Manchester City’s two-goal hero Patrick Vieira talked up his side’s ability to win the FA Cup after helping the Citizens to an emphatic 5-0 victory over League One outfit Notts County in their fourth round replay.
Vieira put his side in front after 37 minutes when he headed home a David Silva corner after a strong start from Notts County that saw Karl Hawley hit the inside of the post after a glorious effort from the corner of the penalty area.
The game was as good as over just before the hour mark when Vieira again latched onto another Silva delivery to head home City’s second, and the County players’ heads visibly dropped.
With the game looking to stay that way, the floodgates opened with three goals in the final six minutes. First, Vieira won back possession and fed in Silva, who quickly flicked it onto Dzeko on the halfway line. The January signing didn’t pause and with one touch to control his second touch sent Carlos Tevez through on goal and the Argentinian did what he has done all season and cooly rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home.
Goalscorer turned provider five minutes later when Tevez turned on a sixpence on the by-line to send an unmissable cross towards Dzeko two yards out to head the ball home. Then, as the game entered stoppage time, Micah Richards took advantage of a scramble in the penalty area to flick the ball up and powerfully volley an impressive finish into the top corner of the net.
On paper it was a walk in the park, despite the story of the game not telling the same tale, but Vieira believes that this side can go all the way in the competition.
“We know how to win [the FA Cup] but we showed today how difficult it can be to go to the end, but we just have to believe in ourself and work hard like we did today and we will see what will happen,” Vieira told ITV.
“This is a competition where the club want to do well and when you see our squad and how deep it is, then you can believe in us.”
The former-Arsenal and Inter Milan player has never scored a hat-trick in his career, but came close at the end with yet another header after a Gareth Barry cross evaded everyone inside the penalty area.
But the 34-year-old was just happy to aid his team to a next round tie with Aston Villa, and prove his side can score from set-pieces.
“I think when you see the height of our team, we don't score enough goals from free-kicks or corners but thank God I scored two goals from freekicks [today],” Vieira continued.
The man-of-the-match signed off with some deserved credit to Notts County, who definitely impressed for the first-half at least.
“We have to give them [Notts County] credit because for the first 15 to 20 minutes they really put us in trouble so we are quite happy to go [through] to the next [round].”
Fellow team-mate Kolo Toure mirrored his comments regarding their opponents.
“It was a tough game. [Notts County] played very well for the first 15 minutes, they were putting us under pressure. We couldn't pass the ball at the back,” added Toure.
“After that, we knew that the win was going to be for us because we were passing the ball [better] and [we] concentrated from the start to the end.”