Wednesday 23 July 2014

Tevez the main driver as City head for Wembley

Manchester City 5 Barnsley 0

Jamie Jackson

Published 10/03/2013|04:00

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Carlos Tevez of Manchester City beats Ryan Tunnicliffe of Barnsley during their FA Cup encounter at the Etihad Stadium yesterday.

This was a Carlos Tevez story written for the sport pages rather than news ones as he followed Thursday's arrest with a hat-trick as well as the creation of Manchester City's two other strikes to lead them to a second FA Cup semi-final in three seasons.

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This was a Carlos Tevez story written for the sport pages rather than news ones as he followed Thursday's arrest with a hat-trick as well as the creation of Manchester City's two other strikes to lead them to a second FA Cup semi-final in three seasons.

That game will be played at Wembley where they could meet Manchester United if their rivals beat Chelsea this afternoon.

The draw follows and, who knows, if Alex Ferguson's men prevail and they are kept apart from the champions, there could yet be an inaugural City-United final, a prospect to light up this football-mad town.

Before any of that, though, City can reflect on a job well done. And, hope Chelsea can turn over United to knock them out of a second competition in a week to create a wobble that might affect their league form.

The tie threatened to be over as early as the 11th minute. This was when Tevez gave City a lead to capitalise on his side's opening domination and thoughts turned to whether it would become a Blue deluge from the 2011 cup winners.

Yaya Toure turned a foot into a niblick that dinked the ball up and into David Silva's path. The Spaniard's stabbed finish was pushed on to the right post by the Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele, and when the ball rebounded to Tevez he placed it into the empty net.

A man who signalled a goalscoring return following last season's absence due to his dispute with Roberto Mancini with a golf swing action (to satirise how he had spent a three-month sojourn in Argentina) decided against any kind of silly celebration this time. Instead, he ran to the sideline and offered a palms-down gesture as if to suggest everyone should keep calm.

This was all due to the arrest for allegedly driving while disqualified near Macclesfield, for which he may face a prison sentence.

If this caused the club embarrassment, Mancini had no doubt Tevez should be chosen in a starting 11 that showed six changes from the side that was triumphant at Aston Villa on Monday, with Samir Nasri's name the headline inclusion for the first time since the 3-1 defeat at Southampton a month ago.

Tevez's opener did, indeed, signal that this would be a long evening for Barnsley and the teams walked off at the break with City 3-0 ahead and coasting. Their superior technical ability allowed them to knife through the visitors at will and this was allied with a determination to close down Barnsley in midfield to win the ball.

Aleksandar Kolarov's strike derived initially from David Perkins turning into traffic and having possession taken from him by Edin Dzeko, whose right-foot pass allowed the excellent Tevez to race into space along the right.

With a look up he spied the gallop of Kolarov to the far post and with a precisely delivered ball found the left-back who drove home emphatically.

Tevez's second and his side's third will have disappointed David Flitcroft, the Barnsley manager. Lax defending meant Kolarov was allowed to find Silva and he, too, easily passed the ball to the forward, who made no mistake.

Tevez began like a train this season and he is now ending it in the same manner.

His hat-trick finish came under five minutes into the second half. Nasri meandered down the left towards Steele's goal and passed into Tevez's left boot and this completed business.

It was a sixth strike in the past four games for the Argentinian, whose first four matches of the campaign yielded the same number of goals, with his total now 15 in 35 appearances – close to the one-in-two ratio that marks out the very best finishers.

Dzeko, who has 13 in 35 City appearances, should have added another as the hour mark neared. Toure's pass from inside his half was brought down cutely by the Bosnian but his attempt to lob Steele came out undercooked.

Ryan Tunnicliffe now had Barnsley's best chance and a personal opportunity for the on-loan Manchester United midfielder to score at the home of the enemy. The 20-year-old's surge from near the centre circle impressed, as did the shot-on-the-run that attempted to beat Steele to his right, but the keeper stuck out a leg and Tunnicliffe was left holding his head in despair.

Tevez, inevitably by now, created City's fifth: his run down the right was followed by a cross that Silva turned home.

Earlier, results elsewhere sunk Barnsley to bottom of the Championship before the teams started. This result certainly didn't lift their mood.


Irish Independent

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