Man City scrapes into FA Cup quarterfinals, Tottenham out
SHEFFIELD, England (AP) — Manchester City stayed on course to retain the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over second-tier Sheffield Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals, while Tottenham was knocked out on penalties by Norwich on Wednesday.
City could have turned the win into a rout if not for Wednesday goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith, who made some excellent reaction saves but also a costly error to let Sergio Aguero score the opening goal in the 53rd minute.
The Argentine forward’s low shot bounced off Wildsmith’s palm and looped up before dipping in under the crossbar. It was Wildsmith’s first game of the season in any competition, but he stopped other good shots from the likes of Aguero and Bernardo Silva, while Nicolas Otamendi hit the crossbar with a header.
It was City’s fifth straight win, with the last four coming in four different competitions, including the League Cup final victory over Aston Villa on Sunday. City was drawn away at Newcastle for the quarterfinals.
Wednesday had just 20 percent possession and didn’t record a single shot on target. Veteran forward Steven Fletcher could have sent the game to extra time but couldn’t quite stretch far enough to knock in Alex Hunt’s cross in the 81st minute.
Kevin de Bruyne was left out of City’s squad, with manager Pep Guardiola suggesting he had a problem with his shoulder.
“I don’t know,” Guardiola said when asked if De Bruyne could play against rival Manchester United on Sunday in the Premier League.
Tottenham was eliminated 3-2 on penalties by a tenacious Norwich team after the game finished 1-1 following extra time. Norwich was 1-0 down in both the game and the shootout but bounced back to win after Tottenham’s Erik Lamela hit the bar and goalkeeper Tim Krul saved efforts from Troy Parrott and Gedson Fernandes.
Tottenham opened the scoring thanks to a 13th-minute goal from defender Jan Vertonghen, who soared above a pack of players to head in Giovani Lo Celso’s free kick at the far post.
It was a return to cup form for Vertonghen, who appeared visibly upset when substituted against Southampton in the previous round. Norwich, which last reached the FA Cup quarterfinals in 1992, sent the game to extra time when Josip Drmic bundled in a rebound.
After an uneventful extra half-hour, it was the first penalty shootout at Tottenham’s new stadium and a battle between two Dutch goalkeepers — Tottenham’s Michel Vorm and Norwich’s Tim Krul.
It was Krul who came out on top with two saves and some calculated gamesmanship, moving around on his line and taking long drinks from his bottle to make Tottenham players wait.
Norwich dropped behind when Vorm saved Kenny McLean’s first penalty, but Lamela hit the crossbar. At 2-2, Krul gave Norwich the edge with the save from Parrott, the 18-year-old forward who had come no as a substitute. Todd Cantwell scored next for Norwich off the bar. That left Fernandes needing to score to keep Tottenham in the game, but Krul got down low to stop his poorly struck spot kick.
Norwich will host either Derby or Manchester United in the quarterfinals. Those two teams play Thursday.
Leicester was held at bay by Birmingham for most of the game until Ricardo Pereira’s headed goal in the 82nd booked a quarterfinal against Chelsea in a 1-0 win.
That ended a five-game winless run for Leicester, which has slid seven points behind City in the Premier League after a poor run since beating Brentford on Jan. 25 in its last FA Cup game.