Thursday, 3 March 2011

Man City 3 - 0 Aston Villa

Manchester City booked an FA Cup quarter-final at home to Reading with a comfortable win over Aston Villa.
Yaya Toure gave the home side an early lead when he smashed in from close range after Aleksandar Kolarov's corner fell into his path.
Mario Balotelli doubled the lead when he finished beautifully high into the Villa goal after racing on to Toure's raking pass.
And David Silva made sure of victory after the break with a fierce drive.
Villa managed only two shots on target and the inquest will have already begun as to why manager Gerard Houllier left key attackers such as Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and Marc Albrighton on the bench.
The French manager was made to pay for his decision after only five minutes.
Kolarov's left-wing corner was nodded towards goal by Patrick Vieira. The ball then struck Ciaran Clark's arm en route to landing at the feet of Toure, who quick as a flash lashed in.
It was unlucky for 21-year-old Clark, who was filling in at central defence and doing his best to keep one eye on the lively Balotelli.
Unfortunately for him and fellow defender Richard Dunne, neither could keep pace with the speedy Italian forward, who ran on to Toure's long ball and provided a sumptuous finish to make it 2-0.
City scored the goals but periods of ball possession were shared - the difference being Villa lacked bite in the opposition final third.
They did cause slight panic in the City defence when Emile Heskey cut inside into the area and tried to place his shot into the bottom left but England keeper Joe Hart managed to push away the effort.
It was expected that Villa boss Houllier would make changes at the break but he waited until the 71st minute to bring on the cavalry and that was only in reaction to going 3-0 down.
City's third was again a thing of beauty. Pablo Zabaleta delivered a looping cross from the right which was headed out by Chris Herd but only to Silva who arrowed the ball past keeper Brad Friedel.
The American stopper kept the deficit down to three with two good blocks to deny Carlos Tevez and a low save to prevent fellow City substitute Jo from scoring.
Villa's second-half attacks were restricted to free-kicks around the City area, but they were either easily cleared by the home defence or sailed over the bar.
Villa fans were left disgruntled while City still have hope of ending their 35-year spell without a trophy.

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