Apr 14, 2013, 1:15 PM EST
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.
Dec 21, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Ally McCoist has left Scottish Championship team Rangers, as the club has recognized the former star striker is now on “gardening leave.”
Dec 21, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
Catch up on Premier League Round 17 action from this Sunday.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EST
According to Brendan Rogers, Liverpool’s prime attacker, Daniel Sturridge, will make his return from a multi-month injury in early January.
Dec 21, 2014, 4:05 PM EST
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson on game-winner and Tyne-Wear derby triumphs: “Three years in a row, they must hate me here!”
Dec 21, 2014, 3:39 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers gives his thoughts after a 2-2 draw despite what he called “dominance” on the ball.
Dec 21, 2014, 3:12 PM EST
With polarizing halves separating the teams, Arsene Wenger said a draw was the correct result based on performance.
Dec 21, 2014, 2:29 PM EST
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to bring a grudge with him to Morocco.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EST
With Newcastle yielding late, Alan Pardew thinks he may have left his team a little too exposed as the clock ticked towards the final minute.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:08 PM EST
Martin Skrtel returned from a nasty injury and took full advantage of the resulting stopptage time.
Dec 21, 2014, 11:58 AM EST
A day to forget for the American central defender in Germany’s top flight.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:26 AM EST
The boyhood Newcastle fan scored at St. James Park for the third year in a row as Sunderland stole the Tyne-Wear derby late.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:16 AM EST
Raheem Sterling looks to be the lone attacking option for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has left both his available strikers on the bench.
Dec 21, 2014, 8:52 AM EST
A magnetizing first touch leads to a meaningless but nonetheless beautiful goal by the man who gives us magic weekly.
Dec 21, 2014, 7:53 AM EST
The heated Tyne-Wear derby has brought us goals and fireworks of many kinds, and will be no different today as Sunderland looks to win four in a row over Newcastle for the first time ever.
Dec 20, 2014, 10:54 PM EST
Howard doesn’t think Lampard will start the MLS season with NYCFC, although he says he should.
Dec 20, 2014, 9:51 PM EST
Doneil Henry is reportedly close to joining West Ham, which is a surprise, to say the least.
Dec 20, 2014, 8:46 PM EST
After logging lots of miles the last 16 months, Raheem Sterling is going to get a short rest very soon.
Dec 20, 2014, 8:04 PM EST
NYCFC won’t be calling the Bronx home, but they’re still hopeful a deal can be done elsewhere in the city.
Dec 20, 2014, 7:13 PM EST
Arsene Wenger says he’s not cheap, and that you should join him for a night out if you don’t believe him.
Dec 20, 2014, 5:56 PM EST
Barcelona are keeping things tight in Spain, while Roma are losing sight of Juventus once again.
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