Manchester City 5-0 Barnsley: EPL Champions wallop Terriers to set Wembley Semi-final date
Manchester City sealed passage into the FA Cup semi-final with an emphatic 5-0 drubbing of Championship side Barnsley courtesy of goals from David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov and a Carlos Tevez hat-trick.
“Manchester City have kept the ball well in midfield and they look threatening in attacking areas.”
City manager Roberto Mancini named a full-strength lineup for his side’s game against Barnsley. Joleon Lescott, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov joined the brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure in the starting eleven, with Samir Nasri, David Silva and Gareth Barry also starting the game at the Etihad Stadium. Cup keeper Costel Pantillimon started in goal, with Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko partnering up front.
South Yorkshire side Barnsley are struggling near the foot of the Championship and David Flitcroft decided to put up one of the strongest sides at his disposal in the hope of a cup run.
Luke Steele started in goal, behind Scott Wiseman, Jim McNulty, Stephen Foster and Tom Kennedy. In a standard 4-4-2, Tomas Cywka, David Perkins, former Manchester City man Kelvin Etuhu and on-loan Manchester United player Ryan Tunnicliffe were fielded behind Chris Dagnall and former Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood.
It was all Manchester City rather predictably in the first half.
As early as five minutes into the game, Barnsley found themselves camped inside their own area as the Citizens began to boss possession.
And as was foreseen, City took the lead inside 15 minutes.
A beautifully flighted ball found Silva through on goal. The number 21′s effort clonked the crossbar and fell straight into the path of Carlos Tevez, who fired home with the goal gaping.
If Barnsley were expecting an uphill task in Manchester, the slope they would climb had just gotten steeper. City continued to press forward with a powerful, almost brutal style of football.
A lovely move between David Silva and Yaya Toure in the 17th minute found Samir Nasri clean through on goal, but the linesman’s flag halted any chance of piercing the Barnsley net for the second time.
Aleksandar Kolarov then powered down the left and whipped in a cross towards Luke Steele’s far post, but Carlos Tevez could not plant his header past the opposition number one.
Barnsley were seeing precious little of the ball. When they did get it, they were quickly dispossessed of it. Chris Dagnall was robbed of the ball in the 20th minute, and Tevez clipped a ball towards Silva, who was lurking in the box. The Spain international attempted a spectacular overhead flick, but the ball bounced off his face comically to sporting cheers from the Etihad faithful.
Silva flighted a corner towards Steele’s box a minute later. Marlon Harewood put paid to any threat it contained.
Barnsley tried to muster a counterattack from that set piece. David Perkins sped down the right flank, but he was halted, and so was Barnsley’s foray…illegally it turns out. Yaya Toure was booked for bringing down the Englishman and became the first player to go into the book.
In the 23d minute, Nasri sent in a corner that was aimed towards Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian was being strongly marked by Stephen Foster, and pressure from the centre back meant the former Wolfsburg man’s header was firm but wide.
But the pressure from City was overwhelming, and it told.
In the 26th minute, a lovely move between Toure and Nasri saw the ball spread out wide to Tevez, who hared upfield and spied both the Frenchman and Kolarov sprinting down the centre. His cross-field ball found the Serbian, who stabbed home with his left foot to make it 2-0.
City were surely in the driving seat, and looked certain to progress to the FA Cup Semi Finals. A dominant, bullying display from City against the Championship underdogs was paying manifold dividends.
Less than five minutes later, Tevez made it three.
Kolarov meandered down the left flank and found Silva in the box. The World Cup winner teed up Tevez with a smart back heel and the Argentine twirled past on-loan Manchester United man Ryan Tunnicliffe to plant a shot past Steele and in the far corner.
“It was three but it could have easily been four or five”
- Andy Gray, commentator, TalkSport and Al Jazeera
With a commanding lead now established by City, they continued to maintain possession without really threatening. They didn’t need to: the game was fast turning into a training exercise.
Tevez was presented an opportunity to grab a first-half hat trick in the 37th minute. Silva sent the former West Ham striker clear through the centre, but his powerful drive was parried by Steele. A series of corners saw the Sky Blues lay siege to the Terriers’ box, but both Toure and Dzeko were well marked by Foster and Tunniclife.
As the first half wore on, Barnsley began to enjoy some possession. Tomas Cywka and Marlon Harewood combined well to feed Dagnall, but his effort was well wide of Costel Pantillimon’s goal.
It was Silva and Nasri who were pulling the strings in midfield, and the Spaniard found Dzeko with an astute pass. The Bosnia captain fired goalwards, but his effort was blocked.
He leapt highest in an attempt to get on the scoresheet from Nasri’s corner, but his head could only meet air as the ball sailed past him. Two stoppage time minutes later, referee Anthony Taylor blew for half time on what had been a very well orchestrated Manchester City performance in the first half.
“Twenty minutes in this game was done”
- Steve McManaman, ex-Liverpool and England
Costel Pantilimon has kept three FA Cup clean-sheets so far, and judging by City’s first-half perfomance, the giant 6’8″ Romanian international would accrue clean sheet number four.
