Bernardo Silva admits Manchester City’s players believe this season could be special with a clean sweep of trophies still possible.
City kept their quadruple hopes alive as a controversial 3-2 comeback win at Swansea took them into the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
The Premier League champions were 2-0 down to their Championship opponents, but three goals in the last 19 minutes kept them on course for an unprecedented four-trophy haul.
“I think all the players feel that this season can be special,” Silva said after City’s great escape in south Wales.
“Last season was special in the way we won the Premier League. This season can be special because we’ve already won one competition and we’re still playing for three.
“Our opponents have made it very complicated for us to win trophies this season, but I think we’ve been doing quite well and we’ll try to keep the momentum.”
City return after the international break with a trip to Fulham on March 30, the start of a hectic schedule which could see Pep Guardiola’s side play as many as eight games in April.
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) March 16, 2019
Boss Guardiola says he is “praying” his international players return fit after representing their countries.
Others like Aymeric Laporte, David Silva and Sergio Aguero, who are not on international duty, will have training programmes to follow but will also be given time off.
“We have to keep our focus, knowing that our opponents are very strong,” Bernardo Silva said after celebrating his new long-term contract by sparking the City comeback with his 10th goal of the season.
“In the semi-finals of the FA Cup it’s one game, anything can happen against very strong opponents.
“The Champions League is probably the most difficult competition in Europe, very difficult to win as well.
“The Premier League is very tight this season with Liverpool in a great momentum as well. So no competition will be easy.”
Matt Grimes’ penalty and a superb strike from Bersant Celina against his former club had given Swansea a shock 2-0 half-time lead.
But the hosts felt a deep sense of injustice as neither of City’s last two goals might have stood had VAR been in operation at the Liberty Stadium – and Guardiola said he was unhappy the video review system had not been used.
The Football Association had decided only Premier League stadiums would have VAR for the quarter-final despite Swansea, as a former top-flight club, being set up to use the technology.
“If it’s not a penalty, I’m sorry.”
“If it’s offside, I’m sorry.”
“VAR is not here, I don’t like it.”
An apologetic Pep Guardiola gives his view on Man City’s controversial win over Swansea 👀
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 16, 2019
Swansea skipper Mike Van Der Hoorn said: “I think it has to be equal. If you do it at one, you should have them at all. For us, and even for City, it’s a big game.
“We want to go to Wembley and that’s a bit weird (not to have VAR).
“Last year they did it here. So in this situation for us it would have been a big help, because it cost us two goals.
“But it’s not there, so we can’t do much about it. It’s top team luck, maybe.”