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Silva fires Man City into FA Cup semi-finals, Coventry stun Wolves

MANCHESTER — Bernardo Silva scored twice as Manchester City beat Newcastle 2-0 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday, while Coventry struck twice in stoppage time to stun Wolves 3-2.

Holders City remain on course to repeat their treble triumph of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup last season as Pep Guardiola’s men stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 22 games.

Fortune favoured the English champions, though, as twice Silva’s shots took deflections to wrong-foot Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

The Portuguese international opened the scoring on 13 minutes when his effort looped in off Dan Burn.

Silva’s second deflected off Sven Botman, but Dubravka should still have done better as the ball trickled underneath him.

At the other end, City’s number one goalkeeper Ederson was not missed as Stefan Ortega produced a brilliant save to deny Alexander Isak pulling a goal back for Newcastle.

Dubravka made amends for his earlier error with fine saves from Jeremy Doku either side of half-time to keep the score down.

But it was too little, too late for Newcastle’s hopes of silverware this season as the Magpies remain without a major trophy since 1969.

City are the first side to ever reach the FA Cup semi-finals in six consecutive seasons.

“I know we play to win the finals, but to win it, you have to win the earlier rounds,” said Guardiola.

“To run and play the way they did is incredible. Congratulations to the team, no one has done that before.”

By contrast, Coventry reached their first semi-final since they won the competition for the only time in 1987 in a five-goal thriller at Molineux.

The Sky Blues led early in the second half through Ellis Simms’ controversial opener after a VAR check for potential handball by the Coventry striker.

But the Championship side looked to have blown their chance to reach Wembley when Wolves themselves scored twice in the final seven minutes of the 90.

Rayan Ait-Nouri pounced on an error from Joel Latibeaudiere to smash home the equaliser and then set up his fellow left-back Hugo Bueno to fire into the bottom corner for his first senior goal.

However, Simms’ second goal of the match levelled in the 97th minute before he teed up American international Haji Wright to fire into the corner three minutes later.

The drama did not end there as Wolves boss Gary O’Neil labelled Coventry manager Mark Robins’ celebrations in the face of a teenage ball boy “disgusting.”

Robins apologised after being riled by the ball boy’s attempts to waste time late in the game.

“I apologise to him, I don’t show emotion very often but that is what the FA Cup does to you,” said Robins.

A founder member of the Premier League, Coventry sank from the top down to the fourth tier of English football as recently as the 2017/18 season.

But they have achieved two promotions under Robins and narrowly missed out on a return to the Premier League last season, losing the Championship playoff final to Luton on penalties.

Wembley awaits once more in the last four, but Robins is realistic of his side’s chances of glory with the likes of City or Liverpool potentially waiting in the semis.

“We have got a small chance. We are going to Wembley and we are going to enjoy that game,” added Robins.

“I don’t want to go there and just make the numbers up. We are not stupid, we know the levels go up all of the time.”

Liverpool travel to Manchester United in the pick of Sunday’s quarter-final ties, while Chelsea host Leicester. — AFP