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May 14, 2011
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 88643
Wayne Veysey sums up from Wembley: “The blue moon is rising. A sleeping giant has been reawakened amid amazing scenes here at Wembley, where both sets of supporters are waving flags, chanting and showing their appreciation for the contributions of their teams. Do City fans give a monkey's that their limelight has been stolen somewhat by their neighbours? At this moment in time, I don't think so. Cty fans are milking the moment and why not? They have suffered for so long. But a word on Stoke's supporters. They have been magnificent today - passionate, humorous and vocal.”
A joyous day for the city of Manchester wrapped up. Both of England’s biggest domestic honours head to the north-west. Yaya Toure’s hammer strike in the second-half bludgeoning Stoke into submission. The Potters never really showed their mettle and Tony Pulis will be left bitterly disappointed to have fallen so flat on the big day. All over at Wembley, MANCHESTER CITY 1 STOKE CITY 0.
MANCHESTER CITY WIN THE FA CUP. All over at the home of football and Yaya Toure’s goal enough to once again carry the Blues to a 1-0 victory at Wembley. Mancini embraced by his staff as City’s supporters rejoice.
90' + 2'
The corner is cleared, but the ball is pumped back in and another corner is the result.
Stoke win a corner and Sorensen rushes forward.
Three minutes to be added. Can Stoke make a last chance?
Silva releases Balotelli down the left hand side and the Italian eventually gets a shot away which deflects for a corner. Surprisingly, Stoke are going down without much of a fight.
The seconds tick away as City maintain possession in midfield. Agonising for Stoke, joyous for City.
City have a throw deep in the Stoke half. Music to the ears of Mancini who readies Pablo Zabaleta on the touchline.
David Silva hits a speculative effort from the left hand side of the penalty area. The ball fizzes through the legs of defenders and a strong hand from Sorensen is needed to keep the deficit at one.
Despite having the lead, City continue to attack and Kolarov wins a corner after galloping forward.
John Alieu Carew
Carew wins his first flick on but Vincent Kompany hammers the ball away in the same way he has all season. The Belgian has been a rock for his side this year.
Songs ring out at one end and tears at another, there’s still time for the Potters though as John Carew enters the fray.
After finally witnessing a goal, Wayne Veysey in the Wembley press box says: “Yaya Toure, the king of Wembley, has sparked the most crazy celebrations you will ever see from the City fans. Seconds after blasting the stray ball in the box into the net with all the power of his 14-stone frame, the sky blue clan effected a mass 'Poznan' dance while the players all threw themselves on top of the goalscorer. All the flags are out now, although Stoke remain in full voice.”
What sort of response will that provoke from Stoke? Will Tony Pulis throw caution to the wind? Toure’s goal went straight through Sorensen such was the power. The same end at which the giant Ivorian sank Manchester United in the semi-final.
Yellow Card Andy Wilkinson
Goal Yaya Touré
AND WE HAVE A GOAL AT WEMBLEY. YA YA TOURE ARRIVES ON CUE AND CITY LEAD. Inventive play by Balotelli and Silva allows the Italian to shoot and when his effort is blocked, it ricochets to the gigantic arriving frame of Toure. HE THUMPS IT PAST SORENSEN and rejoices with the City fans behind the goal. A magic moment for the blue half of Manchester.
It’s a surprise as Gareth Barry departs, City will re-jig things a little. Tactical genius or regrettable error from Mancini? We will find out in the next 18 minutes.
Adam Johnson is being readied by David Platt on the touchline, receiving his last minute instructions. Will it be Balotelli making way or has Tevez run his race?
Wayne Veysey paints us a picture of the Wembley atmosphere from the press box: “'Swing low, sweet chariot' rings out from the Stoke fans camped behind Hart's goal, in homage to the England rugby anthem and the barbs that they play a style of football that is more akin to the oval ball game. Like the best rugby teams, Stoke are gritting it out, hanging in there and hoping to get an opportunity to convert any pressure they get.”
We enter the final quarter, a goal now for either side would put them in touching distance of their first major trophy in a very long time.
Clattered into the wall by Balotelli and Stoke defend the next phase of play well.
City win a free-kick, bang centre, 30-yards from goal. Plenty of their players fancy it.
Our man at Wembley, Wayne Veysey says: “Kenwyne Jones has just wasted a fabulous opportunity to nail down his place in Stoke folklore. With the Stoke fans behind Hart's goal just willing him to divert the ball past an onrushing Hart, the targetman was only able to toe poke the ball into the goalkeeper's body. Maybe he had just run out of puff following a powerful run but he should have done better.”
Sublime football by Manchester City allows Toure to feed Tevez from midfield. The Argentine takes a good first touch and uses his body well but his shot from the edge of the box is straight at Sorensen. Easy stuff for the Dane.
CHANCE, CHANCE, CHANCE!!. Kenwyne Jones one on one with Hart, can he snatch the lead.......NO. The big man latched on to a long ball from Etherington but he can’t guide the ball around Joe Hart who blocks the shot well. Golden opportunity for the Potters.
