Sunday, April 17, 2011

FA Cup-Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United.17042011

: 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.

The headline 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.

With 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 could muster.

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.

The 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.

With such 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.

With United 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.

No 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 !   

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