Manchester City survived a scare against fourth-tier side Cheltenham Town while FA Cup holders Arsenal exited the competition in Saturday’s fourth-round ties.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City battled back from a goal down to claim a 3-1 away win.
However, Arsenal lost 1-0 at Southampton, with Brazilian defender Gabriel scoring an own goal. Alfie May stunned Manchester City in the 59th minute when he knocked in Ben Tozer’s long throw-in to put Cheltenham ahead in the FA Cup tie.
But coach Michael Duff’s men could not hold on for an almighty upset in their first meeting with the Premier League giants.
“I don’t know if it’s tough to take, I’m super proud of the players,” said Cheltenham coach Duff. “They (Manchester City) are world-class players and scored three in the last 10 minutes.”
Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres completed Manchester City’s comeback with easy finishes; to set up a fifth-round FA Cup tie with Swansea City in February.
“I didn’t have regrets even when we were 1-0 down. We had clear chance from the first minute,” said Manchester City manager Guardiola.
“We got it to 1-1 and it was tight. But we came here with humility and had the quality to make the difference.”
Manchester City’s next opponents in the FA Cup Swansea thrashed fellow second-tier side Nottingham Forest 5-1 earlier in their tie.
“It was a very professional performance,” said Swansea captain Matt Grimes. “We wanted to keep the momentum going from the league. 5-1 is as good as it gets.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s run as defending champions came to an end in unfortunate circumstances, with Gabriel’s error in the 24th minute against Southampton. Southampton defender Kyle Walker-Peters’ angled shot hit Gabriel’s boot and deflected into the net.
“We’re really sad to be out of the competition,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
“It was an even game. In the second half, we added more quality. We became more dominant and created chances, but it wasn’t enough.”
The Saints advance to the fifth round, where they will travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers; who knocked out sixth-tier side Chorley to advance on Friday. West Ham United will next play the winner of either Manchester United or Liverpool, who play on Sunday; after their 4-0 home win against third-tier Doncaster Rovers.
The Hammers started to cruise to victory with first-half goals from Pablo Fornals and Andriy Yarmolenko.
Fellow English Premier League sides Sheffield United and Brighton and Hove Albion are also through after triumphing at home.
Sheffield United, bottom of the English top-flight, dispatched third-tier side Plymouth Argyle 2-1 while Brighton also overcame Blackpool 2-1. Bristol City of the second-tier Championship will be Sheffield United’s next opponents, following a 3-0 success at Millwall.
Brighton await the winners of Brentford against Leicester City on Sunday for their fifth-round tie.
Another Championship side in Barnsley advanced with a 1-0 victory against Norwich City; to set up a meeting with either Chelsea or her Luton Town in the next phase.