January 2007
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Manchester City 3 Southampton 1                  FA Cup Round 4
Sunday January 28th, 2007: Michael Walker for GYKO at the COMSTAD

Things became heated at Manchester City yesterday but it would be an exaggeration to say it was Cup fever. Stuart Pearce's post-match announcement regarding England's Under-21s was more compelling than most of the action had been. City were only occasionally fluent in a stadium of missing persons but they are in the hat for the fifth round and it was a day when the bottom line mattered more than anything else, even England, especially after Kenwyne Jones gave Southampton a 23rd-minute lead.

Had the Saints held on to it for more than a few minutes this might have been a trial for Pearce, but Darius Vassell nipped that possibility in the bud quickly and Joey Barton's goal on the stroke of half-time changed the mood of the afternoon. City never looked back and deserve credit for perseverance.
So there remains in this part of the world the fantasy of an all Manchester final. United were represented here by Carlos Queiroz and Mike Phelan but they were more interested in Saints' 17-year-old left-back Gareth Bale than their local rivals. Tottenham appear to have moved in front of United in the race for Bale's signature but, with the Cardiff-born boy said to fancy Old Trafford more than White Hart Lane, twists are expected to come.

Anyway Bale's current manager, George Burley, said afterwards that his young talent would not be leaving, certainly not this month. "Gareth Bale's here and Gareth Bale will be at the club until the end of the season and hopefully for one more after that," Burley said. There was defiance in the Scot's tone but he knows that money talks too.

Bale played well yesterday but, as with Southampton as a team, some weaker moments undermined good work. That enabled City to progress and after the previous game here - a 3-0 defeat by Blackburn Rovers - Pearce and his club needed that. "Obviously we made it a little difficult for ourselves but I think in the end we deserved to win," the manager said.

He had praise for Barton and suggested he should be in the next England squad but it was the tidy, less extrovert player alongside him, Stephen Ireland, who threw subtle light on a humdrum occasion.

The 20-year-old midfielder does not have the benefit of forwards who read and make good his teasing through-balls and Ireland must have been dismayed to see the leaden Georgios Samaras all but miss his kick after Ireland had lanced the visitors' back four.

Samaras was clean through yet all Kelvin Davis had to do was to pick the ball up. From Davis it went swiftly to David McGoldrick and his 40-yard pass was met on the bounce by Jones as Nicky Weaver charged recklessly off his line and clattered into Sylvain Distin. It was a poor goal from a Blue perspective and Ireland must have experienced particular frustration.

As the ball sailed into the net, City looked a little bedraggled. The near-immediate restoration of parity was essential to the overall recovery. Bale will not reflect happily on his part in the equaliser, the teenager being harassed off the ball by Hatem Trabelsi in the corner of his penalty area. The ball ran to Vassell and his volley beat Davis at his near post.

That was too soon for Southampton to exploit their lead and a stadium lacking atmosphere. Instead City encouraged some cheer with sporadic attacks and Bale cleared off the line a Samaras cross in the 42nd minute. But then in first-half injury-time Ireland delivered a pass almost identical to the one that teed up Samaras. Now Barton was the receiver and with his left foot he calmly beat Davis. Barton then celebrated in front of the visiting fans. Pearce says he is more mature these days.

DaMarcus Beasley sealed the win, the American scoring his first City goal from a long pass by Richard Dunne. Davis made it a bit too easy for Beasley, a comment that could apply to Southampton who, as Burley said, have big league games this week against Sheffield Wednesday and Burley's former club, Derby County.
 

  • Man City: Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Beasley, Barton (Hamann 86), Dabo, Ireland, Trabelsi, Vassell (Abdoun 89), Samaras (Miller 76).
    Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Corradi.

    Booked:
    Vassell, Trabelsi.

    Goals: Vassell 26, Barton 45, Beasley 70.

    Southampton: Davis, Ostlund (Licka 63), Baird, Powell, Bale, McGoldrick, Viafara, Pele, Wright, Rasiak (Wright-Phillips 63), Jones.
    Subs Not Used: Bialkowski, Dyer, Makin.

    Booked: Ostlund, Jones.

    Goals: Jones 23.

    Att: 26,496

    Ref: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).
     

