The result would have gone down as one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history, and there are plenty to choose from, but this one, in particular, would have stood out as extraordinary.
Cheltenham Nearly Prove Magic of FA Cup Still Exists
Cheltenham Should Be Proud
The two sides are separated by three divisions, by money, by reputation. Manchester City: A world-class ruthless winning machine funded by billionaires. Cheltenham: A side in League Two who very nearly completed the impossible.
It was very nearly monumental; it was very nearly extraordinary; it was very nearly the FA Cup at its best. Alfie May, the goalscorer, will never forget the day he almost proved so many doubters wrong. Many assumed the days of shock victories by lower league sides were over as the millions arrived in abundance.
Yet, as May wriggled clear to smash home the goal courtesy of a long throw, any assumption that the magic had disappeared had evaporated completely, and City were forced to turn to their stars.
In the end, Cheltenham crashed out, but they made City work for the result. Goals from Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres sealed the victory for Pep Guardiola’s side who just about prevented the greatest of upsets.
Not many can say they’ve provided this Manchester City side with testing times; not even those around Europe’s top leagues. But, here Cheltenham stand having gone round to round with a Manchester City side now nursing a black eye or two themselves.
The League Two side can be proud, that is indisputable. They took a side filled with some of Europe’s best and came within ten minutes of sealing an unforgettable victory.
They took a Manchester City side whose backline cost over £100 million and almost dethroned them with one long throw.
In the end, it wasn’t to be, the big side came out on top. But, a proud Cheltenham side reminded us all that the magic of the FA Cup still exists in a world where so much indifference is apparent.
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