Manchester City got back to winning ways with a crushing victory over Arsene Wenger’s young Arsenal side.
Under pressure boss Mark Hughes needed a comprehensive win to silence the growing disconcern over the last few weeks. Carlos Tevez, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Vladimir Weiss fired home three excellent goals in the second half to secure City’s progress to the Carling Cup semi-finals where they will face rivals Manchester United.
The home side flew out of the blocks and played with the verve and confidence expected from a team which had already beated Arsenal in a convincing manner earlier in he season.
City pressed the issue and had the only real chance of the first half which fell to Craig Bellamy, the Welshman firing narrowly wide after some excellent work from Shaun Wright-Phillips down the right-wing.
Arsenal looked mildly dangerous on the break but their inexprerience told in the final third as City’s notoriously shaky back line held firm.
As the half wore on, the Blues looked a lot more composed on the ball, even though both sides were guilty of the odd stray pass.
Half-time: Manchester City 0 Arsenal 0
Arsene Wenger must have been relitavely pleased to come back to the second-half with a clean sheet, his side showing more bite in the early stages of the restart and a desire to turn the tables on Mark Hughes’ dominating team was evident.
City, however, had other plans, as Carlos Tevez stole the ball from the careless Tomas Rosicky before played a one-two with Bellamy and running across the box past three bewildered Arsenal defenders before firing a sublime shot past Fabianski and in off the bar on the 50 minute mark.
To be fair to Arsenal, they responded well after the goal with a couple of wasted opportunities and plenty of posession.
Unfortunately for the Gunners, City’s prowess in front of goal shined through and 19 minutes later, Shaun Wright-Phillips burst into Arsenal’s half, holding off Mikael Silvestre, before unleashing a thunderbolt past Arsenal’s hapless keeper to double the advantage.
Arsenal didn’t follow this goal up in the same manner and City saw the the game out comfortably, finishing off the second-half in style with a goal in the 89th minute courtesy of substitute Vladimir Weiss after world class work by Craig Bellamy on the left, skipping past two defenders before unselfishly squaring the ball for the young Slovakian wonder kid.
After the game, Wenger’s frustration at watching his side slain in such a convincing manner was evident as he stormed down the tunnel, refusing the gracious act of shaking hands in defeat.
Full-time: Manchester City 3 Arsenal 0
Goals: Carlos Tevez 50′ Shaun Wright-Phillips 69′ Vladimir Weiss 89′ (Manchester City)