  • Manchester City 0 Blackburn Rovers 3          Back to reality
    Saturday January 20th, 2007: Ian Whittell at the City of Manchester Stadium



    Two stunning goals from Blackburn winger Morten Gamst Pedersen helped bring the curtain down on Manchester City's recent revival. Pedersen struck before half-time with a powerful header and then followed up on the hour with a sweeping free-kick before substitute Matt Derbyshire completed the triumph in the 90th minute.

    It could have been a different story for City if referee Phil Dowd had spotted a clear handball from David Bentley before Pedersen had broken the deadlock. Instead an unbeaten of run of four matches over the Christmas and New Year period that had yielded 10 points was brought to a sudden halt at Eastlands.

    The victory, Blackburn's first at City for 12 years, means manager Mark Hughes' side are back in the top half of the table for the first time in three months. It also proved they can cope adequately without the services of now former captain Lucas Neill after his decision to move to West Ham, with that deal likely to be completed on Monday. Hughes has Liverpool's Stephen Warnock lined up as replacement for the Australian, but with Neill on his way Hughes was forced into a late reshuffle for this game.

    Robbie Savage was surprisingly handed the captain's armband and, while he may not be many people's choice as a leader who sets the ideal example, he steered the side through a tricky encounter. Rovers were composed and accomplished, although they failed to make any headway until taking the lead just before the interval. Prior to that they had dominated possession, passing the ball neatly and crisply, but with City again resilient in defence.

    Instead, it should have been Stuart Pearce's side taking the lead, only for referee Dowd to somehow miss Bentley's handball on the goalline in the 31st minute. From City's second corner, whipped into the area by Ousmane Dabo, Micah Richards rose unchallenged to power in a header. Replays showed Bentley attempting to clear with his right foot before the ball struck his outstretched left arm. Despite standing just five yards away, and with an unobstructed view of the incident, Dowd waved away the penalty appeals that followed from the City players. As Rovers had conceded more penalties this season than any other Premiership team with nine coming into this game, many of which Hughes has contested, they were perhaps due an element of fortune.

    Yet while lady luck smiled on Blackburn in that respect, Hughes immediately suffered another defensive blow with the loss of Andre Ooijer. As Bentley was using his arm to good effect, City striker Bernardo Corradi fell on Ooijer who appeared to severely twist his ankle as he too went to ground on top of the Italian. Several minutes of treatment followed before he was taken off on a stretcher and replaced at right-back by Brett Emerton.

    After captain Richard Dunne headed another corner from Dabo over the crossbar, Bentley then played a key role in helping Blackburn break the deadlock 70 seconds from the interval. Delivering a piercing cross from the right wing, Pedersen raced onto the inch-perfect ball to plant a bullet header past Nicky Weaver who previously had had nothing to do.

    Pearce opted for a half-time shake-up by bringing on DaMarcus Beasley and Georgios Samaras for Trevor Sinclair and Corradi. Within six minutes of the restart Samaras came within inches of hauling City level.
    However, a curled shot from the edge of the area shaved the left-hand post after deflecting off the head of Zurab Khizanishvili.

    Amid a spate of bookings for Rovers players - Stephane Henchoz, Emerton and James McEveley - Benni McCarthy almost made it 2-0. Savage first won a 50-50 challenge with Dunne in midfield, with the ball springing forward to Shabani Nonda. A short ball on to McCarthy allowed the South African to run at the City defence before unleashing a 19-yard left-foot drive that flashed past Weaver's left-hand post.

    After Dunne joined the yellow card recipients in the 61st minute, Rovers then duly opened up a two-goal cushion. A foul from Richards on Pedersen led to the Norway international curling a stunning 22-yard free-kick around the wall to take his tally to five for the season.

    City should have pulled one back in the 66th minute, only for Friedel to make a point-blank save to Vassell's side-foot volley after being picked out by Beasley's precision left-wing cross.

    That was as close as City came before Derbyshire wrapped up the points late on with a precise finish inside Weaver's left-hand post.

    Get Your Kits Out View : Another hugely disappointing game at the COMSTAD. Nothing to say about this excuse of a performance other than can I have my thirty quid back please, I wish to invoke the sale of goods act because this was neither entertaining, exciting or any other ing - I'm gutted. Also please Stuart, I will never lose the faith but for heavens sake stop mentioning Europe, we aren't good enough.

    Teams

    Man City Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin,Trabelsi (Miller 75), Sinclair (Beasley 46), Ireland, Dabo,Jordan, Vassell, Corradi (Samaras 46).

    Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Johnson.

    Booked: Dunne.

    Blackburn Friedel, Ooijer (Emerton 35), Henchoz,Khizanishvili, McEveley, Bentley, Kerimoglu (Gallagher 84),Savage, Pedersen, Nonda (Derbyshire 78), McCarthy.

    Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Peter.

    Booked: Henchoz, Emerton, McEveley.

    Goals: Pedersen 44, 62, Derbyshire 90.

    Att: 36,590

    Ref: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

    Manchester City 2  Sheffield Wednesday  1  - FA Cup 3rd round rep
    Tuesday January 16, 2007: Get Your Kits Out at the COMSTAD


    Thirty-eight years have passed since Manchester City last won the FA Cup and there is plenty of improvement needed, particularly in attack, if they are to end that long, undistinguished sequence this year. Yet Stuart Pearce's team are into the fourth round, where they will host Southampton, after overcoming a spirited challenge from Sheffield Wednesday.
    There was plenty to admire about the Championship side but City were ultimately too strong and the margin of victory would have been greater had it not been for Mark Crossley's goalkeeping at the age of 37. As it was, City had to endure some anxious moments after Stephen Ireland gave them the lead shortly before half-time. Lee Bullen, the Wednesday captain, headed in an equaliser early in the second half but Darius Vassell promptly restored City's lead on a night when the only real disappointment for Pearce was the sight of a half-empty stadium at a time when admission prices had been slashed to as low as £15 for Adults and £5 for the nippers and senior cityzens. Indeed this was City's lowest attendance at the COMSTAD for an FA Cup match inspite of the low admission prices.

    Inflatable yellow bananas seem to be making a comeback among City's supporters but this was a night when the atmosphere was far removed from Cup nights of old at Maine Road. Vast expanses of blue seats were left redundant and the vast majority of noise emanated from the 6,000 supporters shoehorned into the away end. Wednesday's was a loud and boisterous contingent and they were encouraged by the way their side set about bridging the gap between the Premiership and the hoi polloi of the Football League. The Championship team were strong in the tackle, quick to the ball and lacked no shortage of ambition.
    Crucially, however, their defending was notably inferior to the level of opposition to which City are accustomed. Twice in the opening 34 minutes, Ireland sent Vassell running clear of the defence only for Crossley, Wednesday's goalkeeper, to thwart him on both occasions. A fault-line had appeared in the visitors' offside trap and when it happened a third time not even Crossley could save them.

    This time Trevor Sinclair sent Joey Barton scampering towards goal on the right of the penalty area. The midfielder had two choices: either to try to beat Crossley from a tight angle or square the ball into Ireland's path. Unselfishly, Barton made the right choice and Ireland did the rest for his second goal of the season.

    On the balance of play, City just about merited the lead. Wednesday, however, will reflect on a number of their own chances in this period. Marcus Tudgay and Steve MacLean both had opportunities to score at 0-0 and Chris Brunt whistled a 25-yard effort only inches over the crossbar. Brian Laws, the Wednesday manager, had reminded his players before kick-off that City had lost to Doncaster, Chesterfield and Oldham in various cup ties over the last two years. The message was clear: City are notoriously vulnerable when playing teams from leagues below them.

    The theory was given credence five minutes into the second half. Brunt whipped in a dangerous free-kick and Bullen darted in front of Sinclair to divert the ball beyond Nicky Weaver.

    Within three minutes Crossley denied Vassell for a third time but in City's next attack the former England striker finally accepted one of his opportunities in front of goal. The paradox was that it was probably the hardest chance of all.

    Vassell, without a goal in his previous 10 games, had defenders in close proximity and was at a difficult angle when Bernardo Corradi flicked the ball into his path. Vassell took one touch to get the ball under control then turned and fired in a diagonal shot that was still rising as it speared into the top corner of Crossley's goal.

    Wednesday huffed and puffed but Tudgay volleyed over their only real chance of note in the final stages.

    Get Your Kits Out View : Not wishing to keep repeating myself this stuff isn't going to bring the crowds flocking into the COMSTAD which is a great shame. The club has a wonderful cup tradition and due to my aging years I have many fond memories of great cup matches involving the Blues but they are beginning to fade into the ether as they become fewer and fewer. Sheffield had a fighting spirit and cavalier approach to their game which hopefully didn't go unnoticed by our management. On a final note - is it just me or is it patently obvious that Dabo cannot pass a ball to save his life. Surely the official stats make it glaringly apparent that this guy should be given a ticket home and any one of our youngsters could be getting the experience of first team football. 

