Apr 14, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT
Manchester City won’t retain their Premier League title, but they might just end the season with a trophy.
Roberto Mancini’s side defeated Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley today and will be hotter-than-hell-in-July favorites to beat Wigan Athletic in next month’s final.
After yesterday’s easy win for Wigan over Millwall in the other semi-final, this match lived up to the hype as Chelsea mounted a stirring second-half comeback from an 0-2 hole.
Samir Nasri opened the scoring after 35 minutes, bundling the ball in after a strong run from Yaya Toure and a touch from Sergio Aguero (pictured). It was a messy finish, but no wonder Nasri was delighted: it was his first goal since October 24. The contest looked over when Aguero added another two minutes into the second period, expertly looping a header in off Petr Cech’s far post.
But Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez summoned Fernando Torres from the bench after 66 minutes and adding another forward to help Demba Ba made a potent impact, stretching City’s defense and changing the pattern of play. Straight after Torres’ arrival, Ba superbly hooked the ball beyond City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon. It was the first goal the Romanian has conceded in the FA Cup this season – he has played in every round, with Mancini opting to give first-choice Joe Hart a rest.
City were indebted to Pantilimon for twice making excellent saves, from Juan Mata and Demba Ba, as Chelsea pressed for an equalizer that never quite came. Aguero, though, could face retrospective disciplinary action for appearing to trample on David Luiz with both feet. Since the referee, Chris Foy, did not even hand the striker a yellow card, he presumably failed to notice the seriousness of the foul.
Chelsea still have a Europa League semi-final against Basel to come, while City can hope for an exciting and successful end to their campaign. It won’t quite live up to last year’s climax, but it would be some compensation for a disappointing year.
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NBCSN games on Friday, Sunday highlight a nine-match weekend in the domestic league.
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The Nerazzurri icon moves to the East Midlands after 10 years at the San Siro.
Aug 28, 2014, 9:04 PM EDT
An arm to the back of Chad Marshall’s head earns the Timber’s center back a weekend off.
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Aug 28, 2014, 7:01 PM EDT
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Aug 28, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
Our first Power Rankings of the 2014-15 season. What do you think?
Aug 28, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
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Aug 28, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT
Jenna, JPW and Prindi break down Di Maria to United, Balotelli to Liverpool and Chelsea’s tough trip to Everton.
Aug 28, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT
A striker from Stanford could become the first collegian in the MLS era to play for the USA. Who is he?
Aug 28, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT
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Aug 28, 2014, 2:48 PM EDT
Klinsmann selects Stanford forward, several American youngsters based in Europe for Czech Republic clash.
Aug 28, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT
Can Arsenal and Man City navigate tough UCL groups, again?
Aug 28, 2014, 1:13 PM EDT
Ronaldo named ‘best player in Europe’ for outstanding 2013-14 season.
Aug 28, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT
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Aug 28, 2014, 11:49 AM EDT
Louis van Gaal delighted, yet realistic, as Di Maria speaks for the first time as a United player.
Aug 28, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT
All the latest gossip, right here.
Aug 28, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT
Galaxy win third-straight, go second in the West as Donovan continues to shine during elongated swansong.
Aug 28, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT
Chicharito on the move to Italy or Spain?
Aug 28, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
We continue our look at what each PL team needs to do in the final few days of the window.
Aug 28, 2014, 8:20 AM EDT
All the details you need to know, as the UCL group stage draw takes place on Thursday.
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