Manchester City cruised into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 win at Swansea - their 15th successive victory in all competitions, which is a new record for a top-flight team in English football history.
Despite a raft of changes, it was a classic Man City performance as they dominated the cup encounter, registering 73.6 per cent possession and 17 shots. But they took the lead in strange circumstances as Kyle Walker's cross snuck home at the back post on the 30-minute mark.
Swansea defended well in the first period and had their own sights of goal - Jay Fulton heading just wide immediately after the goal - but were sucker-punched with a Man City double inside five second-half minutes.
Raheem Sterling (47) was left unmarked as he slotted home before Gabriel Jesus (50) added the third shortly after for his fourth goal in six games and second in the FA Cup this season.
Morgan Whittaker's first Swansea goal was a consolation, complete with a fine finish, but it was not enough to inspire a comeback against the Premier League leaders.
The victory brought up Pep Guardiola's 200th win as Man City manager, with his side now unbeaten in 22 games in all competitions. They will be part of the quarter-final draw on Thursday evening.
How Man City cruised into the quarter-finals
The warning signs from Man City were there inside two minutes, Jesus fired an effort straight into Freddie Woodman's hands and it was not long before they started to rack up the chances.
Jesus went close again in the 15th minute, lifting Benjamin Mendy's fizzing low cross just past the post. Aymeric Laporte then nodded a corner wide at the back post. Woodman was again in action when Ferran Torres lifted an effort his way from the left of the area, but it was saved well by the Swansea stopper.
Swansea: Woodman (6), Roberts (6), Cabango (7), Latibeaudiere (7), Guehi (7), Manning (7), Fulton (6), Grimes (7), Dhanda (7), Morris (7), Lowe (7).
Subs used: Arriola (6), Bidwell (6), Freeman (6), Whittaker (7), Hourihane (6).
Man City: Steffen (5), Walker (7), Garcia (7), Laporte (7), Mendy (7), Rodri (7), Gundogan (7), Silva (7), Torres (7), Sterling (7), Jesus (8).
Subs used: Mahrez (7), Doyle (7), Foden (6), Gomes (6).
Man of the match: Gabriel Jesus.
Man City finally made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark. It was a strange goal from Walker, who was picked out in acres of space on the right flank. He lifted his head up to pick out the run of Torres, but his whipped cross missed the forward before nestling home at the far post.
Going behind seemed to galvanise Swansea somewhat and they had their best chance of the game just after. Connor Roberts whipped a cross in from the right, but captain Fulton could only send his strong header wide. Shortly after, Yan Dhanda slotted Jamal Lowe in down the left, but Eric Garcia was there to help see the ball behind for a corner. The impressive Marc Guehi then sent a header wide from the delivery.
- Swansea made five changes. Kyle Naughton, Ryan Bennett, Jake Bidwell, Connor Hourihane and Andre Ayew dropped to the bench with Ben Cabango, Joel Latibeaudiere, Ryan Manning, Yan Dhanda and Jordan Morris coming into the XI.
- Man City kept four players in their XI. Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling start again, with Gabriel Jesus starting up front and Zack Steffen replacing Ederson in goal.
But Man City doubled their lead inside two minutes of the second half. It was a real lapse in what had been a solid defensive display from Swansea in the first half with Sterling left unmarked on the left. Rodri picked him out as Roberts scrambled back, and it was a simple run and finish from the Man City forward as Swansea argued among themselves as to who was at fault.
A few minutes later, Jesus made it three. Swansea were once again caught out, this time attempting to play out from the back. Man City stole it back before lofting a cross into the area, which Bernardo Silva nodded back across. Jesus was waiting to control superbly on the swivel before firing home.
The Premier League side could have added a fourth, but were thwarted by a great clearance from Man City academy product Joel Latibeaudiere. Riyad Mahrez fired a low cross in from the right, but the defender was there ahead of Mendy on the line to clear the ball away. Phil Foden tried to net the rebound, but it ricocheted off the Swansea defenders ahead of him to fly over the bar.
Swansea deserved a goal for their overall performance and it came from an unlikely source in Whittaker. Ryan Manning lofted a superb cross into the box, which the former Derby forward controlled before turning to fire home on the volley.
But there was no FA Cup shock or stopping the Man City juggernaut as they once again powered their way into the quarter-final draw.
Man of the match - Gabriel Jesus
Much has been made of Man City's lack of strikers this season, but Jesus is quietly going about his business in the background. He now scored in each of his last four starts, his best run since scoring in seven straight starts between April and October 2019.
Jesus registered his second FA Cup goal of the season - also scoring against Cheltenham in the last round - and it was a well-taken strike. He also had two glorious early openings and overall, it was a good evening's work from the Brazilian.
What the managers said
Man City manager Pep Guardiola told BT Sport: "I had a feeling that when Swansea go up front, they create a dangerous situation. They defend so aggressively but we controlled the game, we had a good-build up and we created a lot of chances, but unfortunately, in the final third, we could not convert. But we are in the quarter-finals so it's the next step."
On setting a new record with 15 wins in a row: "It is a message for ourselves - we came here to win the game and that's the most important thing. But we cannot deny how pleased and proud we are for our club to break the record from a long time ago.
"The records made once will be broken so the record is there for another team to come along and break it but they'll have to do well so it's not easy in the modern era to win 15 games in a row. It's good today, now onto the next once."
On his 200th win as Man City manager, Guardiola told the club's official website: "I don't know how many games but 200 victories already, 200 good moments, and a lot of red wine afterwards!"
Swansea head coach Steve Cooper said: "It was a really difficult task going into it anyway, and it proved to be that.
"To be 3-0 down after 50 minutes, it's a real test of character - it can go one way or the other. We certainly didn't hide. The rhythm of the game stayed the same, but we kept going. We didn't concede another goal and we scored a goal.
"There wasn't one sign of any players - I know we made changes - hiding from the challenge.
"I think that's a really good sign of mentality, and we got some new players on the pitch, Morgan takes his goal, and that's really good for him. We've got to play against and see one of the best teams in the world live."
- Swansea City conceded 3+ goals in a home game for the first time in over a year, last doing so versus Derby on 8th February 2020 (2-3).
- Since Pep Guardiola's first season in England, Man City have scored more FA Cup goals than any other side (68).
- Swansea's Morgan Whittaker (20y, 34d) became the youngest player to score a goal against Manchester City in any competition since March 2017, when Monaco's Kylian Mbappé netted against them in the Champions League (18y 85d).
Live Premier League
Swansea will be back in Sky Bet Championship action on Saturday when they travel to Sheffield Wednesday; kick-off 3pm. Man City also play on Saturday, welcoming Tottenham live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.
FA Cup 2020/21 - key dates and draw
The FA Cup schedule has been confirmed, with the final set to take place at Wembley on Saturday, May 15.
There will be no replays this season to help ease fixture congestion.
The draw for the quarter-final will take place on Thursday evening ahead of the final fifth-round tie of the week between Barnsley and Chelsea.
- Quarter-finals: Saturday, March 20
- Semi-finals: Saturday, April 17
- Final: Saturday, May 15