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The F.A CupBY: joe carrig | Category: Sports | Submitted: 2011-04-18 09:29:36
Article Summary: "Review of the weekends semi-final matches and a look ahead to the final. The two finalists for this years F.A Cup have been decided at last. After months of exciting and entertaining football Man City and Stoke have prevailed to contest what should be a hard fought battle in Wembley on 14th of May..."
The two finalists for this years F.A Cup have been decided at last. After months of exciting and entertaining football Man City and Stoke have prevailed to contest what should be a hard fought battle in Wembley on 14th of May. Man City have been to the final on eight previous occasions the last of which was in 1981 where they lost out to Spurs after a replay. For Stoke this will be their first appearance in an F.A cup final and their fans will look for their team to build on there superb semi-final performance.
Man City took on bitter local rivals Man United on Saturday and despite being under pressure for the first twenty minutes managed to weather the storm. Bebatov had two good chances in quick succession to put United ahead. Joe Hart made a great save after Berbatov had been played through. Bebatov then skied the ball over the bar from close range when he really should have scored. After that City took control of the game keeping United camped in their own half. Their pressure told in the 52nd after a poor clearance from Micheal Carrick was pounced on by Yaya Toure who coolly slotted the ball under the on rushing Van der Sar. United were now in trouble with too many players under performing and United's challenge effectively ended in the 72nd minute when Paul Scholes was red carded for rash challenge on Zabaleta which left a bloody mark on Man City players thigh. The game ended on a sour note as Rio Ferdinand and Balotelli clashed after the final whistle but City will not care and will hope they can march on to win their first trophy for 35 years
Stoke and Bolton took to the pitch on Sunday knowing Man City awaited the winner in the final. Everyone expected a tight physical battle but Stoke obviously had others ideas. Matthew Etherington hit Bolton on the break on 11 minutes firing an excellent shot past the Bolton keeper. Stoke were on target again in the 17th minute when a headed clearance from Bolton only found Robert Huth on the edge of the box who vollyed the ball towards the goals and into the back of the net. Bolton were shell shocked and seemed to give up as Jones added another before half time. Tony Pulis could not have expected to be so far ahead at this stage. As the teams returned to the pitch for the second half a big performance was needed from Bolton but it never came. Stoke pushed on once more and scored a further 2 goals through Irish striker Walters rounding off a dream result for Stoke
Man City will be favourites for the final having dispatched of Man United and chasing Champions League football in the League but Stoke fans will think that their teams hard work ethic will see them in with a good chance of beating Roberto Mancini's team. It will be a massive day for both teams
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