Barnsley’s game seemed to go from bad to worse as the second half began. Ryan Tunnicliffe was sent into the book just three minutes into the second forty-five minutes for scything down Kolarov.
And barely a minute later, Carlos Tevez drove in a third nail into the Barnsley coffin, completing his hat-trick.
Nasri skirted past Etuhu and squared for the number 32, whose effort took a slight deflection off a Barnsley player and past Luke Steele to make it 3-0.
Immediately afterwards, Barnsley manager Flitcroft made all three rolls of the dice, bringing on veteran striker Jason Scotland, former Chelsea midfielder Jacob Mellis and Jim O’Brien as a clearly distraught Dagnall accompanied Etuhu and Cywka off the pitch. Samir Nasri was also withdrawn, with winger Scott Sinclair replacing him.
The subs seemed to have an impact for the away side. Good work between all three of them saw the ball land at the feet of Mellis. He let a shot fly at goal, and Pantillimon was forced to dive low to make his first save of the game.
Edin Dzeko was then put clear, but Luke Steele contrived to deny the giant Eastern European, getting enough to stop his chipped ball from going into the South Yorkshire team’s net.
On the hour mark, Barnsley came forward with intention again. Ryan Tunnicliffe tested Pantillimon after a galumphing forward run and the Romanian used his giant frame to block the shot, which fell straight to Mellis, but the midfielder’s shot was directed straight at the keeper.
Dzeko was clearly chasing that elusive goal, but his 64th minute effort was not quite enough to give City goal number five.
But what Dzeko could not do, Silva did.
Yaya Toure brought the ball forward and fed the Spaniard, who poked the ball wide for Tevez and received it on the return. His sidefooted effort was well saved by Steele, but he could do nothing about the rebound which was jabbed home by the Spanish European Cup winner.
That was to be his last contribution to the game, as he was withdrawn amidst deafening cheers to be replaced by Abdul Razak in the 66th minute.
Harewood was then given license to shoot as City began to settle into their comfort zone, but his 70th minute effort was wayward. In truth, it would have mattered little in the grander scheme of things.
O’Brien, Perkins and Mellis began to try and pick a way forward for Barnsley, but their offensive attempts were halted first by Zabaleta and then Razak.
As the game petered into its final fifteen minutes, the City fans began to do their trademark Poznan celebration by way of heralding City’s soon-to-arrive victory. In a boisterous Blue half of Manchester, Tevez was taken off for James Milner. The Argentine had contributed to all of his side’s goal on the night, scoring three and assisting two.
But while Tevez had run his race, Dzeko was still intent on getting on the score sheet. Amid cheers of ‘champions of England’, he saw his 78th minute effort fly narrowly wide of Steele’s goal.
With City well aware that they had sewn up the game, they were quite happy to allow Barnsley possession and turn the game into a training ground routine wherein they stopped the opposition from attacking. It seemed to at least gee up the away fans, who were cheering every touch their side made.
“A lot of them got overawed by the situation, the stadium, the lights. They contributed to their own downfall today.”
- Steve McManaman on Barnsley
It ended in a shot for Harewood, but his stretching effort did not trouble Pantillimon. Dzeko then went for goal yet again, but his effort was always rising. He then turned provider by playing in Milner. His ferocious effort thudded against the post with Luke Steele rooted to the spot.
As Anthony Taylor spared further embarrassment and signalled the end of the game with no stoppage time, Manchester City could look back on a job very well done against the Championship side from South Yorkshire, whose patches of bravery were too far and few between. They will go back to a relegation dogfight to seek a place in the Championship next season. But Barnsley can go out of the competition with their heads proud and look back over how far they got in the famous old Cup.
“They got better in the second half.”
- Andy Gray on Barnsley
While City, who were just to good for them, go to Wembley to in an attempt to win their third trophy in as many seasons, in no small part to the contributions of Man of the Match Carlos Tevez
Manchester City 5-0 Barnsley (Tevez 11′, 31′ and 50′, Kolarov 27′, Silva 65′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Manchester City: Pantillimon; Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Lescott, Kolarov; Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva (Razak 66′), Nasri (Sinclair 53′); Tevez (Milner 77′), Dzeko
Subs Not Used: Hart, Clichy, Nastasic, Garcia
Manager: Roberto Mancini
Barnsley: Steele; Wiseman, Cranie, Kennedy, Foster; Tunnicliffe, Perkins, Cywka (O’Brien 53′), Etuhu (Mellis 53′); Dagnall (Scotland 53′), Harewood
Subs Not Used: Lidakevicius, Hassell, Delap, Rose
Manchester City: Shots (on target): 16 (10), Corners: 6, Fouls: 7, Offsides: 2, Yellow Cards: 1, Red Cards: 0, Saves: 3
Barnsley: Shots (on target): 7 (4), Corners: 5, Fouls: 11, Offsides: 3, Yellow Cards: 1, Red Cards: 0, Saves: 4
Possession: Manchester City 62%-38% Barnsley
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Barnsley vs Brighton and Hove Albion, 12/03/2013, Oakwell Stadium, NPower Football Championship