Manchester City hit four past Leicester City in FA Cup thriller.
|Picture courtesy of Sky Sports|
Goals from Carlos Tevez, Patrick Viera, Adam Johnson and Aleksander Kolarov sent City through to the next round, although a penalty from Paul Gallagher and a late Lloyd Dyer strike, as well as a Tevez penalty miss, did worry the blue side of Manchester for a few brief moments.
City made a clear statement with their starting line-up, with Roberto Mancini putting out a strong first eleven including captain Tevez, playing his second game in four days, with David Silva and Adam Johnson on the wings. Leicester, without new loan signing but ineligible Yakubu, played with Steve Howard as a lone striker.
Leicester started the better side and, after a cross seemed to cause confusion in the Manchester City defence, midfielder Andy King’s shot went over after the bar after good work from Howard, while centre-back Sol Bamba had a effort saved by Joe Hart just seconds later after the resulting corner. It was City, though, who had the best chance of the first five minutes –Johnson wasting the perfect opportunity to put Mancini’s side in front after he was put through on goal by Tevez. The former-Middlesbrough midfielder’s weak strike went straight at Leicester ‘keeper Chris Weale although Johnson seemed to be slipping as he steadied himself to shoot.
It wasn’t long though before City started to get a foothold in the game and, after a Jerome Boateng throw-in seemed to evade anyone in a yellow shirt, Tevez darted in and out between two Foxes defenders and fired into the far corner, past a helpless Weale.
A response was needed from Eriksson’s side, and a response is what came. After Patrick Viera brought down Lloyd Dyer in the penalty area referee Mark Halsey didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot, allowing Gallagher to thump the ball into the back of the net from the spot.
The game seemed to quieten down for a while but, as half-time approached, two goals in seventy-seven seconds soon got Eastlands rocking once again. First Viera tapped home after a David Silva shot was saved by Weale to make up for his earlier mistake, and then Johnson performed his special move, drifting in from the wings, ghosting behind the opposition defence and slotting home to give City a comfortable lead at the break and give City fans the chance to perform the now famous Poznan celebration.
With City comfortably winning, both sides seemed to become tighter in midfielder but, after a rare lapse of concentration from former Liverpool defender Jack Hobbs, Tevez had the chance to double his tally for the game and effectively put the game to bed. Hobbs took Tevez’ legs away from him after a turn inside the area from the Argentinean but, after much delay, Tevez, who was easily the best player on the pitch, lazily fired the ball straight down the middle at Weale, giving Leicester some hope at least.
With very little happening in the game, City seemed to be in control and looked to be cruising to an emphatic victory but, with under ten minutes to go, Dyer managed to escape the offside trap and, with Hart bearing down on him, slipped the ball into the back of the net to make sure that the last few minutes of the game would be nervous ones for Mancini and his side.
Nervous they were, but costly they were not. A fine strike from left-back Kolarov from just outside the box guided City into the next round, where they will face League One side Notts County at Meadow Lane in a competition which is certainly winnable from a Manchester City point of view.
Gallagher (pen) 19