FOX Soccer Exclusive
Tevez powers Manchester City through
Manchester City secured a berth in the FA Cup semifinals Saturday with a comfortable 5-0 win over second-division Barnsley. A hat trick from Carlos Tevez and goals from Aleksandar Kolarov and David Silva easily led the Citizens to Wembley.
The Tykes, dead last in the Championship, had nonetheless come into the Etihad on something of a hot streak under new manager David Flitcroft, and from the outset looked confident enough despite having to face the reigning Premier League champs. It was wishful thinking as it only took City eleven minutes to disabuse them of any notions of an upset.
Tevez would strike first, turning home a rebound off the post after Luke Steele made a vain save on a flick from Silva. Tevez would then set up the second 15 minutes later, rifling the ball across Steele’s goalmouth to find a sliding Kolarov at the far post for an easy tuck-in.
Tevez’ second – and City’s third – came after Silva collected in space and made four Barnsley defenders hesitate, allowing the Spaniard to chip it to Tevez for a powerful turn on Steele’s goal. He would complete the hat trick after the break, one-timing a cross from Samir Nasri to the near post. Silva completed the misery off a cross from Tevez to one-time it at Steele. The keeper saved it, but couldn’t hold it, and Silva walked the ball into the net.
City isolated strike pair Marlon Harewood and Chris Dagnall, forcing Barnsley to play much of the match in their own half. In fact, Barnsley didn’t get a shot off on Costel Pantilimon’s net in the first half and wouldn’t force a save until an hour in. They were forced apart as the Sky Blues pulled, prodded and ultimately breached the Tykes’ defense with a series of dazzling passing moves. Tevez and David Silva were the focal point of the day’s action, with the Argentine looking particularly motivated after his latest contretemps, an arrest after he was caught driving on a suspended license.
The game slowed in the final half hour to a more sedate pace in the cold and rain, with the only blemish being the early removal of Tevez for what he indicated was a slight knock. The City fans serenaded Barnsley out of the Etihad with a chant of “Championship, you’re having a laugh.”
They had a point, as the gulf in class between these two sides was wide indeed.
Earlier Saturday, Wigan stunned Everton with a four-minute flurry of goals to eject the Toffees from the FA Cup. Goals by Maynor Figueroa, Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez, gave Wigan a deserved 3-0 win and put the Latics in their first-ever FA Cup semifinal.
Everton were missing American keeper Tim Howard, who was discovered to have broken two bones in his back in the Toffees’ fifth-round tie against Oldham 11 days prior. His replacement, Jan Mucha, could do little about the goals as Everton’s defense simply evaporated. Howard’s injury will have larger repercussions: he is almost certain to miss two critical World Cup qualifiers this month for the USA against Costa Rica and Mexico.
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