Yaya Toure clinches FA Cup final berth as Paul Scholes is sent off
Manchester City are through to their first major final since 1981 after a second half goal from Yaya Toure was enough to beat rivals Manchester United at Wembley in the FA Cup in a game which saw Paul Scholes sent off for a dangerous lunge on Pablo Zabaleta. Roberto Mancini's men ended the treble hopes of United and ensured that the Sky Blues have the best chance of silverware in a generation.
With a large portion of the Manchester
population fighting the M1 closures to get to Wembley the blue half will
savour the return journey after an histroic result.
beforehand was the omission of both Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney but
the other players on show had the skill to make up for the lose.
such attacking talent on offer, a close, cautious game was not what was
expected but the opening exchanges proved very little in entertainment.
A pass behind the United defence from Yaya Toure to Mario Balotelli,
which ran a little out of the Italian’s reach was the most both sides
Dimitar Berbatov had the first true opening
of the game after 14 minutes when Michael Carrick’s wonderfully threaded
through ball was collected by Dimitar Berbatov who burst through the
City offside trap to only be denied by the alert Joe Hart. The England
‘keeper sensed the impending danger and tore off his line to close the
angles enough to suffocate the chance and keep United at bay.
pressure was still being applied when a jinking run from Nani along the
left byline could not have provided Berbatov with an easier chance to
score. Astonishingly, with the ball rolling no more than two yards from
goal line, Berbatov flung himself at the ball and incredibly spooned the
shot over Hart’s crossbar. The stadium roared as the respective fans
couldn’t believe what was unfolding in front of them.
glaring misses the omission of both Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney was
proving that both are the jewels in the collective Mancunian crowns and
without them, both teams are drastically less potent.
dictating the flow of the game, City were spending much the first
period in their own half until an effort from Gareth Barry which flashed
narrowly wide of Edwin Van der Sar’s right hand post, signalled it was
City’s turn to take the whip hand. A long range effort from Mario
Balotelli and a Joleon Lescott volley with his weaker foot continued
this trend but still the opening goal would not come.
The first half limped to it’s conclusion and both managers had much food for thought and work to do to break the deadlock.
changes were made at half time and City didn’t need to. A glaring error
from Carrick early in the second half was the moment which proved vital
as Yaya Toure made United pay dearly. The loose pass
was pounced upon by Toure whose powerful run was too much for Nemanja
Vidic and Edwin Van der Sar when the ball run through the Dutchman’s
leg. Wembley was a blue heaven.
City's mood was improved further
when an uncharacteristic foul from Paul Scholes earned a red from Mike
Dean and City started to truly believe that today was there day.
The journey back north would be as difficult as the one taken in the morning, but City fans would savour every mile.
p/s: Man.United will try next year in good performance !