FA Cup Quarter Final
Sunday 13 March 2011, 16:45 KO
City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, de Jong (Barry 84), Vieira (Balotelli 70), Y Touré, Wright-Phillips (Boyata 90), Silva, Tevez (c)
Unused: Taylor, Razak, Jo, Dzeko
Goals: Richards (74)
Booked: Kompany, Richards
Referee: Lee Probert
Man of the Match: Nigel de Jong
With the FA Cup draw having already been made before kick-off, City knew that a victory over Reading would set up a mouth-watering Manchester derby at Wembley. And it didn’t look like City wanted that place in the semi-final, as the game got off to a slow start, with neither team taking the initiative.
In the opening ten minutes, Wright-Phillips was flagged just offside from a Silva through ball, a Kolarov corner was too deep for Vieira to nod back and Lescott had to be alert to get in a timely clearance as the visitors tried to break.
Wright-Phillips was then denied by a great save as he broke into the area and, from the rebound, Silva was denied by an even better save, as he attempted to slot it into the net while the goalkeeper was still on the ground. Unfortunately for the home side, though, it fell to the Spaniard’s right foot and he couldn’t get the power in his finish.
Kompany picked up a yellow card for a late challenge, before Wright-Phillips again went close from the right side of the box, firing the ball into the side netting as Alex covered his post. Kolarov then put a City free kick over the bar, as the home side tried to create that crucial chance.
Just before the half hour, Yaya Touré should have scored when he found himself one-on-one with Alex, but he drilled his shot straight at the goalkeeper and the ball bounced out for a throw-in. Silva then miss-kicked a golden opportunity at the back post, before a move involving him and Wright-Phillips ended with a shot straight at Alex.
The second half arrived and City tried to continue where they left off – but hoping to turn that pressure into goals. Kolarov caused panic in the Reading box with a wicked corner delivery and Tabb was needed to clear it off the line, before Kompany sliced the ball behind for a Reading corner, though the hosts cleared comfortably.
Tevez was then unlucky not to find the net with a cute flick after some good work by Silva to wriggle free in the box, before Wright-Phillips won the ball on the edge of the box and crossed for Tevez, but the Argentinean’s shot was miss-kicked and didn’t make the goal. Goal number 51 just won’t go in for him at the moment.
With 66 minutes played, Richards headed down into the ground and it was looping into the back post until a touch from Alex put it behind for a City corner. It was a sign of things to come, though, and six minutes later, the right back connected to a Silva corner and powered the ball into the back of the net.
That prompted a spell of pressure from the visitors. They weren’t, however, able to create a clear cut chance – the best coming from Shane Long as he got the better of Lescott, but couldn’t beat Joe Hart, who was able to hold onto the forward’s shot. After four minutes of added time and added pressure, City held on for their first trip to the new Wembley and the first FA Cup semi final since 1981.