skip to content
Aleksandar Kolarov fouled by Fabio Da Silva, the ref awards a free kick. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
Oliveira Anderson fouled by Mario Balotelli, the ref awards a free kick. Rio Ferdinand takes the direct free kick.
Effort on goal by Mario Balotelli from 35 yards went over the bar.
Michael Carrick concedes a free kick for a foul on Mario Balotelli. Free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.
Joleon Lescott fouled by Oliveira Anderson, the ref awards a free kick. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
Shot by Patrice Evra from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
David Silva goes off and Patrick Vieira comes on.
Fabio Da Silva is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Joe Hart takes the indirect free kick.
Patrice Evra produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
Foul by Vincent Kompany on Ji-Sung Park, free kick awarded. Vincent Kompany receives a yellow card. Fabio Da Silva comes on in place of John O'Shea. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
A cross is delivered by Shaun Wright-Phillips, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
Ji-Sung Park takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a comfortable save.
Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Blocked by Joleon Lescott.
Shaun Wright-Phillips joins the action as a substitute, replacing Adam Johnson.
Shot by Michael Carrick from 18 yards. Joe Hart makes a comfortable save.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Luis Nani, Joleon Lescott makes a clearance.
Foul by Nigel De Jong on Oliveira Anderson, free kick awarded. Nigel De Jong shown a yellow card. Direct free kick taken by Luis Nani.
Dimitar Berbatov leaves the field to be replaced by Oliveira Anderson.
Pablo Zabaleta fouled by Paul Scholes, the ref awards a free kick. The referee sends off Paul Scholes for serious foul play. Free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
Ji-Sung Park concedes a free kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
Shot by Aleksandar Kolarov from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
Michael Carrick fouled by Mario Balotelli, the ref awards a free kick. Booking for Mario Balotelli for unsporting behaviour. Paul Scholes restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Ji-Sung Park. Pablo Zabaleta goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour. (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Javier Hernandez coming on for Antonio Valencia. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Luis Nani, Joe Hart makes a save.
Header from close range by Joleon Lescott misses to the right of the goal.
Short corner taken by Adam Johnson from the left by-line.
Corner taken short by Adam Johnson.
Adam Johnson decides to take the corner short.
Rio Ferdinand fouled by Mario Balotelli, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.
Dimitar Berbatov fouled by Nigel De Jong, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Dimitar Berbatov.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rio Ferdinand by Mario Balotelli. Rio Ferdinand takes the direct free kick.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Man City 1-0 Man Utd.
Patrice Evra concedes a free kick for a foul on Adam Johnson. Nigel De Jong takes the direct free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Antonio Valencia. Free kick taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nemanja Vidic. Nemanja Vidic takes the direct free kick.
Mario Balotelli has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Luis Nani challenges Pablo Zabaleta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
Short corner taken by Antonio Valencia from the right by-line.
Vincent Kompany has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the target.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gnegneri Toure Yaya on Michael Carrick. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Dimitar Berbatov. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
Luis Nani produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
Unfair challenge on Luis Nani by Vincent Kompany results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Scholes.
Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson from the left by-line, Joleon Lescott produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
Shot from 35 yards by Mario Balotelli. Save made by Edwin Van der Sar. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov from the left by-line.
Gareth Barry produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Carrick. Luis Nani shoots direct from the free kick. Outswinging corner taken by Antonio Valencia, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Dimitar Berbatov goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Outswinging corner taken by Antonio Valencia from the right by-line, Header from close in by Nemanja Vidic misses to the left of the target.
Patrice Evra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vincent Kompany. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
Corner taken short by Antonio Valencia.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.
Foul by Mario Balotelli on Rio Ferdinand, free kick awarded. Edwin Van der Sar takes the direct free kick.
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart. Dimitar Berbatov produces a right-footed shot from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
Luis Nani takes the inswinging corner, Joe Hart makes a save.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Rio Ferdinand restarts play with the free kick.
