Manchester City vs Bristol City LIVE Football Score 28 Feb 2023
As the weather warms up, Nigel Pearson and Bristol City have been walking in a winter wonderland across the FA Cup and Championship, still without defeat since going down 2-0 at home to West Brom in the Boxing Day round of fixtures.
Since that dampening home defeat, Bristol City have gone unbeaten in their last 12 contests in all tournaments – including a replay win over Swansea City in the FA Cup third round before enacting revenge on West Brom on January 28, winning 3-0 in round four courtesy of Sam Bell’s brace and an effort from the highly-rated Alex Scott.
Continuing their pattern of reaching the third round then the fifth round in successive seasons – a sequence that they have followed since 2017-18 – Bristol City have not managed to progress to the quarter-finals since all the way back in 1974, losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United at this stage in 2018-19 and 2020-21 respectively.
Hopes of a playoff charge in the Championship may be slightly far-fetched for the 13th-placed Robins, but the top half remains in sight thanks to a 1-0 victory over Hull City at the weekend, with Nahki Wells coming off the bench to win it from the penalty spot in the 70th minute.
Pearson’s side have found the back of the net in all of their 11 fixtures since the turn of the year, and the hosts have also shipped just one goal in their last four at Ashton Gate, but such resilience may prove futile against the Citizens juggernaut.
The more superstitious Man City supporters may not be too despondent with defeat here, as the last team to lose an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Bristol City – Leeds United in 1973-74 – went on to be crowned top-flight champions.
Even though Man City are still playing catch-up to Arsenal in the Premier League, omens will not come into Guardiola’s thinking for Tuesday’s tie, which the Citizens progressed to thanks to Nathan Ake’s striker’s finish against the Gunners in the fourth round.
Chelsea have also fallen to the Citizens’ superiority in the FA Cup this season, but Guardiola only has the 2018-19 trophy in his cabinet from his time in charge so far – witnessing his side suffer semi-final heartache in each of the last three seasons.
Fifth-round exits to lower-tier opposition is not a novelty to Guardiola either – Wigan Athletic stunned Man City at this point in the 2017-18 tournament – but a trip south to face Bournemouth at the weekend ended in a comprehensive 4-1 success, despite the Cherries’ spirited showing.
Cutting Arsenal’s lead at the top of the Premier League table back down to two points having played a game more, next on the agenda for Man City is avoiding a first defeat to Bristol City in 44 years, although a 5-3 aggregate success against the Robins in the 2017-18 EFL Cup semi-finals was far from straightforward.
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