Manchester City take on Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday, looking to reach their second successive cup final and 12thappearance in the FA’s showpiece season finale. The blues have twice faced the Gunners at this stage of the competition and on each occasion, have been beaten, so hopefully, Pep Guardiola’s side will lay that particular spectre to rest today.
The blues have won the trophy on 6 occasions and finished runners up five times, but what is their history of semi-finals?
The blues first appeared in an FA Cup semi-final way back in 1904, when the faced The Wednesday at Goodison Park and strolled into the final on the back of a 3-0 victory over the Sheffield outfit.
City had to wait another twenty years for their next semi-final appearance, but it was a miserable day for the blues as the lost 2-0 to Newcastle at St Andrews. The first Manchester derby semi-final took place in 1926 when City ran out 3-0 winners at Bramhall Lane.
The blues reach three successive semi-finals in the 1930’s, winning two and losing one. That solitary defeat in 1932 was ominously to Arsenal, when the Gunners ran out 1-0 winners at Villa Park, although they lost 2-1 to Newcastle
But in 1933, City beat Derby 3-2 and Aston Villa 6-1 the following season, both at Leeds Road, Huddersfield.
1955 saw City take on Sunderland at Villa Park, where the blues progressed to the final courtesy of a 1-0 victory, and the following season, City beat Spurs by the same score at the same venue. And in 1969, City returned to Villa Park to beat Everton 1-0, then defeated favourites Ipswich Town by the same score in the same place in 1981.
The blues barren FA Cup absence came to an end in 2011, when they beat United 1-0 at Wembley, then beat Chelsea 2-1 in 2013. City reached Wembley again in 2017 during Guardiola’s first season in charge, but lost out again to Arsenal, losing 2-1. The Gunners went on to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the final.
And of course, City beat Brighton 1-0 on their way to completing last season’s domestic treble.
Overall, City have appeared in 14 FA Cup semi-finals, winning 11 and losing just three, so the record of reaching the final is excellent. We just have to break the hoodoo over the Gunners. Pity it’s not at Villa Park!