FA Cup: Premier League leaders Manchester City breeze past Swindon Town in third-round opener

Premier League leaders Manchester City have made light work of fourth-tier Swindon Town in a 4-1 away victory in the opening salvo of a busy weekend of FA Cup third round action.

A full house at the County Ground had their hopes of a famous upset crushed inside the opening half hour, as a strong City side struck twice through Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus.

Swindon, who have fallen on hard times since a brief membership of the Premier League in 1993/94, stuck to their guns throughout, but were ultimately outclassed by City's slickers.

Seventy-two rungs above their hosts on English soccer's ladder, City took the lead, when teenager Cole Palmer crossed for Silva to tap home, and were gifted a second in the 28th minute, when Jesus converted from Kevin de Bruyne's pass, after Swindon were punished for trying to play out from the back.

Ilkay Gundogan stroked a pinpoint free-kick to make it 3-0 in the 59th minute and Jesus had a penalty saved by Swindon keeper Lewis Ward shortly after.

If Ward's save drew a huge cheer from the 15,000 crowd, the decibel level went through the roof with just over 10 minutes left on the clock, as Swindon striker Harry McKirdy struck a well-taken consolation goal.

Without manager Pep Guardiola in attendance, because of COVID-19, but with seven of the starting line-up from their victory at Arsenal on New Year's Day, City ensured there was no late drama as Palmer picked out the top corner with an angled shot. 


Newcastle United have suffered a humiliating 1-0 home defeat by third-tier Cambridge United, but holders Leicester City began their defence of the FA Cup by trouncing Premier League rivals Watford 4-1 in the third round.

Chelsea, last season's runners-up, romped to a 5-1 home win against fifth-tier Chesterfield, with Romelu Lukaku among the goals at Stamford Bridge.

Premier League strugglers Newcastle flexed their new financial muscle by signing England fullback Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid and he made his debut in front of an expectant St James' Park crowd.

But humble Cambridge were undaunted, as Joe Ironside fired in a second-half goal and keeper Dimitar Mitov made a series of saves to deliver a fairytale win that their 5000 visiting fans celebrated in ecstatic fashion.

Bulgarian keeper Mitov made an incredible save in stoppage time to deny Joelinton an equaliser and Eddie Howe's side were booed at the final whistle, as Newcastle's season went from bad to worse.

"I have got to play here and it is stuff I dreamed of," says Ironside. "Alan Shearer was my hero, I grew up idolising him - now I have scored the winner at St James' Park.

"It's a momentous day for the club."

Leicester, who stunned Chelsea in last season's final to win the competition for the first time, welcomed back former title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri, but showed him no sympathy in a dominant display interrupted only by a floodlight failure.

Harvey Barnes celebrates a goal for Leicester City
Harvey Barnes celebrates a goal for Leicester City. Photo credit: Getty

Youri Tielemans put them ahead from the penalty spot and James Maddison made it 2-0. Joao Pedro replied for Watford, but second-half goals by Harvey Barnes and Marc Albrighton sealed Leicester's place in the fourth round draw.

Chelsea were clinical against Chesterfield with Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Lukaku and Andreas Christensen all on target in a predictably one-sided first half.

Hakim Ziyech made it 5-0, but Chesterfield's Akwasi Asante sent the thousands of visiting fans wild with a consolation goal.

Burnley became the first Premier League casualty of the third round, when they lost 2-1 to Huddersfield Town, with Matty Pearson heading a late winner.

Under-pressure Everton manager Rafa Benitez earned a little respite, as his side edged out Hull City 3-2, after falling behind in the opening minute. Andos Townsend secured only his side's second win in 13 matches in extra time.

Crystal Palace came from a goal to down to win 2-1 against London rivals Millwall, with goals from Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta, while Brentford enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 victory away to Port Vale, thanks to a Bryan Mbeumo hat-trick.

Brighton & Hove Albion beat Championship promotion chasers West Bromwich Albion 2-1 after extra time at the Hawthorns.

Ten-man Southampton edged a 3-2 extra-time victory at second-tier Swansea City - a game played in an empty stadium, because of COVID-19 restrictions in Wales.

Shane Long scored the winner for Saints, who played 90 minutes with a man less, after Yan Valery was red-carded.

Kidderminster survive 

Minor league Kidderminster Harriers - the lowest-ranked team in the third round - caused a shock when the sixth-tier club beat Championship side Reading 2-1.

"I'm stuck for words," says manager Russ Penn, after his side bridged a 79-place gap on the English soccer ladder. "I'm so proud of the players and the football club."

Boreham Wood made it two non-league sides into the fourth round, as they beat AFC Wimbledon 2-0.