Man City, Coventry reach FA Cup semis; Tottenham beaten in Premier League

Manchester City is banking on Wembley Stadium being a key staging post in its pursuit of a second straight treble of major trophies.

One of a possible three late-season trips to English soccer’s national stadium was booked when City reached the semifinals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

If that came as no real surprise, second-tier Coventry‘s progress to the last four certainly did.

Man City ousted Newcastle from the competition with a 2-0 victory secured by two deflected shots by Bernardo Silva in the first half.

The day’s drama came a few hours earlier at Molineux as Coventry scored two goals deep into stoppage time to beat Wolverhampton 3-2 and reach the semifinals for the first time since 1987 — the year the team won the FA Cup.

United States striker Haji Wright completed the remarkable comeback in the 10th minute of added-on time, three minutes after Ellis Simms — with his second goal of the game — equalized for Coventry.

Sitting in eighth place in the Championship, Coventry was the lowest-ranked team to get to the quarterfinals. The club from central England has endured a turbulent and financially rocky past couple of decades since relegation from the Premier League in 2001 but can look forward to another trip to Wembley, where it lost the Championship playoff final to Luton at the end of last season.

It also gives Mark Robins, Coventry’s manager, another magical FA Cup moment. Robins likely saved Alex Ferguson from getting fired three years into his storied tenure as Manchester United manager by scoring the winner in an FA Cup third-round match against Nottingham Forest midway through the 1989-90 season, when Ferguson was under severe pressure.

That is widely heralded as a turning point in Ferguson’s trophy-laden tenure that lasted nearly 27 years.

For many, Man City manager Pep Guardiola ranks just as high as Ferguson and back-to-back Premier League-Champions League-FA Cup trebles would surely put him in a class of his own.

To do that, City would have to return to Wembley two more times this season — for the FA Cup final on May 25 and the title match in the Champions League, which is also being hosted by the famed London venue a week later.

The FA Cup quarterfinals will be completed Sunday when Manchester United hosts great rival Liverpool and Chelsea is at home to second-tier Leicester.


Tottenham’s bid for Champions League qualification was hurt by a 3-0 loss at Fulham in one of three Premier League games played Saturday.

Rodrigo Muniz scored either side of a goal by Saša Lukić as fifth-place Tottenham missed the chance to climb above Aston Villa into fourth for one night at least. Villa visits West Ham on Sunday.

Tottenham stayed six points ahead of sixth-place Manchester United and both have 10 matches remaining.

The Premier League looks increasingly likely to have five berths in next season’s expanded Champions League because of the strong showing of English teams in European competition this campaign.


Elsewhere in the Premier League, Burnley boosted its unlikely hopes of staying up with a first win in 2024 while relegation candidates Luton and Nottingham Forest drew 1-1.

Next-to-last Burnley beat 10-man Brentford 2-1 to end an 11-game winless run in all competitions and move eight points adrift of safety in its bid to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Jacob Bruun Larsen converted a 10th-minute penalty awarded after a push by Brentford left back Sergio Reguilon, who was sent off for the offense because he was the last man. David Datro Fofana added a second before Kristoffer Ajer reduced the deficit in the 83rd to ensure a nervy finish at Turf Moor.

Forest stayed three points above Luton, which is third-to-last and occupying the final relegation spot, after seeing its 34th-minute volley opener by Chris Wood canceled out by substitute Luke Berry.

Forest will not be sitting too comfortably because it could be hit with a points deduction in the coming weeks for overspending.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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