Cheltenham deserves so much credit for their performance, and City struggled with a side that is-well organised again this season.
Every single one of Duff’s players performed well, but the void in class proved too much in the end. Cheltenham will return to League Two, while Man City will face Swansea in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Alfie May put the Robins ahead with half an hour to go, impressions of Hereford United and Newcastle, Chelsea and Bradford, Sutton United and Coventry City, Wrexham and Arsenal and, yes, Halifax Town and Manchester City went through the minds of FA Cup fans everywhere.
Magnificently resilient in defence, Cheltenham came within eight minutes of writing their names alongside those giant-killers before their hearts were broken.
A superb second-half comeback from Man City breaks Cheltenham’s hearts in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Duff’s men had done so well to take the lead through May, and they looked to be doing enough to keep Guardiola’s men at bay.
But Foden’s goal changed the flow of the match, and the goals soon came quickly.
After hitting the post earlier in the match, Jesus made amends with a neat finish, before Torres scored a third with the last kick of the game.
City threw everything at Cheltenham now. Another brilliant through ball from Foden released Mahrez with 20 minutes to go but once again, Griffiths refused to be beaten.
Mahrez tried to hook the ball past him with his right foot but Griffiths obstructed it with his body. It felt then that City was never going to score, that this was destined to be Cheltenham’s day.
Cheltenham held on until eight minutes from time when one of their blizzard of substitutes, Joao Cancelo, curled a cross into the box and Foden ghosted in at the back post to volley it past Griffiths.
Suddenly, City looked relieved and two minutes later, they took the lead. Fernandino floated a pass over the Cheltenham defence, Jesus controlled it, turned and lashed his shot past Griffiths.
Cheltenham pleaded hopelessly for an offside as if they could not quite believe their dream was dying but the decision was ignored and there was no VAR.
Torres scored the third in the dying seconds, which was a final blow the home team did not deserve.
They were so close to writing their names large in the history of this competition but they could not find a way back.