FA CUP: Man City set up all-Manchester semi-final

Manchester City have booked their spot in the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Championship club Reading this evening.
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Manchester City have booked their spot in the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Championship club Reading this evening.

City set up a first Mancunian final-four meeting with arch rivals Manchester United since 1926 to make their first semi-final in 30 years thanks to Micah Richards’ 74th minute header.

The home side dominated large sections of the contest to get the deserved win, allowing them a path to Wembley for a mouth-watering clash with the 11-time cup winners on April 16.

FA Cup quarter-final
Manchester City: 1 (Micah Richards 74’)
Reading: 0

Venue: City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester
Crowd: 45,000
Referee: Lee Probert
Yellow cards: MC - Vincent Kompany 18’, Micah Richards 53’
REA - Shane Long 69’

It was a fairly tame opening with neither side bothering the opposing goalkeeper and although playing with efficiency, City were not doing too much entertaining.

The 19th minute saw Shaun Wright-Phillips slap a shot on target from an angle only for Reading keeper Alex McCarthy to keep it out before blocking David Silva’s follow-up with his head without really knowing what had happened.

Reading got themselves into the contest as the first half progressed, producing a few half chances but the main action was down the other end when Yaya Toure got loose in the box but McCarthy came up with a top save just prior to the half-hour mark.

McCarthy was again in the right spot when Silva played a neat little flick over Ian Harte before shooting on goal with his left foot in the 37th minute but these few chances were the only pieces of exciting action in the opening 45.

City were close to breaking the deadlock early in the second term when Jay Tabb cleared off the line at the back post after Shane Long’s attempted clearance from Aleksandar Kolarov’s wicked inswinging corner was directed at goal.

Reading’s Noel Hunt had an attempt that went wide of the mark in the 50th minute as Silva continued to cause problems around the home side’s attacking area down the other end of the pitch.

Roberto Mancini’s men looked far more settled than their Championship opponents and it seemed only a matter of time until they would score. It looked like the opening goal would come in the 66th minute when Micah Richards nodded down hard into the turf with the ball kicking up but McCarthy got a hand to it and sent it over the bar in yet another close call.

Shane Long struck goalward for the Royals but couldn’t quite get hold of it but finally City got the goal they so deserved in the 74th minute.
GOAL Silva’s corner from the left was met by a powerful Micah Richards header which rocketed off the glovers of McCarthy and into the back of the net much to the delight of the Eastlands fans.

Toure let fly from long range in the 84th minute as City searched for a second goal and although it didn’t come, the result was certainly what the Citizens were after as their quest for a first cup since 1969 gets one step closer.

Starting Line-Ups

Man City
Joe Hart (gk) – Vincent Kompany, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar KolarovShaun Wright-Phillips (Boyata 90+3’), Patrick Vieira (Balotelli 70’), Nigel de Jong (Barry 83’), Yaya Toure, David SilvaCarlos Tevez

Subs - Stuart Taylor (gk), Mario Balotelli (70’), Gareth Barry (83’), Dedryck Boyata (90+3’), Abdul Razak, Edin Dzeko, Jo

Reading
Alex McCarthy (gk) – Zurab Khizanishvili, Ian Harte, Brynjar Gunnarsson, Mikele Leigertwood – Jobi McAnuff (Robson-Kanu 62’), Jay Tabb (Howard 86’), Jem Karacan, Jimmy KebeNoel Hunt (Church 76’), Shane Long

Subs - Mikkel Andersen (gk), Hal Robson-Kanu (62’), Simon Church (76’), Brian Howard (86’), Andy Griffin, Jake Taylor, Michail Antonio

 
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