Man City versus Chelsea in semi final of FA Cup from Wembley - Manchester City FC

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Nasri
Season2012/13
Neutral
  • Chelsea

    Chelsea 1

    Ba (66mins)

  • Manchester City

    City 2

    Nasri (35mins), Aguero (47mins)

City and their boss Roberto Mancini have continued their love affair with the FA Cup reaching a second final in three years.

Chelsea were despatched 2-1 in a stylish fashion in a fast-paced all-action semi-final at Wembley

The Blues will now face Wigan Athletic in the decider next month.

Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero grabbed the goals that saw the Champions home though the eventual margin of victory hardly reflected Manchester’s superiority for most of the contest.

The first of the decisive moments came in the 35th minute when Nasri, guided the ball into the Chelsea net after a fortunate bounce fell his way.

Nasri goal

Yaya Toure, who always seems to spark into life at English football’s home, was the catalyst as, not for the first time during the afternoon, he drove at a retreating and seemingly awe struck Chelsea defence.

The Ivorian fed Aguero who released Nasri with a wonderful touch. Initially the Frenchman tried to repay the compliment but his attempted pass rebounded back to him.

Luckily the ball fell back at Nasri’s feet and he needed no second invitation to find the net.

Aguero further pummelled Chelsea’s fragile resistance just two minutes into the second half when he rose just high enough to guide Gareth Barry’s cross into the far corner of the net past a rooted Cech.

At that moment Chelsea looked spent and omnipotent City back to their barnstorming best.

Sergio celebrate

Despite brief attacking flurries during which Vincent Kompany was forced to clear off the line from Edin Hazard, City held sway for most of the opening half in what was a riveting contest and a great advert for the competition.

In many ways this was the FA Cup’s immovable object against its Unstoppable Force.

Forget that the two sides went into the game in second and third spot in the Premier League and as reigning English and European Champions, both City and Chelsea have enjoyed a requited passion with the Cup.

City came into this heavyweight semi-final having lost just once in the venerable competition in the past three seasons and without conceding a goal in this year’s march to Wembley. They were also able to boast nine wins from 11 semi-final appearances.

The London blues were attempting to reach the final – and win it – for the fifth time in seven years.

Pretty awesome records no matter which way they are sliced and diced.

Yaya

There were shocks before the game with managers Mancini and Benitez leaving out some big names and doing without others through injury.

City’s boss preferred Costel Pantilimon, the Romanian international, over Joe Hart in goal thereby maintaining a selection he had made in every round prior to the last four. Benitez for his part could find no place in the starting eleven for his Stamford Bridge stalwarts John Terry and Frank Lampard.

Fernando Torres, who has scored more goals this season than any of the City hitmen, was also consigned to the bench.

Despite the terrace talk about Pantilimon it was opposite number Petr Cech who was in the spotlight on the pitch saving from both of City’s livewire Argentine strikers Tevez and Aguero in the opening eleven minutes.

City also wasted a great chance just before the interval when Kompany was wide with a shot after Cech parried James Milner’s cross.

 

Thanks to Aguero’s goal that miss was soon a distant memory and City seemed set to boss the rest of the contest at whatever pace they deemed necessary.

 

...Chris Bailey...

However, Chelsea under Benitez have proved remarkably resilient and Ba, latching on to a long ball from David Luiz, halved the deficit in the 66th minute.

The goal breathed life, spirit and adventure into Chelsea and Pantilimon had to spread his giant frame to thwart Hazard but despite late Torres’ claims for a penalty, City saw the game out well to book a place in the final for the second time in three years.

Wednesday now sees a dress rehearsal for that showpiece game at the Etihad when Wigan visit for a Premier League game – tickets still available. In this form the Blues are worth seeing!

 

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Match details

Sunday 14 April 2013, 4:00PM

Wembley Att:85,621
FA Cup with Budweiser

Referee:
Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Teams

Chelsea:

Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel (Torres 66mins), Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Ba

Unused subs:
Turnbull, Moses, Terry, Benayoun, Ake, Lampard.

Bookings:
Ramires

Manchester City:

Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Milner, Barry, Nasri (Lescott 86mins), Aguero, Tevez (Garcia 72mins)

Unused subs:
Hart, Kolo Toure, Kolarov, Sinclair, Dzeko

Bookings:
Barry, Yaya Toure, Kompany

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.

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