Glandford Park`s record crowd witnessed an all-action, entertaining, fourth round cup tie, as Manchester City saw off challengers Scunthorpe 4-2. Goals from Petrov, Onuoha, Sylvinho and possibly a last from Robinho, ensured Manchester City safely entered the 5th round draw where a home tie against Stoke awaits.
City`s class finally prevailed against a sturdy Iron`s side on a cold, bleak afternoon in South Humberside. With our main focus a midweek Manchester derby, Mancini took the opportunity to rest first team stars and replace them with young, budding talent. Robinho also made the starting eleven, despite rumours circulating over a possible move for the Brazilian.
Having previously faced a Scunthorpe side, City knew what was possibly expected from the Championship outfit. City hammered Scunthorpe 5-1 in the League Cup tie so confidence would be extremely high.
After only 3 minutes, Manchester City were already celebrating a well taken goal from the left boot of Martin Petrov. The winger combined with the mercurial Robinho who neatly set up Petrov, The Bulgarian smashed his left footed shot into the corner past Iron`s keeper Murphy.
With the unfortunate possibility of a repeat score line for Scunthorpe they battled well. Defiant and well rehearsed Scunthorpe began to control proceedings and were disappointed not to be level soon after. Nonchalant and too casual in possession, City gifted the hosts with two great opportunities. Byrne and Hayes were the guilty culprits, Byrne hitting the bar with a close range header, before Hayes couldn`t steer home a close range poke.
Somewhat buoyant and resurgent the pressure was mounting on City. A fortuitous goal allowed Scunthorpe back on level terms with an unenviable linesman decision. A well disciplined backline stood firm and allowed Hayes to advance in to an offside position. The striker then picked up the loose ball from an offside position and slotted home from 10 yards. However, unable to decide whether the goal was onside or offside, the linesman unknowingly looked at the referee to suggest everything was acceptable.
The match finally burst into an even cup tie, both sides looking nervous, under pressure and unwilling to make the next mistake. City had a much needed wake up call and began to dominate possession in admirable fashion. Slick interchanges across midfield and trickery upfront allowed City to take a much needed lead into the break.
After several missed changes it was a first F.A Cup goal from Academy graduate and defender Nedum Onuoha that granted City a lead on the cusp of first half stoppage time. Ireland looked sublime creating several chances. The midfielder finally contributed with an assist as his ball found the onrushing Onuoha, the defender, composed and unfazed, placed the ball under the Scunthorpe keeper.
City entered the second half positive and upbeat as they again looked to break the shackles of the Iron`s defence. With a crowd captivated in the first half the second also failed to disappoint. Both sides were looking for a 5th round tie with several passages of play in the oppositions half. Unfortunately, neither side could sit comfortably as fans and managers alike looked pensive in the dugouts.
Superior in the opposing territory, City clinched a sensational third goal. Sylvinho, another player who also netted his first F.A Cup goal, took aim from 35 yards to unleash a swerving thunderbolt into the roof of Murphy`s net. His green boots crisply struck the ball to score a goal of the tournament contender.
Scunthorpe felt clearly aggrieved to be two goals down after a hard fought display. The talent and sublime skill of Manchester City, especially Robinho, nearly allowed us to add to the three goals previously scored. Greeted with three fantastic opportunities, we were largely wasteful. Iron`s keeper Murphy stood strong and pulled off several phenomenal saves to deny the fourth.
With the neutrals and home fans urging Scunthorpe along, desperate for an equaliser, they used this to their advantage. Against the run of play Scunthorpe scored to the disbelief of Boyata, who deflected a throw into his own goal.
A final flourish of attacks awaited us but unable to conjure any serious opportunities it was Robinho who put the icing on the fourth round cake. After missing several chances, in a strong performance from Robinho, the Brazilian finally scored. Scunthorpe`s defence was undone by enjoyable and superior football as Robinho smashed home his right footed effort.
A valuable cup win for City after a busy period. Still pursuing trophies in all competitions entered, we looked unfazed and the squad rotation fitted perfectly. Young guns Boyata and Ibrahim greatly impressed and after some recent unsatisfactory performances from Robinho, the winger was at the heart of everything pleasing. Despite a tough and well organised battle put forward by Scunthorpe a combination of youth and experience from City ensured no cup exit.
FT- 2 – 4
Fortunately Given doesn’t look to face any time on the sidelines. Nervous and edgy Taylor provided little confidence to a youthful side. Made one great save.
Scored his first F.A. Cup goal. Out of position Nedum sometimes looked suspect and wasn’t very comfortable in possession. Always strong defensively.
Combined well on occasions with compatriot Boyata. Mr casual in possession, Kompany takes off the pressure and allows attacks to form.
Extremely unfortunate to be given the opposition goal. Best defender on the pitch with an old head on young shoulders. Similiar performer to Kompany. Close call for Star Player.
A wonder goal capped off a strong second half display. Lacking pace Sylvinho struggled at left back. However, when moved into midfield his presence and experience was needed.
A surprising starter who performed spectacularly. Very comfortable in possession and well timed tackles broke up opposition play. Very gifted in that position, City look strong. Very impressive.
Strong first half, rested in the second. Never under performs.
Performed very well in an attacking role before removed. Created several chances and with better players around him more would have been taken. A possible starter for the derby.
Performed very well on both sides. Created several chances, scored a thunderbolt and was unfortunate not to add to his tally. Close call for Star Player.
A surprise starter after recent dismal displays. Completely different and resurgent, Robbie put in a sublime performance combining skill and determination. Scored the fourth after possibly missing chances of the season.
Woeful on occasions Benjani combined lack of effort and clumsines. On the odd occasion he combined well with the wide men. Fouled very often but penalised himself. Needs to learn the offside rule.
Strong half from the left back. Another youth prospect making his way into the first team. Very inspiring.
Looked to steady the ship and put in some good tackles. Did ok going forward.
Little time, still caused havoc.