    Man City: Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Sinclair, Barton, Ireland, Dabo, Vassell (Beasley 90), Corradi (Samaras 76).
    Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Johnson, Miller.

    Booked: Sinclair.

    Goals: Ireland 44, Vassell 56.

    Sheff Wed: Crossley, Simek (Wood 88), Bullen, Coughlan, Spurr, Tudgay, Lunt (Folly 46), Whelan, Brunt, MacLean, Burton (Small 46).
    Subs Not Used: Adamson, Graham.

    Booked: Coughlan, Whelan.

    Goals: Bullen 51.

    Att: 25,621

    Ref: M Dean (Wirral)

     

    Bolton  0  Manchester City  0        Defence hold the Trotters
    Saturday January 13th 2007 : Richard Bott at the Reebok for Get Your Kits Out


    Stuart Pearce headed for Europe last night on a mission to find a goalscorer in Manchester City’s price range before the transfer window closes.

    Bolton boss Sam Allardyce, the Barclays Manager of the Month for December, admitted his side had been "below par" in a game which they could have won and City should have.
    Joey Barton runs his socks off in City’s cause and they welcomed him back after a three-match ban for a reckless lunge when Bolton beat City 2-0 at Eastlands only three weeks ago.

    But Barton’s afternoon of unstinting effort came to nothing when he fluffed a golden chance bang in front of Bolton’s goal after 68 minutes. Bernardo Corradi, who simply cannot find a lethal finish, had already scythed at and missed Darius Vassell’s cross.

    The fact that Corradi and his strike partner Vassell were substituted highlighted City’s problem up front on a day Pearce’s team stretched their unbeaten run to five.

    "We’re delighted with a point," said City assistant manager Steve Wigley.

    City have switched to a 3-5-2 formation and were marshalled expertly by Richard Dunne as the cornerstone, ably assisted by his young cohorts Micah Richards and Nedum Onuoha.

    Allardyce said: "We were below par on a sticky pitch and didn’t create very much — but credit City’s rearguard. At least we got something out of the game."

    Kevin Davies, arguably the best target man in the country on his form for Bolton this season, battled on for more than half an hour after jarring his right ankle in a clash with Barton in the first half.

    Without him for the last half-hour, Bolton struggled to produce a telling final pass or finish. Bolton looked strong enough to continue their impressive challenge for a Champions League place.

    They missed the drive of Kevin Nolan in midfield after he failed a fitness test and will want the other Kevin — Davies — back in action as quickly as possible.

    Meanwhile goal-shy City merely have to find a way to unlock Sheffield Wednesday’s defence in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay.

    Get Your Kits Out View : I find it quite difficult to criticise City at the moment because these results are so important and we are steadily building a very very good defence but, there's always a but with City it seems, the football is appalling at times. For City to come away from the Reebok with a draw, however, shows how they have toughened up over the past few weeks.  If SP can improve the midfield as he has done with the defence then things will improve but today Jaaskelainen didn't have a shot on target to save although to be fair Corradi and Barton were guilty of seriously misfiring when it seemed easier to score. Perhaps a thumping good win on Tuesday night in the cup against the Owls will give them a bit of a lift in the confidence department but don't hold your breath.....

    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Ben Haim, Meite, Gardner, Speed, Campo, Tal (Teymourian 66), Anelka, Davies (Giannakopoulos 63), Diouf (Vaz Te 80).
    Subs Not Used: Walker, Augustyn.

    Booked: Gardner, Tal.

    Man City: Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Onuoha, Sinclair, Dabo, Barton, Ireland, Distin, Corradi (Samaras 71), Vassell (Miller 90).
    Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Beasley, Matthew Mills.

    Booked: Barton, Dabo.

    Att: 22,334

    Ref: A Marriner (W Midlands).
     