Effort from long distance by Adam Johnson goes wide right of the goal.
Unfair challenge on Nigel De Jong by Luis Nani results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
The referee gives a free kick against Pablo Zabaleta for handball. Indirect free kick taken by Patrice Evra.
Dimitar Berbatov is caught offside. Nigel De Jong takes the free kick.
Mancini hopes to start City dynasty
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini wants to build a dynasty to match the trophy-gathering machine Sir Alex Ferguson has created at Manchester United.
Despite a general air of negativity that has attached itself to City for much of the season, the Blues head into the eagerly-anticipated FA Cup semi-final still on track to match pre-season expectations.
Mancini is supremely confident about securing the top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League demanded by super-rich owner Sheikh Mansour, while an end to that much-debated 35-year trophy drought is still in reach.
At Wembley, City are aiming to take a significant stride towards that objective.
The fact United stand in their way merely works as a useful tool for Mancini to point out his overall aims for the Eastlands outfit.
"I have respect for Manchester United because they have won everything for many years," said the Italian.
"To begin with, they won a single trophy after a long time with nothing. Now we are in the same position.
"We can go on to do what United have done. We have a chance and for this we should be happy."
The comparison is not exact.
When Mark Robins inspired United to the FA Cup triumph in 1990 that saved Ferguson's job and gave him the time to create the monolith United have gone on to become, he did so just five years after their last trophy under Ron Atkinson.
A 26-year title famine was not brought to an end for another three years, which, give or take a decade, generated the same sense of failure at Old Trafford that City have had to cope with.
Ferguson has never spoken about whether his long hunt for trophies and titles would be tolerated in the modern game.
Mancini is certain it would not.
"It took Ferguson seven years to win the league," he observed.
"Today is very different from 25 years ago. Today if you are a manager who wins nothing for six or seven years, it is difficult.
"After 15 months I am very happy in my job because I know how difficult it is to build a team to win trophies."
Even when the gap between Manchester's warring factions was at its greatest, City were still capable of causing the odd shock, which is why no one from the red half of the city is taking anything for granted now.
But some derbies are more important than others.
United denied City in last season's Carling Cup semi-final and now they are intent on doing it again, with even Ferguson acknowledging how significant that first trophy can be.
"I can remember that first trophy," he said.
"It was a big moment for us. Winning the first trophy at any level is always important. I experienced it at Aberdeen and St Mirren and also with United.
"I don't know if City are obsessed with it. I can't judge that at all.
"But it is obvious with the money that has been invested, they have big plans."
However, as Mancini knows and older United fans can recall, big plans do not automatically translate into silverware.
Money must be invested properly, players must be selected at the right time and even then a bit of luck is required.
In that regard, City are out of it given skipper and talisman Carlos Tevez is missing with a hamstring injury.
The Argentinian is too early into his recovery programme for Mancini to take a gamble, as he will do with Micah Richards, who will bring solidity to a defence that performed so badly at Liverpool on Monday.
Ferguson hopes United's vast experience of handling semi-final nerves can prove crucial.
The Blues have reached this stage of the competition for the first time since 1981, when they edged out Ipswich before falling to Ricky Villa's memorable slalom goal for Tottenham in the final replay.
In contrast, United will be playing in their 10th semi of the Ferguson era, eight of which have been won, the only defeat coming to Everton on penalties two years ago.
"It can drain the players," he said.
"There is an impact in terms of the emotional build-up to the game.
"The fact it is at Wembley makes it more of an occasion, simply because of the name.
"Obviously it is a different stadium now. Those Twin Towers were a landmark and I wouldn't think the pitch is as tiring as the old Wembley because they have changed it so many times.
"It is a derby game in London, which is unusual but we are ready for it."
City end final wait
Manchester City ended Manchester United's treble bid by booking their first FA Cup final appearance since 1981 in a game that saw Paul Scholes sent off.
