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January 5, 2013
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 46821
C. Tévez 25'
G. Barry 44'
Marcos Lopes 90'+
Thanks for joining me today. Stay with Goal.com for West Ham v Man Utd, coming up at 17.15GMT.
An easy 3-0 win for Man City in the end, which they dominated from start to finish. Chuffed for Lopes. The home side go marching on.
90' + 3'
And the referee brings the game to an end!
90' + 1'
Goal Marcos Lopes
90' + 1'
We are into added time here, of which there will be two minutes.
GOAL! And Lopes scored with his first touch! The midfielder pounces on Balotelli's parried effort to confirm the win. What a start to his professional career!
Here's a bit of history, 17-year-old Marcos Lopes comes on for his Man City debut.
OFF THE LINE! Tevez's cross-cum-shot is cleared off the line by Doyley. I was going to say a lucky escape, but it really would have made little difference, you would expect.
I've just realised that I never did keep you updated on Kompany. He's fine. You know how I know? He just sheparded Deeney away from goal with ease.
Second-half substitute Sinclair receieves the ball for, for my money, the first time since his introduction... and his cross towards the box is easily cleared by Nosworthy.
Oooof, that perhaps should have been 3-0! Milner is again amongst the action as his low drive is again played into a dangerous position but, like Tevez earlier in the half, Zabaleta is just too short to convert into an empty net.
Balotelli wins a free kick near the edge of the area, brushes himself down and directs it on target, but Bond comfortably saves.
Oh, but here is Watford through Deeney... but the striker fails to direct his shot, from inside the area. on target. Deeney has been a tad wasteful today.
Tevez, working well with Balotelli, cracks a shot straight at Bond now, but again the keeper is equal to it. The Watford goalkeeper has been impressive today.
Balotelli gets stuck in immediately, twisting on the edge of the area and testing Bond with a fierce drive, which the keeper pushes away.
Watford are definitely improving now but you can't see them troubling Man City with under 20 minutes left to play. Vydra tries to chip Pantilimon from the right, but the ball bounces harmlessly wide. Their best chance of the half though.
And Balotelli has replaced a relatively quiet Dzeko. The Italian is met by boos from the Watford supporters, but cheers from his team's own fans.
Here we go... Mario Balotelli is warming up on the touchline...
Watford win a corner! Their first of the game... but it comes to nothing. Boo.
Under 25 minutes left to play here and City still lead 2-0, but - cliche alert - a goal from the improving Watford will completely change the complexion of the game.
Another corner for Man City, their 12th at my count, and Bond easily punches clear with Lescott lurking.
Here is Jack Gaughan: "There’s not an awful lot going on at the Etihad Stadium. City have forced a few corners but not really tested the goalkeeper, while the supporters are having a Poznan battle. The hosts, unsurprisingly, won. Still 2-0 and game over."
CLOSE! Tevez is inches away from his second and Man City's third as he slides to connect with Milner's drive across the face of goal. Silva with more great work to play Milner in.
Slight concern for Man City now as Kompany is struggling to shake off a tough challenge from Deeney and appears to be hobbling. Is carrying on for the time being though. I'll keep you posted.
The corner comes in from Milner, but Watford clear with ease. The deliveries haven't been bad from Man City today, but with their 10 corners have produced nothing so far.
Up the other end, Tevez spots the adventurous Milner darting into the area, but his shot is deflected wide for a corner. Great last-ditch challenge by Neuton there.
Yellow Card Troy Deeney
Watford are starting to get more of a foot on the ball at the moment, as Chalobah opts to pass rather than shoot and finds Deeney running through on goal. But the No.9 is a little over-eager and ends up fouling Pantilimon inside the area, for which he receives a booking.
And Silva collects the ball near the halfway line and sets off on a twisting run towards Watford's goal, he lays the ball off to Milner, whose deflected cross spins towards Bond's goal, but the goalkeeper collects.
And Cassetti follows suit as he sets himself around 25 yards out but Silva sticks out a boot to divert the ball away from goal.
Chalobah sees a sight of goal at least 30 yards out, but his shot is tame. Watford having to rely on efforts from distance already, it seems.
Early chance for Man City as Tevez drives through the centre of the Hornets' defence, but his shot-cum-cross fails to find either the goal or a team-mate.
Watford have made a change at the break, with Neuton coming on for Pudil.
And Man City get us back underway! They lead 2-0 here.
The teams are back out for the second half.
Here is Jack Gaughan with his half-time thoughts: "Watford have looked to hit the Premier League champions on the break, with a bit of joy, but it is Manchester City who have looked the more likely throughout and deservedly lead 2-0 thanks to a wondrous Carlos Tevez freekick and a Gareth Barry header in a full-blooded encounter. Both really want to progress here – very encouraging to watch. But ultimately, it should be game, set and match for the hosts against the gallant Hornets."
45' + 2'
And the half-time whistle goes! Man City lead 2-0 here at the Etihad Stadium.
