MAN CITY 5 BARNSLEY 0 – Tevez in the fast lane

When Manchester City reached their first Wembley FA Cup semi final the big joke was Carlos Tevez had to sit on the front seat to give directions – he was the only one who knew the way!

That was 23 months ago, before Roberto Mancini brought the curtain down on 35 success starved years and started to deliver annual silverware to City’s trophy cabinet.

It was therefore somewhat ironic that Tevez, the talisman of City’s FA Cup winning campaign of 2010/11, was missing from their glorious semi final win over Manchester United having been injured at Anfield just days before.

Notwithstanding the Argentine striker’s motoring misdemeanors, his navigational skills proved spot on at the Etihad as he bagged a hat-trick in an embarrassingly easy 5-0 drubbing of Barnsley.

The controversial striker doesn’t hold a valid UK driving licence but he more than qualified for his HGV (High Goals Volume) version, as City romped to a quarter final victory over their Championship opponents.

With his more acclaimed countryman and strike partner Sergio Aguero missing through injury, Tevez seized his moment, dusted off his licence to thrill and killed off the Yorkshiremen with a brace of first half goals.

By half time terrier Tevez had also provided a beautiful assist for the best goal of the game from Aleksander Kolarov, as he had an arresting effect on anything and everything at a near capacity Etihad Stadium.

The final 45 minutes saw him complete his own triple crown and provide yet another assist – this time for the ever silky David Silva – in a fabulous five star performance.

This was King Carlos at his best, holding court akin to days of old when he was, quite simply, Manchester City, driving opponents to despair and visiting fans to distraction.

A 6,000 strong Tyke invasion force were reduced to shallow taunts of the Sky Blue masses long before the conclusion of this War of the Roses mismatch.

With absolutely nothing to cheer on the pitch, the Yorkshire ‘puddings’ descended into chants of ‘Where were you when you were sh*t…’ and ‘Champions League, you’re havin’ a laugh…’

In this particular instance the ripostes were simple. An average 28,000 home crowd in the third tier of English football tells the whole world that the bedrock of City fans actually know their ‘sh*t’ – both good and bad.

As for the CL – the City fans could have responded with ‘Championship, you’re havin’ a laugh’ as Barnsley slumped to the bottom of the second tier of the domestic game before they began their fruitless FA Cup pursuit.

They could, but the naturally good humored and magnanimous Manchester City faithful don’t believe in mocking the afflicted.

Tevez took his place in a much changed CityXI with Clichy, Nastasic, Milner, Garcia and Hart making way for Kolarov, Lescott, Nasri, Barry and Pantilimon.

Dzeko who came on as a  sub at Villa Park on Monday night, retained his place, with the man he replaced, the luckless Jack Rodwell, once again sidelined by a hamstring injury.

The game was all but over by the 27th minute when the hard working Dzeko lost and then won back possession, releasing Tevez down the right flank. The ever industrious pocket battleship, showing excellent vision, hit a perfect low cross for Kolarov, who drilled the ball home with his lethal left foot.

Tevez launched the goal glut in the 11th minute, courtesy of a simple tap in after a delightful dinked ball from Yaya Toure had been volleyed by Silva, rebounding off the post to the South American.

On the half hour, Man of the Match Tevez, started and finished the move leading to City’s third.

His initial pass on the halfway line fed through to Kolarov wide on the left. He played it to Silva in the Barnsley box and his sublime reverse ball fell to Tevez, who turned his marker and stroked the ball into the net.

Nasri, surprisingly named as a starter, did well for the fourth goal, picking out Tevez in the 50th minute with a deft pass from the byline. Tevez slightly scuffed shot was enough to beat keeper Luke Steele.

The fifth goal was engineered by the irresistible Silva and Tevez combination. The mercurial striker turned provider with a neat passing exchange after Silva advanced from the centre circle.

Adored by the fans, the Spaniard hit a right foot shot – as rare as a Lord Lucan sighting – which was saved by Steele, before knocking the rebound into the net with his more orthodox left boot.

James Milner, on for the tiring Tevez, slammed a howitzer of a shot against Steele’s post – the fourth time City have hit the woodwork in two games – while at the opposite end, Costel Pantilimon produced a trio of good saves to keep a 100% record of clean sheets during the FA Cup run.

It was synonymous of a show of complete professionalism, a job done and Wembley here we come.

ESPN (Essentially Snide Pernicious Nerds) in the guise of the plumb- in- the mouth-prat, Jon Champion, managed their usual smattering of anti-City vitriol in their commentary, despite the excellent manner of the win.

The media, having speculated that Guardiola, then Mourinho, then Pelligrini were to be installed at the Etihad this summer, are now claiming Valencia manager, Ernesto Valverde is being primed to succeed Roberto Mancini…for God’s sake why don’t they just shut it?

You only need to hear 43,000 plus voices singing “MANCINI, he comes from Italy to manage Man City, MANCINI…” to know where the fans’ allegiance lies.

