Youngster Cole Palmer starred as Manchester City swept aside League Two Swindon Town in a 4-1 win.

The 19-year-old assisted City’s first, after squaring the ball to Bernardo Silva, and spectacularly scored their fourth from a tight angle.


Palmer was superb on Friday night

Those goals were sandwiched by a strike from Gabriel Jesus, who capitalised on a mistake from the Swindon defence, and a Ilkay Gundogan free-kick.

Jesus had the chance to score another after his side were awarded a penalty, but it was well-saved by Swindon goalkeeper Lewis Ward.

Swindon did have their FA Cup moment, as Harry McKirdy fired past Zack Steffen in the City goal, but it was just a consolation for the Robins.

Gundogan scored a great free-kick


Gundogan scored a great free-kick

Jesus missed the chance to bag a brace


Jesus missed the chance to bag a brace

Townsend was impressed with the former Aston Villa forward, McKirdy, who scored four goals against Northampton in the league last week and looked good again tonight.

“His work rate tonight has been an example to everyone,” Townsend said live on talkSPORT.

“He has chased, put his head down, and most of it has been to no avail.

“Rodri gets caught, Williams chooses the right pass, the striker takes it from a tight angle, and fires it past Steffen.”

McKirdy bagged a consolation goal for Swindon


McKirdy bagged a consolation goal for Swindon

After dominating the majority of the possession, City took the lead in the 14th minute.

Palmer played the ball into the box which was met at the far post by Silva, who tapped it in from close range.

The visitors did not have to wait too long to double their lead, with Jesus firing past Ward just before the half-hour mark.

Swindon were caught unsuccessfully trying to play the ball out from the back, with City winning the ball back before Kevin De Bruyne played in the City number nine to finish.

There were appeals for a Swindon penalty

There were appeals for a Swindon penalty

Townsend was critical of their style of play, particularly in the first half, and labelled some of the way they were playing as ‘unnecessary’.

“They’re trying to play out from the back and City are after them like they’d come after Liverpool or Chelsea – with genuine pace,” Townsend said.

“Swindon are trying to play out with their centre-backs and that is naive. That’s not unlucky, that’s just not playing sensibly.

“There’s nothing wrong with playing in the right situation, but that was silly and unnecessary.”

Gundogan curled a free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner for City’s third, which all but secured his side’s place in the fourth round.

In the 78th minute, Swindon pulled a goal back, when McKirdy latched onto a ball from Jonny Williams and fired home for his fifth in two matches.

However, Manchester City restored their three-goal advantage almost immediately, when Palmer picked up the rebound from Silva’s strike, and fired into the far corner.

City held on for a 4-1 win to progress comfortably into the fourth round.

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