The hour passes and we remain goalless. Dean Whitehead looks set to come on.
Silva nearly picks Richards out on an excellent over-lapping run. The pass is so clever but fractionally over hit.
A much better start to the second period for the neutral. Both sides seem to have got rid of any nerves.
Quick break away by City allows Tevez to pick out Silva in acres. A great chance for the Spaniard if he can get a shot away but he dallies on the ball and is denided by a last ditch challenge. He really should have made more of that.
The delivery again causes danger and Wilson drives the ball dangerously across the City goal. Stoke look more up for it since the break.
Foolish play in his defensive third by Balotelli. Pennant is going nowhere but the Italian barges him in the back and now Stoke have another free-kick in a good area.
Pennant wins Stoke a free-kick in a dangerous position after being felled on the touchline. The delivery is good but so is the defensive header by Lescott.
Both sets of fans are in good voice, which set will however make the journey back north with a collective smile?
Silva dinks a free-kick into a dangerous area but Richards is climbing all over Huth and Stoke are let off.
IN COMES THE DELAP THROW and the ball drops for Pennant. The former Liverpool man chests the ball down but his effort is wild. He drags it into bodies. Half a chance.
No major rush to any of Stoke City’s play. They seem happy to take an age whenever the ball is dead.
Pennant gets a cross in from the right hand touchline but Walters is unable to generate major power in his header from 12 yards. Tame and wide.
Here we go again, ball is rolling and both sides now attack their own fans. Could be a hell of a sight if one of them could break the deadlock.
Players emerge for the second-half. No sign of any changes just yet.
Manchester City Subs: Given, Johnson, Boyata, Dzeko, Milner, Vieira, Zabaleta
Stoke City Subs: Nash, Faye, Collins, Pugh, Whitehead, Carew, Diao
It’s a hot day at Wembley, subsititutions could play a big role in the second-half. Could any of the subs write the headlines by snatching the trophy for their travelling army of fans.
Goal.com’s match reporter at Wembley is Wayne Veysey, he says: “Both teams are clapped off at half-time following an entertaining first half. With David Silva lighting up domestic football's greatest occasion with his vision and velvet touch, City have played some of their best football of the season, but a combination of Sorensen and poor finishing has somehow kept the scores level. The Spaniard was guilty of missing a five-yard volley with the goal at his mercy but some of the movement and combination of City's front four has been worthy of their price tags. And we have not been able to say that very often this season. But Stoke being Stoke, they have toughed it out and are still in it.”
Half-time at Wembley and the scores are level. City by far the better side and Sorensen has risen to the occasion to keep his side on terms at the interval. Many of his saves have been from efforts from range and he really should have been beaten when Silva missed the target from eight yards. In truth, the game has failed to live up to the setting so far. The sun is out, Wembley looks a picture but the game has been stop start as players hit the deck and nerves jangle. STOKE CITY 0 MANCHESTER CITY 0.
One added minute at the end of the half.
What words will Tony Pulis have for his troops at half-time? They could be down as they’ve been second best but on the upside, a poor display still has them on terms.
Silva is a real jack in the box. This time he pops up on the left side of the penalty area and wriggles himself space despite the on rushing red and white shirts. His pull back is then passed on to De Jong who shoots well wide.
The resulting free-kick allows Kolarov to curl a ball harmlessly over the bar. A waste by the Serb.
Yellow Card Robert Huth
Robert Huth picks up a yellow for a feisty challenge on Micah Richards. The German seems to be on the edge.
City win another corner when a ball into the Stoke box causes confusion as Silva looks to pounce.
Stoke will be relieved if they can make it back to the dressing room on terms at half-time. Silva’s chance really should have broken the deadlock and Sorensen’s other saves have also been absolutely crucial.
WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CITY. Tevez cuts inside and clips a ball into the box from 35 yards out. Balotelli pulls it down and sets it for Silva. THE SPANIARD IS EGHT YARDS OUT, GREAT CHANCE, BUT HE HITS IT INTO THE GROUND AND IT BOUNCES OVER THE BAR. The ball just got a little high for the diminutive Spaniard. Best chance of the game so far.
Our man in the press box is Wayne Veysey, he says: “City are by far the slicker team up to this point. They are pinging the ball around confidently and have tested Sorensen with a number of shots, although they have all been from fairly long range. Stoke's fans have responded to this rare fluency from City with chants of 'boring, boring'. Unsurprisingly, Stoke's most threatening weapon has been the exocet throw-ins by Delap.”
Kenwyne Jones seems to be vital to how Stoke want to go about their business today. He is constantly backing into defenders and allowing Stoke to profit from headed clearances and knock downs.
Tony Pulis will be a happier man than he was 20 minutes ago. His side still aren’t looking quite themselves but there has been an improvement.
Kompany goes straight up the other end to join an attack and a placed shot from 20 yards draws a save from Sorensen. The keeper fumbles it but throws himself on top of the loose ball.
