Stoke City 3 Manchester City 1 (AET)

FA Cup Fifth Round Replay
Wednesday 24 February 2010, 19:45 KO

City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Lescott, Bridge (Santa Cruz 87), Zabaleta, Kompany, Bellamy, Ireland (Wright-Phillips 62), Barry (Sylvinho 108), Adebayor
Unused: Taylor, Garrido, Boyata, de Jong
Goals: Bellamy (81)
Booked: Richards, Zabaleta, Bellamy
Sent Off: Adebayor

Referee: Steve Bennett
Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany

City returned to the Britannia Stadium with ambitions of beating Stoke at the third attempt in as many weeks, and it was the visitors who started the brighter. With nine minutes gone, both Adebayor and Bellamy had almost caught Sorensen possession, before the former forced the goalkeeper into a good save with a shot from range.

Four minutes later, Onuoha and Kompany went for the same ball at a City corner and couldn’t force a header on target, with the latter nodding the ball well wide, as City pressed.

Soon after, Barry stabbed an attempt at goal with his right foot, but couldn’t get anything on it to trouble the goalkeeper, before Adebayor and Bellamy found themselves with a two on one. Adebayor squared for Bellamy, but his first touch was too heavy and Sorenson was out quickly to block.

City will have been regretting their wasted chances as the half wore on, with Stoke getting back into the game as the break approached. Several Delap long throws were a little close for comfort, before a series of corners needed an excellent block by Richards to deny Whelan.

And the second half carried on in the same manner, as the hosts dominated possession and play. City were still looking dangerous on the break, though, but Sorensen was equal to City’s crosses.

Bellamy had a volley deflected for a corner, before Onuoha was in the right place to put in an excellent tackle on Fuller as he tried to break. The second half was something of a scrappy affair with few chances, Barry heading over from a Wright-Phillips cross the best that either side could muster.

With 79 minutes on the clock, Kitson played a neat one-two with Tuncay and rolled the return pass into the net and past Shay Given, handing the advantage to the home side, with just over ten minutes to go.

But, two minutes later, any thoughts of a trip to Stamford Bridge for the hosts were cut short, as City levelled. Adebayor did well to chest down a cross and Bellamy found the back of the net with a volley.

Though, having gotten themselves back into the game, City handed the initiative straight back to the home side. Adebayor saw a straight red card for throwing an arm at Shawcross and the ten men would have to work hard to stay in the competition.

The visitors could have won it at the end of normal time as Santa Cruz was sent through, but Sorensen was out quickly to head it clear. And then Stoke could have won it through Shawcross, who headed just wide after a scramble in the City box.

The first action of extra time saw City on the front foot. Bellamy forced a corner, before Richards floated a header wide. Lescott and Onuoha then put in vital blocks in the City box to keep the scores level.

But then, City failed, once again, to deal with one of Stoke’s main weapons: The Rory Delap throw-in. The Stoke man hurled the ball into the box and Given came and missed it, as Shawcross nodded the ball into the net.

And then, three minutes later, Tuncay effectively won the tie for the home side. Kitson broke away from the City defence, found Tuncay, who cut inside and slotted the ball home, with Lescott diving in to try and stop it on the line.

City were down and out and looked it throughout the second half of extra time. Richards had a header just wide, Wright-Phillips had an effort comfortably saved and Santa Cruz found himself in space, but Sorensen was equal to his effort.

It was the end of the road for a trip to Wembley for City this season and disappointment in a game that they should have gone on to win, especially after the opening half hour. But it was the home side who deserved the win in the end and it’s Stoke who will make the trip to Stamford Bridge.

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