Highlights: Manchester City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday; Birthday boy James Milner shines
Birthday boy James Milner celebrated his special day with a fantastic brace as Manchester City scraped past an inspired Sheffield Wednesday. Milner equalized in the 66th minute to cancel out Atdhe Nuhiu’s first half opener before scoring a stoppage time minute winner to save City the blushes.
Sheffield took the lead in the 14th minute through Atdhe Nuhiu when Steve May’s pass found the Austrian inside the box and his low shot crept past Willy Caballero to give his team a shock 1-0 lead at the Etihad Stadium.
Sheffield defended extremely well for the rest of the half to keep the score in their favour at the half-time break.
The second half saw City attacking Sheffield relentlessly but were yet to trouble Chris Kirkland in goal for the Championship side. However, Manuel Pellegrini took off his only striker Stevan Jovetic and Frank Lampard to bring in David Silva and Samir Nasri.
The move allowed Milner to move further up and he equalized for City soon after. Silva was at the heart of the goal, playing a brilliant through ball into Milner’s path and the Englishman’s left-footed shot went through Kirkland’s legs.
Sheffield did trouble the City defence on several occasions but were unable to regain their lead. However, just when it looked like City would have to travel to Hillsborough to play the replay, Milner popped up once again to score the winner in injury time.
In the 91st minute, Navas found himself on the byline and his cutback was deflected by Silva. The deflection found the birthday boy who had ghosted in front of his marker and tapped the ball in an empty goal.
In the final minutes, Sheffield earned a corner for which they brought Kirkland forward, but the only thing the corner kick brought was another City counter-attack through Navas while Kirkland was seen sprinting towards his own goal. Navas’ tame effort from just inside the opposition half found Liam Palmer, the only defender inside the penalty box, when the Spaniard should have clearly put the game to bed.
However, City held on and moved to the next round, but they will be thanking their stars and Milner that they had to do that without having to play the replay.