    Sheffield Wednesday 1 Manchester City 1   City do just enough
    Sunday January 7th 2007 : Michael Walker for Get Your Kits Out at Hillsborough


    The whiff of revival about Sheffield Wednesday since the appointment of Brian Laws received confirmation here. Laws's arrival in November has seen the club climb the Championship, away from the relegation zone and into a flirtation with the play-offs. Yesterday, less than one minute after falling behind to a Manchester City penalty converted by Georgios Samaras, Wednesday struck an equaliser few could say was undeserved. Steve MacLean was the scorer and his intervention means a replay in Manchester on Wednesday week.

    City cannot enter that fixture thinking the hard work has been done. Wednesday may have forfeited home advantage but they are a tidy team on the road, as Laws was keen to stress afterwards. Laws had his chest out but deep down he may regret that such a coherent performance did not produce an upset. While Mark Crossley, on loan at Hillsborough from Fulham, was busy, his opposite number Nicky Weaver made equally telling saves. Weaver was beaten twice but on the first occasion Samaras was behind him on the line to head away Lee Bullen's header. That was in the 46th minute, Weaver having just made a block himself. Had Wednesday gone in front, it would have been interesting to witness City's response. There were moments when Stuart Pearce appeared infuriated by his players' total lack of application.

    But Pearce was calm afterwards; City were not surefooted but they avoided a tumble. "The draw was the fair result," he said. "We could have won it but you have to give credit to Sheffield Wednesday."

    Laws had done so already. "We showed fantastic character to bounce back," he said. "The manner of it was very impressive. I'm biased but over 90 minutes I think we deserved to win it. Sheffield Wednesday were the better side; there was no great divide between us."

    MacLean took his goal well but then missed an easier chance and this is a team that would benefit from some physical power. Neat and inventive, the Championship side are worthy of the passing tradition of Laws' and Pearce's mentor Brian Clough, though there is an element of necessity about their style.

    "We haven't got the players to play kick and rush," said Laws, "we have players who are comfortable with the ball."

    Kenny Lunt and Chris Brunt were illustrative of Laws' points. City possess imposing figures such as Richard Dunne, Micah Richards, Nedum Onuoha and the substitute Ishmael Miller but the visitors were unable to dominate the ball. The creative impulse of Joey Barton and Stephen Ireland was missing and in a tense first half a spark was required. Some thought Richards had supplied it when he felled Glenn Whelan with what resembled a haymaker. Home fans screamed for a red card but Graham Poll quite rightly had a yellow in his hand immediately. "He's not a hothead," Pearce said of his coveted teenager.

    After the interval Wednesday elongated the play but the space also gave City some forward impetus and Crossley foiled Darius Vassell and Samaras. But then, in the 78th minute, Richards surged into the area and was upended by Lunt. Samaras cooly squeezed the penalty under Crossley.

    But instead of self-pity Wednesday displayed purpose. Lunt was involved and, when MacLean took the ball on the edge of the area, he beat Weaver with a diagonal shot that went in off the far post.

    Get Your Kits Out View : Mightily relieved once again as an inept performance earned the Blues a replay. It will be interesting to see how many turn up for the replay at the COMSTAD  which will be well supported by the Owls fans. This one isn't over yet and I'm not too confident we are good enough or motivated enough to progress but, you never can tell with this lot.

    Sheff Wed: Crossley, Bullen, Coughlan, Simek, Spurr, Brunt, Whelan, Lunt, Tudgay (Small 76), MacLean, Burton.
    Subs Not Used: Adamson, O'Brien, Folly, Beevers.

    Booked: Burton, Lunt.

    Goals: MacLean 78.

    Man City: Weaver, Trabelsi (Sinclair 45), Onuoha, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Richards, Dabo (Dickov 87), Beasley (Miller 80), Samaras, Vassell.
    Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Corradi.

    Booked: Richards, Dickov.

    Goals: Samaras 78 pen.

    Att: 28,487

    Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

    Manchester City 2 Everton 1         Toffees wrapped up
    1st January 2007 : Simon Stone for Get Your Kits Out at the COMSTAD


    Georgios Samaras put 17 games of goalscoring misery behind him to net the second-half double which allowed Manchester City to welcome the New Year on a winning note at Eastlands.

    Not since September 23 has City's £6million striker found the net.

    But his half-time introduction for fellow mis-firing forward Bernardo Corradi inspired the Blues to a third successive league win for the first time since August 2005, consolidating their position in the top half of the Premiership table.

    As the transfer window opens, Samaras' efforts could not be any better timed given the serious misgivings many City fans have over their woeful quarter of forwards.

