Monday, 11 March 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 5 - 0 Barnsley

Emphatic win secures potential Manchester derby in semi final

By Aaron Leggott

Clinical, deadly, effective. These are just some of the superlatives that can be used to describe City's emphatic quarter final triumph against Barnsley on Saturday night as Carlos Tevez grabbed his fifth hat trick in English football. 

Without a goal conceded in the FA Cup campaign so far, City were extremely hopeful of dismantling a Barnsley side struggling at the bottom of the Championship, and they certainly gave the visitors no hope of a miracle almost immediately.

Tykes manager David Flitcroft was impressed at how good City's players were, and they were at their best from the very start. Some swift passing and quick movement almost saw Barnsley concede inside the first minute as Edin Dzeko found himself some space in the box, but the Bosnian headed over from close range.

But ten minutes later, luck wasn't going to be on Barnsley's side for a second time. As Dzeko found Yaya Toure on the edge of the box, the powerful midfielder chipped the ball over the Barnsley back line as he found David Silva, whose shot was saved onto the post and into the path of Tevez. He had the simplest of chances as he tapped home from close range to crush Barnsley's hopes of repeating the shock of 2008.

It was exactly the start that City had craved, and they doubled their lead just before the half hour mark as Tevez became the architect this time around. After Dzeko stole the ball in midfield, he set Tevez through down the wing and the Argentinian possessed some terrific vision to find Aleksandar Kolarov and he stroked the ball into the far post past Luke Steele.

Four minutes later Tevez grabbed his second of the game after an impressive move which saw Kolarov, Silva and Tevez link up to make Barnsley's afternoon even more miserable. 

The 2011 winners were teasing the Barnsley defence all day and if it wasn't for Steele, Tevez could have had a first half hat trick but his 20 yard effort was tipped over the bar ten minutes before half time. 

City have never lost an FA Cup game when Tevez has featured and you can understand why when he plays like this. Just minutes after the break, Nasri found City's current star man who fired the ball past Steele to grab his hat trick and ensure City would get to Wembley for the fourth time in three years. 

Source: Manchester Evening News
And the game was finished off by City's creative superstar David Silva after his initial shot was palmed right into his path, and the Spaniard had no trouble to score from close range. 

In all honesty, Barnsley barely threatened Costel Pantilimon's goal and despite efforts from Jacob Mellis and loanee Ryan Tunnicliffe, they were comfortably pushed aside and will now be focusing on a relegation battle in the Championship. 

My thoughts

What a brilliant performance by the lads. I know that we were playing significantly weaker opposition but we were never complacent and it was yet another game in which our defence successfully kept a further clean sheet. 

We will now play either Chelsea or Manchester United in the semi final and in our current form, I feel we are capable of beating either side and giving ourselves an unbelievable chance of FA Cup success with either Wigan, Blackburn or Millwall awaiting us in the final. 

Of course, we can't take anything for granted and both potential semi final opponents provide threats that are bigger than anything else throughout the country so we need to be on top form to progress. 

I was extremely happy with how Carlos Tevez played as well. He was definitely my Man of the Match on Saturday and deserved his hat trick. To put aside being arrested the day before and putting in such a professional performance was pleasing and I hope he can do the same next weekend at Goodison Park.

Overall, I just hope the team continue to play like this and we finish the season off strongly... at the end of the day I think a lot know that they are playing for their futures!!!


                             City                                                                                    Barnsley
                              60%                                   Possession                                   40%
                            19 (10)                             Shots (on target)                             8 (3)
                                8                                        Corners                                       3
                               7                                           Fouls                                         8

Player ratings

PANTILIMON: Kept yet another clean sheet and I hope Mancini decides to stick with him for the semi final at Wembley as he deserves it. Was tested by Mellis and Tunnicliffe at 4-0 and in all fairness they were both top quality saves.    

TSBV rating: 8/10

ZABALETA: Didn't really have much to do defensively but can't complain at another clean sheet. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

KOLO TOURE: Kolo was in a similar boat to Zabaleta in that he was rarely troubled throughout the game. It was worrying at how easily Tunnicliffe got past him on the hour mark but Toure was solid for the rest of the game.   

TSBV rating: 6/10

LESCOTT: I personally think Joleon is on borrowed time at City now and he probably knows that with the form of Matija Nastasic this season, he can't really complain. It was a solid performance from Lescott though and I hope he will get a medal at the end of the season if he is to depart as he has been a great servant during his time here.

TSBV rating: 7/10

KOLAROV: We can probably all agree that Kolarov isn't the greatest defender in world football, but when going forward he is deadly. He scored a great goal to make it 2-0 and also produced an incredible pass in the build up to the third goal so he will be happy with his performance   

TSBV rating: 8/10

BARRY: I was surprised that Barry was named in the starting eleven ahead of Milner, but Gareth proved how valuable he still is to this City team. Whilst he is not our most threatening player going forward, we rarely seem to get troubled defensively when he is in the side thanks to his covering and solidity in that defensive midfield role.    

TSBV rating: 7/10

YAYA TOURE: His pass for the first goal was incredible and I think he was one of the reason why we controlled the midfield so easily. When you looked at the opposition he had up against him during the game, you can't really be surprised with his dominant performance. His strength and pace must give our rivals nightmares at times.      

TSBV rating: 8/10

NASRI: Considering the negativity surrounding Nasri's recent performances, he can be happy with his game on Saturday. Still has a lot to do if he wants to be a City player next season, though.

TSBV rating: 7/10

SILVA: Silva is one of those who just makes us click when he's in top form. Him and Yaya were leagues above any player in that Barnsley midfield and it showed as he grabbed a goal and two assists.   

TSBV rating: 8/10

DZEKO: Dzeko was quite wasteful but was definitely eager to impress manager Roberto Mancini. Will be disappointed not to grab a goal though.     

TSBV rating: 7/10

TEVEZ: As I said previously, Tevez delivered a performance under a huge amount of pressure after events the day before and whilst the opposition was very weak, he is starting to show some emphatic form ahead of an important run in for City. With Aguero injured it was imperative that he produced again and he did it without any bother, a MoTM performance.    

TSBV rating: 10/10


SINCLAIR: Can't see him staying at the club beyond the summer, the game was won by the time he came on but he rarely even threatened a team that are 24th in the Championship. Definitely not the quality we need to challenge for titles.   

TSBV rating: 6/10

RAZAK: Similarly to Sinclair, Razak came on when the game was won but his real test will come in the next two seasons for me if he wants to be a City regular when he gets older.

TSBV rating: 6/10

MILNER: Didn't have enough time to influence proceedings. Will hopefully start against Everton considering his recent form.

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

1 comment:

  1. Colin Is The King11 March 2013 at 18:27

    Agree, this was a ruthless display by City, and good to see. Always glad that any opponent is not given a chance, and that the game is done and dusted early.
    Some excellent goals scored, the pick, for me, being the second by Kolarov.
    A huge game awaits in the semi final....and it seems the operative word is wait!