PENALTY SHOUT FOR STOKE. A whipped ball into the box is flicked on by Kenwyne Jones and it appears Voncent Kompany handles the ball above his head. The defender was in a spin and knew little about it. Kenwyne Jones has his hands in the air in protest.
So far, Roberto Mancini will probably be the happier of the two managers as his side have worked Sorensen a few times and look more likely to find a breakthrough. Stoke though are always deadly from a set play so their fans will always garner hope of a quick fire strike. The major talking point in the opening 27 minutes is Huth’s sly elbow on Balotelli.
City build another attack down the left and David Silva wriggles room in the box to clip a ball across goal but the Blues have nobody attacking it.
Sorensen makes his third vital contribution. Silva picks Yaya Toure out in midfield and a typically driving run ends when he transfers the ball to Balotelli. The Italian opens up his body and bends the ball towards the far corner, it has GOAL WRITTEN ALL OVER IT but Sorensen gets fingers to divert it wide. Great effort, better save.
Kenwyne Jones and Jonathan Walters conspire to make something of a long ball. Walters plays a return pass to Jones and he looks to have fashioned himself a shooting opportunity. HE HAS MADE HIMSELF A SHOOTING OPPORTUNITY. But Kompany slides in front of him to block superbly. Brilliant defending by the Belgian, half a chance for the Potters.
A long ball over the Stoke defence has SORENSEN RACING FROM HIS GOAL but the Dane just gets a hand to the ball before Tevez can make something of the opportunity. Godd goalkpeeping..............just.
Stoke look almost scared to get the ball down and play so far. Their passing has been tentative as a move breaks down through Etherington.
Pennant wastes Stoke’s first dead ball situation by whipping a free-kick from wide straight into the hands of Joe Hart.
Kolarov again flies forward but his cross hits the first man. Meanwhile, whilst waiting in the area, Balotelli IS ELBOWED by Huth. Not a pretty sight on cup final day but the officials saw nothing.
Barry picks kolarov out beautifully in midfield, City seem to be using their left back a lot in the opening stages. Wilkinson stops him in his tracks on this occasion.
YAYA TOURE HAMMERS ONE FROM RANGE and Sorensen is beaten all ends up but so is the post. Inches wide. That would have been a goal worthy of this stage. Stunning strike by the big City midfielder.
HEART IN MOUTH TIME FOR YOU STOKE FANS. A superb Kolaroz cross almost turned into his own net by Huth. The side netting ripples. ALL CITY SO FAR.
The corner is cleared but City recycle the ball and eventually, Silva sets De Jong for a strike from 20 yards. The Dutchman blazes over as if he’s at Twickenham.
The sun blazes down on the Wembley turf, it has the look of a traditional cup final day. An early goal would really get things going. City have another corner as Huth heads behind.
Tony Pulis is in vocal mood, he seems frustrated with his players start to the game as he bellows from the Wembley touchline.
FIRST SHOT ON GOAL AND IT’S A STINGER. Tevez picks the ball up 25 yards out and makes himself shooting space. His strike stings the hands of Sorensen. A good hit and a good save.
City will probably be the happier with the early start, much of the football is coming from Mancini’s men.
The corner is delivered and Stoke manage to bundle the ball away from their six-yard box. Half a sniff for City.
A solid start by both sides as they both enjoy mini spells of possession. City however win a corner.
We’re underway in the Cup Final, Stoke get us rolling. Both sides will attack their own fans in the second half.
Our reporter at the home of football has also been eyeing up Carlos Tevez: “I'll be amazed if Man City get anything more than 60 or 70 minutes out of Tevez today. Looking at him as the teams lined up in the tunnel, it seems as if he is carrying a bit of timber. But then he was standing just behind the immaculately groomed Mancini. Adrenaline might carry the City skipper through most of the game but it will only be so far.”
Our man in the press box at Wembley is Wayne Veysey, he says: “A terrified-looking Stacey Solomon (you know, X-factor 2010) has just performed a very nervous rendition of 'We Are The Champions'. If the players are anything as nervy, we are in for a tight game.”
The national anthem is sung, the formalities now nearly over, here we go.
Manchester City: Hart, Kompany, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov, De Jong, Silva, Barry, Toure, Tevez, Balotelli
Stoke City: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Wilson, Huth, Shawcross, Walters, Etherington, Pennant, Delap, Whelan, Jones,
Abide with me, the traditional cup final hymn rings out around Wembley. Always a special moment. The flags are waving, the pitch looks superb, all we need now is a cup final classic.
The big news ahead of kick off is that City’s talismanic forward Carlos Tevez is in the starting eleven. A huge boost for all you Blues.
Hello and welcome to goal.com’s live match commentary for the FA Cup Final. The eyes of the world on Wembley for the final of the biggest domestic cup competition in football. Can Stoke lap up the underdog tag? Or will City and their growing list of stars simply have too much for the Potters.
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