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This question is about the Apple TV series Ted Lasso.

We know that Richmond was relegated from the Premier League to the Championship after they lost to Man City at the end of season 1. So how are they playing against Man city again in season 2?

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According to IMDb's summary of the episode, the match is an FA Cup semi-final, not a league match. The FA Cup is a separate competition, open to teams all the way down to the tenth tier of English football, and while it's rare for teams from outside the Premier League to reach the semi-finals, it's not unheard of - at least one Championship team made the semi-finals every season between 2013 and 2015.

Two other points worth noting:

  • FA Cup semi-finals take place at the neutral venue of Wembley Stadium, rather than either team's home ground. The Richmond-Man City game in Season 2 does indeed take place in Wembley.
  • The team Richmond beat in the quarter-finals, Tottenham Hotspur, also play in the Premier League.
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  • I think a final point, from Wikipedia on who is eligible for the FA Cup: "The competition is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system – all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League (level 1) and the English Football League (levels 2 to 4), and several hundred non-League teams..." ... "In the modern era, only one non-League team has ever reached the quarter-finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final."
    – BruceWayne
    Sep 23 at 16:42
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    It's the same in Germany as well. One of the exciting features of the cup is that, depending on the lottery of how matches are assigned, a 10th level amateur club may play Man U or Chelsea in the first round, usually giving a huge boost in publicity (and ticket sales!) to that amateur club. What is also interesting, is that the amateur club can only win and the top club can only lose: if the match ends 15–0 for the top club, then that is expected. But if the match is highly contested, the top club "loses", even if they ultimately win the match. And sometimes, just sometimes, an amateur … Sep 23 at 16:49
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    … club manages to kick out a top club in the early rounds. In Germany, there is a saying: "Der Pokal hat seine eigenen Gesetze" ("The Cup has its own laws"), which is of course literally true, but also figuratively. Sep 23 at 16:50
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    @JörgWMittag Top teams don't enter the FA cup until the third round, so barring a lucky draw an amateur team will have to beat a lower division team or two before getting a chance to play against the likes of Man U.
    – richardb
    Sep 24 at 14:01
  • The German equivalent is the DFB Pokal, which includes all the Bundesliga teams and then selected second- and third-tier league teams all compete. This past January, perennial Bundesliga juggernaut, and champion for the past nine seasons, and, at that time, defending UEFA Champions League title holder, Bayern Munich were taken out on penalty kicks by a second-tier team. If Bayern could lose to a second-tier German team, then the Ted Lasso scenario isn't THAT far fetched. Sep 24 at 16:49

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