Man-of-the-match Yaya Toure was City's second-half matchwinner, seizing on a catastrophic blunder by Michael Carrick before finishing smartly past Edwin van der Sar for the only goal of the game.
Roberto Mancini's men just about deserved it too after surviving an early pummelling and two glorious opportunities for Dimitar Berbatov.
Their task was made easier when Scholes departed though, dismissed for a thigh-high studs-first lunge on Pablo Zabaleta.
It means there will be no repeat of 1999 for United, who must concentrate on their bid for glory in the Premier League and Champions League.
City, watched by chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak, have the chance to "change history" as Mancini has demanded, and will return to Wembley on May 14 to face either Bolton or Stoke looking to collect their first trophy in 35 years.
Unfortunately, firebrand Mario Balotelli threatened to put a dampener on celebrations when he unwisely rejoiced in front of the United fans, triggering a shoving match with Anderson and an angry reaction from Rio Ferdinand - who also squared up to City coach David Platt.
The current Premier League leaders took a stranglehold on the contest as soon as the polite opening exchanges had been completed.
That the Red Devils did not go in front during that prolonged period of dominance was due to a magnificent save from Joe Hart and a moment to forget for Berbatov.
Challenged to respond to the startling emergence of Javier Hernandez by his manager, the City goal first opened up for Berbatov when Carrick intercepted a Gareth Barry pass and began a fabulous one-touch move that involved Scholes and Park Ji-sung.
The Bulgarian found himself one-on-one with the outstanding Hart and went for the bottom corner. The England goalkeeper won.
United quickly retrieved possession and when Nani gave Zabaleta the slip, his low cross invited the close range finish. However, the man who had found the net for United 22 times this season scooped over from inside the six-yard box.
Nemanja Vidic turned an Antonio Valencia corner wide and Berbatov looped a far-post header just over as City's defence continued to creak without snapping completely.
It was half an hour before City managed to push their opponents back and make them do some defending of their own.
Although he had been close to non-existent after being handed the job of filling the massive gap created by Carlos Tevez's hamstring injury, Balotelli eventually burst into life, letting fly with a rasping 30-yard drive Van der Sar touched over.
Had Balotelli got on the end of Adam Johnson's corner shortly afterwards, United would have been in trouble.
As it was, the ball floated over the Italian to Joleon Lescott, who could not keep his first-time volley down.
Blues skipper Vincent Kompany curled a 20-yard effort just wide as half-time approached, then Balotelli failed to keep a near-post effort on target immediately after the break.
However, they were not about to let United off the hook in the manner Berbatov had done earlier.
Toure needed the assistance of a woeful attempt to find Scholes by Carrick. But once the Ivorian had been invited into the Red Devils' box, he finished in style, beating Van der Sar with a low shot through the veteran Dutchman's legs.
Now it was United's turn to wobble, just as they did in the Carling Cup semi-final 15 months ago.
On that occasion, Mancini failed to seize the initiative, settling for what he had in the first leg and watching his team swept aside in the second.
They didn't have Toure then, or David Silva.
It was the Spain star who crossed to present Lescott with another golden opportunity, which the England defender headed wide.
Given Ferguson compared the striker to Gary Lineker yesterday, it was not a surprise Javier Hernandez was asked to complete a salvage mission.
When the Mexican was introduced, United already had the free-kick that Hart pushed onto the bar as Nani went for the roof of City's net.
The comeback powers of Ferguson's team are the stuff of legend. Scholes' awful challenge on Zabaleta presented a challenge even they were up against it.
Carrick tried to atone for his blunder with a curling shot and Park attempted to steer a header towards goal but on neither occasion was Hart troubled to make the save.
As valiant as United's 10-men fought, City came closer to increasing their lead through Balotelli at the end.
It didn't matter and now the door to glory stands ajar for Mancini's men.
© 2004 - 2015 football.co.uk