here’s film of that game – see if you can spot the fan carrying two pints (presumably of Greenall’s or Grunhalle!) back to his seat (the days when we were allowed to drink in our seats or on the Kippax – well, not quite all of us. I was just 14 at the time!):
The first Premier League meeting came on 15 August 2011 – another 4-0 City win. This time Dzeko, Aguero (2) and David Silva each scored at the Etihad before 46,802. Film of that game here:
Incredibly the first FA Cup meeting didn’t come until 16 March 2019 and this saw City win 3-2 at Swansea (OG from Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Bernardo Silva & Sergio Aguero). City had been losing 2-0 (a penalty from Matt Grimes in 20th minute and Bersant Celina netted the other in 29th minute) up until Silva’s 69th minute goal. The action from this game can be viewed here:
Prior to tonight’s game of course: In terms of all time record the two teams have met on 36 occasions:
Played 36; City won 25; Drawn 4; Swansea won 7.
Breakdown by competition is:
League P34; City won 23; Drawn 4; Swansea won 7
FAC P1; City won 1; Drawn 0; Swansea won 0
League Cup P1; City won 1; Drawn 0; Swansea won 0.
The highest scoring game between the teams came in August 1927 when City beat Swansea Town 7-4 in Division Two. 34,316 watched a hat trick from Tommy Johnson and other goals from Peter Bell, Charlie Broadhurst, George Hicks and Frank Roberts.
Here’s hoping tonight’s game brings as much entertainment as that one did.
While you’re here, it’s worth taking a look at something else already posted on http://www.GJFootballArchive.com. It’s a profile of Tommy Hutchison who was a cult hero at MCFC and also spent time with Swansea City:
On this day (18 January) last year Manchester City looked set to take all three points against Crystal Palace when Sergio Aguero netted twice in five minutes late in the game but then Fernandinho diverted a ball from Zaha into the net in the last minute to end the game 2-2.
The Blues had gone behind six minutes before half time.
Aguero’s first goal came in the 82nd minute when he sent home a Gabriel Jesus cross. This was the Argentinian’s 250th goal for the Blues and five minutes later he netted his 251st when he headed home from a Benjamin Mendy delivery.
The game was, on the whole, somewhat frustrating for those of us in the 54,439 Etihad crowd and this was exacerbated when after the break City appeared to have been awarded a deserved penalty. Referee Graham Scott had pointed to the spot for a Jairo Riedewald handball, but then the video assistant referee overruled the decision. It was decided that a replay of the incident showed the ball had came off the defender’s foot first as he blocked Joao Cancelo’s cross. Few City fans were convinced of course!
As well as Aguero reaching 250 goals, the match saw another landmark as David Silva made his 300th Premier League appearance for City.
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