The semi-final against United represents City’s biggest game since Gillingham. Whilst many play down the importance of the tie, the consequences of winning, or dare a mention losing it, are massive.
Winning would represent taking the old enemy on and beating them on a big stage at Wembley. A win would humble United and force them to take us more seriously; it would be a bitter pill to swallow for them. Winning would certainly not guarantee that City would win the tournament, as a match against Bolton or Stoke would surely be a tricky one. It would also display fears to the contrary that City cannot win games without Carlos Tevez.
A loss is unthinkable, and would be unbearable as it would give United another chance to directly reign supreme over us in the derby stakes, it would also leave City contemplating another year being trophy-less one. And whilst qualifying for the Champions League (which is by no means a forgone conclusion) would represent real progress for City fans, missing a chance to win a major trophy again would be a big blow for City.
It does represent real progress that City are now putting themselves into contention to win major trophies, reaching semi-finals in consecutive years is pleasing, but there is obviously a massive difference between putting yourself in contention and actually winning a tournament. I genuinely feel that winning the FA Cup in conjunction with qualifying for the Champions league this year could catapult City into the upper echelons of European football quicker than we may have imagined.
I think the winning feeling would be infectious throughout the club, and as soon as we do win something, I think we can expect many more trophies to follow. So hopefully City can directly end years of torment by beating United in the semi-final and if they do it could set them on the road to something special.