They were far from their best but Manchester City did enough to avoid an FA Cup upset at the hands of Cheltenham Town.
However, one player who can leave the tie with his head held high is Phil Foden, who dragged his side level before City scored twice more to seal a 3-1 win.
City may have been on the wrong side of an iconic FA Cup moment had Foden not played
He particularly caught the eye of Trevor Sinclair, who labelled Foden’s display at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium as ‘one of the best performances from a young player I’ve seen in this type of game.’
After the League Two side took a shock lead, Foden never stopped trying. He sent Riyad Mahrez through on goal, however, the Algerian’s effort was saved by Josh Griffiths.
But Foden made no mistake when he was given his chance as he volleyed home Joao Cancelo’s cross with less than ten minutes to play. Gabriel Jesus and Ferran Torres scored the other goals for City.
And former City midfielder Sinclair was waxing lyrical about Foden, who’s now City’s top scorer this season with nine goals to his name.
This strike from Foden set City on their way to the turnaround victory at Cheltenham
“I cant tell you how impressed I am with Phil Foden,” Sinclair told talkSPORT.
“Even in the first-half when it wasnt going great, it was a dull game and that was credit to Cheltenham, but Foden was always looking for the ball, getting on it and trying to create things.
“In the second-half, its one of the best performances from a young player Ive seen in this type of game. Hes taken responsibility.”
Sinclair believes the rest of the players would do well to take a leaf out of the 20-year-old’s book.
Foden spearheaded the City comeback and is quickly becoming one of their most important players
“Offensively youve got to look at the players brought in – Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus, theyve just not been good enough,” Sinclair added.
“One of the players that stands out straight away is Phil Foden. Hes the youngest but they need to take a leaf out of his book for the way hes put himself about, hes run and sacrificed his game out of possession to try and affect the game. I think hes been exceptional.
“The scoreline completely flattered that Man City performance, Cheltenham gave a great account of themselves.
“Foden does the nasty stuff, hes desperate to affect the game in the forward areas, he makes runs off the ball, hes not passive, he does in and tries to win the ball.
Foden and co. will play Swansea in the fifth round
“I thought too many of the Man City players were too passive tonight, they were going through the motions. They should look at Foden and think, if he can do it with the talent and age he is, I should be doing it.
“It was a great example of how to play against lower division players – don’t think its just going to happen, work your socks off, give every punch of energy youve got to try and affect that game, and I think Foden did that superbly well.
“Pep Guardiola will be relieved. With the quality City had on the bench, it was always a tough ask for Cheltenham , but they shouldnt have had to go to the bench, thats the problem!
“He shouldn’t have had to bring on Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan and Joao Cancelo, these are players who have been playing every three days in the premier league, they needed a rest, but with 30 minutes to go he had to bring them on because Man City were losing and they Didnt look like they were getting into the game any time soon.”