Yes Man City are superior in talent, but Watford did themselves no favours by sitting back and allowing the Premier League champions on to them. We are into added time.
Goal Gareth Barry
GOAL!! Barry makes it 2-0! Man City have a firm grip on a place in the fourth round now as the midfielder meets Milner's neat cross to head into the bottom corner past Bond. Game over before half-time, you'd expect.
City keep up the pressure on Watford but keep the ball patiently looking for the hole in the Hornets' defence.
...And Silva sums this up get doing very well down the left to find space to drive in a cross, which he does but it evades everyone and harmlessly rolls out for a goal kick.
Watford are under the cosh at the moment, but you can't say the Man City are particulary threatening. Not too much in the way of shots on target.
Milner comes at the Watford defence again, but, again, his cross is overhit with Bond AGAIN collecting with ease. He's not had the best of games so far, has Milner.
Another corner for Man City and again it comes to nothing. Lescott meets Milner's delivery at the back post but gets underneath it, allowing time for Watford to clear.
A lot of dissent from the Man City players so far. That is two easily avoidable bookings already. Meanwhile, Silva tries to find Milner's run into the area but Bond is quick off his line to smother the ball.
Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta
Here is Jack Gaughan again: "The look on Phil Dowd's face when he cautions a player is what we come to football for - a real joy to behold. Pablo Zabaleta is the latest to see yellow, angered that he didn't win a throw-in and bouncing the ball in frustration."
If Watford are going to get anything of this game, they need to keep tight at the back. City are finding space far too easily at the moment as Dzeko gets to the touchline and tries to find Zabaleta on the edge of the area, but his pass is off target.
And Watford come straight back at Man City! From the restart, Forestieri beats the offside trap to bear down on Pantilimon's goal, only for the tall keeper to push the ball away. Good save.
Goal Carlos Tévez
GOAL!! Tevez gives his side the lead with a blistering free kick. The ball appeared to go straight through the Watford wall. You can't say City don't deserve it.
Yellow Card John Eustace
Great skill by Silva with reverse pass to find Milner galloping into the area, but the latter's cut back to Barry is wayward and the chance breaks down.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Dzeko has the ball in the back of the net after latching onto Kompany’s scuffed shot, but the linesman's flag immediately halts any celebrations.
After a bright start, Watford are fading fast. However, a free kick around 25 yards tests Pantilimon, but is easy to smother for the second-choice goalkeeper.
CLOSE! Best chance of the game so far as Zabaleta hits a rasping drive from the edge of the area that Bond parries away. There were half-hearted shouts of a handball from Man City in the build-up, but nothing really doing.
Yellow Card Javi García
First booking of the game as Garcia goes in hard on Chalobah and, just to make sure the referee knows his name, he talks his way into being given a yellow card.
Jack ain't wrong. Vydra runs clear of the Man City defence after spotting an opening on the break, but Lescott manages to get back and clear the danger.
Here is Jack Gaughan again: "Watford look bright on the break, but are struggling to get out of their own third let alone their own half. Manchester City have forced five corners already, without truly creating anything, but there is an encouraging, unexpected, intensity to this."
...Phew. Finally Watford are given a reprieve when Milner's cross back into the area flies sails behind Bond's goal.
Lescott jumps highest to meet the delivery but sees his header diverted for another corner. Continual pressure from the hosts here...
...Zabaleta's good delivery causes a few seconds of uncertainty in the Watford defence, but the away side clear at the second attempt but concede a corner in the process.
I tell you what though, Watford are not doing themselves any favours by giving away needless set-pieces, this time Pudil is penalised for a foul on Zabaleta around 30 yards out...
Watford are making a good early account of themselves, but it is Man City with the majority of possession so far as they win two early corners with the away side parry efficiently.
Here is our man at the ground Jack Gaughan with an early update: "An engaging start here at the Etihad Stadium. Edin Dzeko has seen an effort fly wide, but it’s Watford who have really impressed. Zola has gone for an expansive 4-3-3 formation and they’ve arrogantly sauntered forward on a couple of occasions and seen two shots blocked."
Man City are straight on the attack as Tevez works the ball well down the left before trying to find Dzeko inside the penalty area, but the striker cannot angle his shot on target.
We are underway! Watford kick us off.
So Balotelli is on the bench following his training group bust-up with Mancini as Dzeko and Tevez start up front. Lescott partners Kompany at centre-back.
Watford starting XI: Bond; Doyley, Ekstrand, Nosworthy; Cassetti, Chalobah, Eustace, Pudil; Forestieri, Deeney, Vydra. Subs: Bonham, Neuton, Anya, Battocchio, Yeates, Bia, Geijo.
Manchester City starting XI: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Garcia, Barry, Milner; Silva, Tevez, Dzeko. Subs: Hart, Rekik, Nastasic, Sinclair, Lopes, Suarez, Balotelli.
Let's get those line-ups for you...
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the FA Cup clash between Manchester City and Watford.
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