Man City v Scunthorpe - 29 October
City slickers ease past Iron Manchester City's wealth has bought great quality and it was more than enough to outclass Scunthorpe 5-1 at Eastlands to secure a Carling Cup quarter-final slot. The visitors from the Coca-Cola Championship did their best, but City were just so much better it was almost embarrassing to watch at the end. Stephen Ireland staked his claim for a regular place in Mark Hughes' side with a glittering performance and City's early goal. Scunthorpe hit back with a Jonathan Forte equaliser and never gave up. But once Roque Santa Cruz headed his first goal for City to restore their lead before the break, there was only going to be one winner. The second period saw Carlos Tevez outstanding. He scored one and tormented Scunthorpe relentlessly. Michael Johnson and Joleon Lescott added further goals, and it could easily have been more with substitute Vladimir Weiss missing a late hat-trick as City threatened to run riot. City made six changes from the side that drew with Fulham on Saturday. Kolo Toure and Martin Petrov were both injured, with Micah Richards, Wayne Bridge and Craig Bellamy on the bench and Emmanuel Adebayor rested. Scunthorpe had David Mirfin back after a bout of sickness. Martin Woolford also came into the starting line-up, Jordan Spence and Sam Togwell reverting to the bench. Scunthorpe had 4,000 noisy fans with them, and they were boosted by a second minute drive from Paul Hayes that Shay Given saved, with some difficulty, to his left. But a minute later Scunthorpe were guilty of standing and watching as City swept into their half, Shaun Wright-Phillips finding Ireland to his left. The midfielder cruised on, unchallenged by any defender to calmly guide the ball past Joe Murphy from the edge of the box. Wright-Phillips twice soon after could have extended the lead with efforts from the edge of the box. Scunthorpe were barely able to get out of their half at this stage, such was the pace and pressure of City's attacks. But they were competitive and organised and they weathered the initial storm. When Scunthorpe did get into a danger area, they scored an outstanding equaliser after 26 minutes. Nigel de Jong gave the ball away in midfield, and it was swept out to Marcus Williams, racing away on the left. His neat ball into the six-yard box evaded Lescott and found Forte, who finished with ease from a couple of yards. Hayes had a great chance with a header, saved by Given, before Ireland sent in Wright-Phillips for a shot that Murphy blocked with his legs. But Scunthorpe had lost their star-struck look by now and were moving forward with a growing confidence. Hayes again, arriving on the far post for a hook shot wide, had City stretched as the Iron continued to grow in confidence. But City were back in the lead after 38 minutes. Pablo Zabaleta sped down the right, wrong-footing Hayes as he went. And when the cross arrowed into the box, Santa Cruz stepped away from Woolford before rising to plant a headed back into the far corner. Scunthorpe replaced skipper Rob Jones with Niall Canavan at the break. And they were still prepared to run at City's back line. But the quality of City's attacking play almost produced a third when Ireland raced through from midfield before slipping the ball to Tevez, the shot deflecting inches wide. Then the impressive Ireland created another opening, setting up Santa Cruz for a drive beaten away by Murphy. And it took a header almost on the line to stop a cross reaching Ireland. But from the resulting corner from Wright-Phillips, Lescott rose unchallenged 12 yards out to guide a fine header into the top corner to give City the breathing space they wanted after 56 minutes. Canavan then had to kick off the line from Ireland, as the midfielder rolled a shot wide of Murphy. City sent on 19-year-old Weiss for his full debut in place of Ireland. Scunthorpe wilted now under the constant pressure, and Tevez crowned a fine display of ceaseless running by prodding home another corner after 71 minutes, again criminally unmarked. It was a cruise now, and substitute Johnson - coming on for only his second game of the season in place of Gareth Barry - unleashed a rising 25-yarder that soared into the top corner for the fifth. Tevez was replaced by Benjani after 78 minutes, to a deserved standing ovation as City threatened to run riot at the end.
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