In the 19 seasons that followed that incredible 4-3 victory at White Hart Lane after the blues were 3-0 and a man down at half-time, City have only failed to get to the fourth round on three occasions. And of those 19 fourth-round matches, City have only failed to progress twice.
In 2008, the blues suffered with Balloongate at Bramhall Lane. when Sven’s boys went out 2-1. City fans had thrown balloons onto the pitch and one of them even got an assist. The ball hit a balloon, which wrongfooted the City defence while Joe Hart went for another balloon, giving the home side a perfect opportunity to score, which they did.
The second fourth round defeat came at the hands of their old foes Middlesbrough, who enjoyed revived their 1990s joy at beating City. The Teesiders beat Manuel Pellegrini’s blues 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, leaving the blues with just the Premier League title and League Cup.
Some notable fourth round victories include:
2006 - City beat Wigan 1-0 in a home tie, proving that, at one time, we could actually beat the pie eaters.
In 2011, City needed two bites at the Notts County cherry before progressing to the fifth round. A 1-1 away draw was followed by a 5-0 win for the blues, who continued on their path to Wembley.
2014 saw Watford go 2-0 up at the Etihad Stadium and it took Sergio Aguero coming on and scoring a hat-trick to see off the Championship side.
2018 - Kevin de Bruyne changes the way defensive walls are set up by rolling the ball under the Cardiff defence to score, prompting every other team to employ the ‘draft excluder’ method.
2021 - Cheltenham have TV commentators getting over-excited by taking the lead at home to City. However, the blues win the tie 3-1, causing pundits to resort to continuous squad cost comparisons.