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FA Cup

  • 30 January 2011
  • • 14:00
  • • Meadow Lane Stadium, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 16587
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Notts County 1-1 Manchester City: Edin Dzeko nets first goal for club to salvage replay against League One outfit

Notts County 1-1 Manchester City: Edin Dzeko nets first goal for club to salvage replay against League One outfit

Strong City side held by minnows

Edin Dzeko salvaged Manchester City a replay against a battling Notts County side in a 1-1 draw at Meadow Lane.

An upset looked on the cards as the League One side took a shock lead through a Neil Bishop header on 57 minutes after static City defending from a corner.

Dzeko slammed home the equaliser – and his first goal in English football – on 80 minutes from a Micah Richards cross to spare the blushes of City, who sit 59 places above County in the league standings.
 
Roberto Mancini named a strong squad for the trip to Meadow Lane as City looked to progress to the last 16 of the competition without fuss after being forced to a replay in the last round against Leicester.

Notts County created the first chance of the game after only two minutes. Good work down the left by John Harley created space for Alan Gow to cut inside, only for the Scot to be felled by Jerome Boateng about 25 yards from goal. Gow took the resulting free-kick, which was fired wide of Joe Hart’s left post.

City tested the opposition keeper for the first time after eight minutes of play. Mancini’s side moved the ball around nicely before Edin Dzeko released Micah Richards to burst down the wing and cross low for Yaya Toure, who saw his stretching effort turned over for a corner.

Dzeko’s first attempt to score in the FA Cup was to shoot wildly at goal from 25 yards out after being fed by Toure on 12 minutes.

Striker Jo, often a figure of frustration for City fans, wasted two opportunities in the first half. The first was a header wide after 16 minutes following good work from James Milner down the right. The former CSKA Moscow striker then contrived to shoot high over the bar late in the half when a pass into the penalty area would have been better suited.

City didn’t threaten the County goal again until the 29th minute when Yaya Toure played Jo in down the right, he shot across the box and the ball was scrambled clear by the home defence, denying Dzeko the chance slot in.

County defender Pearce was then on hand to clear the ball away from the feet of Dzeko only moments later.

In an end-to-end encounter, the Magpies were able to get the ball in the City half but unable to penetrate the opposition’s penalty area. This was perfectly demonstrated when County striker Lee Hughes had the last chance of the half, Joe Hart saving his tame effort from outside of the penalty area.

The second half began in similar vein to the first with neither side registering serious efforts on goal.

City’s attempt to take the lead was foiled by a Dzeko miss. Milner fed the lively Richards down the right-hand side, but his bobbling cross was scooped over by the Bosnian international.

The Magpies first effort of the half came in the shape of Craig Westcarr on 53 minutes, whose curling effort down the middle was easy enough for Hart to save.

Notts County took a shock lead on 57 minutes through midfielder Bishop, who ran a through a static City defence and flicked a corner ball beyond the despairing Hart, with Pablo Zabaleta unable to prevent the ball crossing the line.

The goal prompted City boss Mancini to make his first substitute of the game. The ineffective Jo was removed from the field of play and replaced by David Silva, with the away side now in desperate need of creativity and inspiration.

Dzeko’s wait for a goal was nearly over on 63 minutes when Zabaleta crossed from the left only to see City’s latest recruit head over Stuart Nelson’s goal.

The home side almost doubled their advantage on 67 minutes but Harley's inviting cross was headed wide by Hughes as County attempted to double their advantage and put the game out of the Premier League side’s reach. 

Gareth Barry almost gave City an equaliser after his chest and volley from a corner was turned over by keeper Nelson.

Man City finally broke the home side's defence on 80 minutes when Dzeko equalised. The persistence of Richards was finally rewarded with a goal, with the Englishman teeing up the Bosnian to slam home his first goal for the club since arriving from Wolfsburg.
 
Both sides had opportunities to finish the tie off after 90 minutes but Notts County and manager Paul Ince will certainly be the happier party with a lucrative replay.

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