Sunday, 17 April 2011

City end Man United’s hopes of winning the treble

Manchester United's dream of repeating their 1999 treble was ended by a goal from Yaya Toure, a strike that takes Manchester City to their first FA Cup final since 1981. The Sky Blues will face the winners of Sunday's semi-final between Bolton and Stoke next month at Wembley.
United had beaten Chelsea in the quarter-final of the Champions League in midweek and the Red Devils began against Manchester City looking as though they would take another step towards securing a domestic league and cup double as well as European glory.
In the opening few minutes Dimitar Berbatov – starting in place of the suspended Wayne Rooney – wasted two chances to give United the lead. Joe Hart pulled off a great block on the first occasion and then the Bulgarian blasted wide from six yards when it would have been easier to score.
City only began to find their feet late on in the first half with Mario Balotelli forcing a fine save from Edwin Van der Sar with a thunderous shot.
City took the lead on 52 minutes when Michael Carrick gave away the ball to Toure, who then skipped past the challenge of Nemanja Vidic and coolly fired past Van der Sar. City came close to extending their lead shortly after when Adam Johnson had a near post effort scrambled away by the Dutch keeper and Joleon Lescott headed wide from David Silva's inviting cross.
With time running out United's frustrations got the better of them and Paul Scholes was shown a straight red on 73 minutes for a shocking challenge on Pablo Zabaleta that not even Alex Ferguson could defend.
"With Paul, we've seen it over his career. He's had unbelievable moments and is a great player, one of the greatest ever at this club but he has these red mist moments and this was another one," said the United manager later.
Ferguson went on to rue Berbatov's early errors, saying: "The chance that Dimitar missed - there was a great save by the keeper but the second chance, from under the bar, if he'd have scored there it could have been different - I had a feeling whoever scored first would win the match. We were a wee bit sloppy and it got them on the counter-attack against us."
City boss Robert Mancini, now just one game away from guiding the club to their first silverware in 35 years, urged the fans not to get carried away ahead of next month's final.
"Today we have only won the semi-final [and] I'm very happy for the supporters," he said, adding: "They have never had a day like this afternoon but for us it's important we forget it. We still have to play another game. Probably the final will be harder than this."

No comments:

Post a Comment