The people have spoken – FORZAMANCINI – all the way to Wemberleeee…


  1. March 10, 2013  10:40 am by Alan Baxter Reply

    Thanks again David. Good humoured excellent punditry. Wish there were more like you. Would like to buy you a pint at Wembley (I'll start saving now). You'll have your work cut out next week trying to glamourise an away tie at Everton. The words Ear, Pig, silk and purse spring to mind. However in the meantime I'll just bask in that display by Tevez. First class. Thanks again.

    • March 10, 2013  12:46 pm by David Walker Reply

      Tasty confectionary #toffeesinabasketwithabigbow #glamour

  2. March 10, 2013  10:56 am by Carl Corry Reply

    Another brilliant review, love to see you taking on the pundits with their limited use of our amazing language.

  3. March 10, 2013  11:38 am by Graham Ward Reply

    Good day at the office, and I was glad that the game was done and dusted early, following on from the 5th round against Leeds.
    Glad to have been a little help with ESPN ;-)
    Let's see what 6.30pm brings, and that Everton have a hangover next Saturday!

    • March 10, 2013  12:49 pm by David Walker Reply

      If - IF - we can break the Everton hoodoo who knows what it could do for morale #13gamewinningrun?

  4. March 10, 2013  11:54 am by Steve White Reply

    Once again an fabulous read. Felt sorry for Edin, he was an agile focused forward who put on a massive effort too. Sadly missed out on a goal. Great day out for us..... & Wembley here we come. Had a grin on my face for ages now :-)

    • March 10, 2013  12:53 pm by David Walker Reply

      Yes Wemberleee here we come - Edin tried & tried but sadly not top drawer, in fairness we don't play to his strengths.

  5. March 10, 2013  12:08 pm by Chris Williams Reply

    Getting very tired of the Media's attempts to destabilise both City & Mancini. Really think that City's media should start coming down hard on these fools.

  6. March 10, 2013  1:09 pm by David Walker Reply

    Totally agree - sue or ban or both - crappy, malicious lazy 'journalism'.

  7. March 10, 2013  1:17 pm by Lisa Royle Reply

    Excellent read as ever...thanks David,keep up the great work.

    • March 10, 2013  6:19 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks - hopefully I can write about two further FA Cup wins for City before the season concludes.

  8. March 10, 2013  1:31 pm by Susan Richardson Reply

    Summed up perfectly as usual. I agree with Chris there is no balance from the snide press. Started on Vinnie this morning. The club should start responding, who are these sources close to the club???????

    • March 10, 2013  6:21 pm by David Walker Reply

      'Sources' is a bullshit term used by journalists to fabricate some notional nonsense in their twisted little minds.

  9. March 10, 2013  1:53 pm by Andy Devereux Reply

    Great read again fella. As i thought just too strong for the boys from yorkshire easy win and Wembley here we come......again!!

    • March 10, 2013  6:23 pm by David Walker Reply

      We were just too strong...which was nice!

  10. March 10, 2013  5:59 pm by Evelyn Spence Reply

    Thank you Dave another very interesting read.

    Was fabulous to see our boys working together playing such fluent football.

    Silva's magical little pass back for Tevez to score really stood out for me & Kolorov's goal was stunning.

    Despite all the goals was still frustrated for Milner & Edin not being rewarded for their attempts!

    • March 10, 2013  6:28 pm by David Walker Reply

      Delighted for Carlito and hope he can sustain this goal scoring form through until end of season - it could make all the difference. Felt sorry for Dzeko - he tried but nothing fell right for him.
      Thanks for reading ;-)

  11. March 10, 2013  10:10 pm by Peter Cookson Reply

    Good read as per David. Worth noting we have reached the semi final without conceding,an indication of the quality of our defense in its various guises.

    • March 10, 2013  10:46 pm by David Walker Reply

      City's defence has performed admirably especially with all the personnel changes. Good defensive coaching. It can be foundation stone of future success with Kompany Nastasic Richards Zaba Rekik Clichy plus new signings. Maybe arriverderci Joleon Maicon Kolo & Kolarov in the summer.

  12. March 11, 2013  11:22 am by Kev Russell Reply

    Enjoyable read as ever David. They say your name is on the FA Cup at the start of season. My Wigan mate is convinced that because of the Dave Whelan "dream" it will be their year. Yes that would be romantic & in this underdog year, he may be correct. I think we are too powerful to allow that to happen & once we win our semi-final, we will turn them over next. Rags could be in their bad patch which they haven't had yet this season. I can see you writing a lot more winning reports yet David. Thanks for another terrific read. #TopScriber

    • March 11, 2013  11:10 pm by David Walker Reply

      Sounds like a great idea - I'll write 13 more match MCFC winning reports between now and the end of the season and see where that leaves us - FA Cup winners 2013 and PL Champions or Runners-Up - it'd be a close run thing if we managed to win every darn match. I am NOT without a dream in my heart!

      As ever, cheers Kev #SuperBlue

  13. March 12, 2013  12:15 am by roy sykes Reply

    Very well written David,as faultless as Costels stats as forceful as a Yaya run and as loyal as most of us ! Keep writing.

    • March 12, 2013  7:31 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Roy - very poetic of you #together

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