    And, having seen his Greek forward finally come good, Blues boss Stuart Pearce might feel more confident about rejecting any big money offer for youngster Micah Richards, should it eventually arrive.

    Anyone still believing the Premiership to be the best league in the world would do well to get a tape of the opening period, which was not only virtually devoid of chances but any incident worthy of note.

    Everton striker Andrew Johnson did his best with a shot that whistled wide inside the opening 30 seconds. But after that it was downhill all the way to Uriah Rennie's half-time whistle.

    Admittedly, Johnson could easily have been looking back on an Everton penalty, only for his unfortunate reputation for going to ground too easily again to count against him.

    Just over a fortnight after Jose Mourinho implied Johnson had dived against Chelsea, the England forward hit the deck again, shoved in the back by Richard Dunne close to the goal-line as the pair chased a loose ball.

    TV replays showed Dunne had made no contact with the ball but Rennie snubbed Everton's spot-kick claims anyway.

    The Yorkshire official also waved away City's half-hearted appeals later in the half when sturdy Everton defender Joleon Lescott appeared to stop Bernardo Corradi's shot with a hand.

    Given Lescott was barely half a yard away from the goal-shy Italian striker at the time, the decision seemed fair enough.

    In between, little happened of any note and certainly nothing to rival City's robust pre-match denial of any bid from Chelsea, or anyone else, of £13million for Richards, who is reportedly at the top of Jose Mourinho's hit-list as he looks solve the champions' well-publicised defensive problems.

    So threadbare is Stuart Pearce's midfield just now that Richards has been pressed into emergency service at the heart of City's engine room.

    It is hardly the 18-year-old's best position but even against experienced opponents such as Lee Carsley and Mikel Arteta, Richards held his own, which says something about his blossoming talent.

    The Blues' long-suffering fans are understandably keen for Richards, and currently suspended midfielder Joey Barton, to stay at Eastlands, even though Pearce's hopes of major transfer window surgery probably depend on one of them leaving.

    Yet most City supporters also accept the current striking situation is untenable.

    Prior to today, the club's four recognised front-men had scored in a sum total of three league games, contributing five goals, exactly the same number as Barton has managed on his own.

    In his 45 minute appearance, Corradi did little to suggest he is suddenly about to hit form. For Samaras though, it was one of those days when it is entirely understandable why Pearce felt it necessary to make him the second most expensive player in the club's history behind Nicolas Anelka.

    His goal was certainly well-taken, the Greece international continuing his run after breaking forward and feeding Darius Vassell to his left before finishing at the near post when his strike partner delivered a low cross.

    But Samaras also inspired those around him, especially Vassell, who looked a changed man in the second half and whose pace caught out Tim Howard as the Everton keeper inexplicably chopped him inside the box when Joseph Yobo appeared to be running his opponent out of play.

    His confidence levels raised, Samaras calmly slotted home his second from the spot.

    It should have been game over but Leon Osman caused a few anxious moments when he turned home Phil Neville's cut-back late on.

    Nevertheless, City held on and, given the right results and a bit of inspired recruitment, maybe a European spot is not beyond them over the coming months.

    Get Your Kits Out View : I have to admit to being extremely nervous about City's Christmas and New Year fixtures but have pat SP on the back for sticking to his guns and going for points and not prizes. By this of course I mean that ugly football is sometimes necessary to guarantee Premier Gold although I find it galling to shell out hard earned money to watch some of it. It's a fine balance but at the end of the day we need the money so points come first.  Next week it's off to Hillsborough for the FA Cup but I suppose it would be asking too much to expect we dump out the famous Yorkshire club and set up another FA Cup dream....

    Man City: Weaver, Onuoha, Dunne, Distin, Trabelsi (Miller 85), Richards, Dabo, Beasley, Jordan, Corradi (Samaras 46), Vassell.
    Subs Not Used: Isaksson, Dickov, Matthew Mills.

    Booked: Trabelsi, Miller.

    Goals: Samaras 50, 72 pen.

    Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Nuno Valente (Naysmith 46), Davies (McFadden 65), Carsley, Arteta, Osman, Johnson, Beattie (Anichebe 65).
    Subs Not Used: Wright, Weir.

    Booked: Howard, Arteta, Johnson.

    Goals: Osman 84.

    Att: 39,836

    Ref: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).

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