SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner reacted with pride after watching his team lose 4-1 at home to Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday night.

Bernardo Silva opened the scoring for City, Gabriel Jesus doubled the visitors’ lead before the break, and Ilkay Gundogan whipped in a lovely free-kick shortly before the hour as it looked like being a very long night for League Two Swindon.

The second half saw Lewis Ward save a Gabriel Jesus penalty before Harry McKirdy netted a wonderful consolation goal for the hosts.

Pep Guardiola’s men – without their imperious leader present due to Covid – went on to score a fourth through Cole Palmer’s emphatic strike late on.

Speaking afterwards, perfectionist Garner was frustrated his team didn’t keep the score at 0-0 for longer.

He said: “There was a lot of pride in that performance. I thought, tactically, our shape was very good, we were very organised and disciplined.

“I think we made it very hard for them to play – the disappointing thing was the goals we gave away in the first half were very avoidable.

“We didn’t make the right decisions, and that cost us to put us two behind which was frustrating.

“If they play through and open you up with 35 passes then it’s a little bit easier to swallow.

“I thought we were excellent in the second half – it was a fantastic goal, great to score.

“I thought we should have had a penalty as well, but that’s the best team in world football, in my opinion, and we’ve just gone toe-to-toe with them.

“We’ve got to take confidence from that, we’ve got to take the positives, and we’ve got to build that into our league programme now.”

While City’s first goal was sheer quality from Palmer to set up Silva for a tap in, the visitors’ second goal was down to Town’s mistakes.

After giving the ball away from a short goal kick, Town were helpless to stop City putting the ball in their net mere seconds later – a moment which Garner could not explain.

He said: “We work on things in training, and that wasn’t something we’d worked on.

“Sometimes in the limelight, you make random decisions – unfortunately, that’s what we did. That isn’t something we worked on or prepared for.

“That was frustrating, but I understand it’s a huge game for the players and sometimes you can make decisions that aren’t the right ones in the moment.

“But as I say, there are so many positives to take overall.”