Manchester City strolled through their semi-final tie against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. Their route was eased considerably by City catching Brighton cold in the fourth minute as the Blues simply sliced through the Seagulls.
Laporte spotted Bernardo’s wide run, found him with a superb long pass. The Portuguese genius slipped it inside to the Belgian genius and his long raking cross found the Brazilian genius de Jesus diving full length at the far post to open and conclude the scoring.
This might have signified the prelude to an avalanche of goals, but City, these days, seem more intent on preserving themselves for the next challenge. Brighton were quite resolute for the rest of the match, but apart from one incident early in the second half didn’t really threaten the Blues defence. Murray should have done better with a gift close to goal but somehow Laporte managed to keep it out.
City are strolling through games right now and it can clearly be seen that they are taking in-match breaks. They control the ball with ease, but once in front seem happy for it to stay that way provided they don’t concede. This was effectively the third match in succession that this has happened and this was an FA Cup Semi Final. No blood and thunder here, unlike Wolves v Watford the following day, just simply a case of…We’re in front, let’s keep it that way, no injuries and let’s get out of the door.
But it could have ended ugly as Walker was lucky not to get a red card for his needless tete-a-tete with Jahanbakhsh. We’ve often seen players sent off for this type of offence.
So Cup Final number two is in prospect and with Watford recovering from a 2-0 deficit to beat Wolves 3-2 after some poor game management from Nuno Espirito Santo, it will no easy means of getting their hands on another trophy come May 18.
Of course this once more promotes the idea that City might just win all four trophies this season. There is an enormous way still to go in the Premier League but with Wolves sacrificing a spot in the FA Cup Final, their last game of the season at Shamfield places a different perspective on that match. No-one will be running scared in case they get injured before Wembley, they just have to maintain the integrity of the competition if the title is still unsettled, on a day when City repeat their semi-final away to Brighton on the south coast.
City look a dangerous outfit right now, but as usual, the decisions continue to go with Liverpen. Another dreadful piece of assistant refereeing saw another clearly offside goal credited to the Scousers, a decision which changed the outcome of the match.
The Blues know that they will have to things the hard way, but haven’t they been doing that since August?