- Owls lose 2-1 to Manchester City
- James Milner double down Owls
- But excellent performance from visitors
Sheffield Wednesday exorcised the ghost of the Etihad but exited the FA Cup third round at Manchester City on Sunday.
Having suffered heavily at the hands of City in the Capital One Cup earlier in the season, pride was at stake for Wednesday.
And they certainly restored that, taking a first half lead through Atdhe Nuhiu before James Milner levelled and the same player notched a last-minute winner to see the Premier League champions through.
There were certainly no signs of a September hangover as Wednesday moved the ball confidently in the early stages, with Claude Dielna embarking on a mazy run down the left flank blocked at the last.
And on 14 minutes, the Owls deservedly went into the lead. Liam Palmer sent Stevie May scampering down the right and the Scot’s precision pass was neatly dispatched by the onrushing Nuhiu.
City hit back with a Fernando Reges header that sailed over the bar before Frank Lampard hit just wide having fashioned an opening on the edge of the penalty area.
As the remainder of the first half unfolded, it was the home side asking more of the questions but Wednesday looked solid and organised to keep City at bay.
It was the Owls who actually went closest before the break on the counter when Jacques Maghoma found his way into the box only to see his firm shot thwarted by Eliaquim Mangala.
Wednesday started the second period as they did the first and had a half shout for a penalty when Kieran Lee tumbled under a challenge from Dedryck Boyata but the referee waved away the visitors’ appeals.
City responded with an extended spell of possession and a double substitution, with David Silva and Samir Nasri entering the fray on the hour.
And the move did the trick as the hosts upped their game in the final third and drew level on 66 minutes.
Both substitutes played a part in a smart and swift three-man move that ended with Milner firing across Chris Kirkland and in.
The goal gave the Owls a jolt and they grew more into proceedings, but the danger was City showing their top-flight credentials with the clock counting down.
And they did exactly that on 90 minutes after Kirkland had saved well from Silva as Milner found a pocket of space in the area to nudged home and break Wednesday hearts.
Manchester City: Caballero, Sagna, Boyata, Mangala, Kolarov (Clichy 75), Fernando, Toure, Milner, Navas, Lampard (Silva 61), Jovetic (Nasri 61)
Owls: Kirkland, Palmer, Lees, Loovens, Dielna (McCabe 85), Maghoma, Lee, Semedo, Helan, May (Lavery 68), Nuhiu (Maguire 75)