• HABARI MPYA

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    MAN CITY YASHINDA LAKINI ULIMI NJE


    Lunchtime in the Potteries and the visiting fans were working through their repertoire. 
    'Blue Moon' was bawled, 'Campiones!' was boastfully bellowed and that daft little ditty about Mancini was diligently crooned. 
    They were in the fifth round of the FA Cup and a measure of celebration was in order. And yet, there was something curiously mechanical about the exercise.
    Winner: Pablo Zabaleta (right) celebrates scoring the only goal of the game for Manchester City
    Winner: Pablo Zabaleta (right) celebrates scoring the only goal of the game for Manchester City

    Match facts

    Stoke City: Sorensen, Shotton, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson (Whitehead 72), Kightly (Jerome 66), Nzonzi, Whelan, Etherington, Walters, Jones (Crouch 72)
    Subs not used: Nash, Owen, Adam, Upson
    Booked: Shotton
    Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany (Clichy 39), Lescott, Kolarov (Aguero 62), Garcia, Barry, Milner, Tevez (Rodwell 85), Silva, Dzeko
    Subs not used: Hart, Sinclair, Rekik, Lopes
    Goal: Zabaleta 85
    Booked: Kolarov, Milner
    Referee: Howard Webb (South Yorkshire
    City were less than ecstatic about their progress, while Stoke seemed relatively undismayed by their lack of it. It was the Cup, you see, and nobody gets overly excited until they find themselves in the semi-final. 
    At least, that was how it felt amid the winter snow of Staffordshire. 
    City emphatically deserved their victory, which was delivered by a goal from Pablo Zabaleta after precisely 84 minutes and 27 seconds of largely unremarkable action. 
    The precision is explained by the fact that at that stage some of us were yearning for any kind of definite conclusion. 
    The idea that we had endured freezing temperatures and insipid football without seeing some kind of resolution was too much to bear. 
    The goal itself was fairly routine, with City counter-attacking and their substitute, Sergio Aguero, playing a low cross which Zabaleta controlled with ease before smoothing his drive deep into the Stoke net.
    Letting fly: Zabaleta fires the ball home with just five minutes to go to send City through
    Letting fly: Zabaleta fires the ball home with just five minutes to go to send City through
    Mundane, perhaps, but more than sufficient to decide this kind of contest. David Platt, City's assistant manager who is rarely mistaken for a ray of sunshine, was later asked about Zabaleta's reaction to sudden prominence. 
    Platt tried hard not to scowl. 'He's not that bothered about the headlines,' he said. 'Those sort of players aren't. It's not what they're playing for. He's an eight out of 10 man every week.' 
    Which sounded like an excellent old pro's appreciation of the match-winner.
    Battle: Manchester City's David Silva is tackled by Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross
    Battle: Manchester City's David Silva is tackled by Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross
    Disbelief: Javi Garcia looked to Howard Webb after a strong challenge from Glenn Whelan went unpunished
    Disbelief: Javi Garcia looked to Howard Webb after a strong challenge from Glenn Whelan went unpunished
    Had Platt been in the mood for superlatives - and perish the thought - then he might have aimed a few at men such as Carlos Tevez and David Silva.
    There were times in the first half when the pair seemed capable of burying Stoke on their own, with the ceaseless industry of Tevez complementing the vision of the extraordinary Silva who played, as ever, with the touch of a card-sharp.
    Sore one: Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov grimaces during his side's win
    Sore one: Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov grimaces during his side's win
    Stoke defended with their customary tenacity, made a whole series of selfless blocks and rode their luck after 20 minutes when Silva, wide on the right, measured a stunning chip against the far post. It was a moment which would have adorned far better matches than this. 
    Yet Stoke offered nothing by way of aggressive retaliation. They created not a single genuine chance.
    Tussle: Michael Kightly and Carlos Tevez battle for the ball during the FA Cup clash
    Tussle: Michael Kightly and Carlos Tevez battle for the ball during the FA Cup clash
    There was none of the fire, the eye-bulging running which characterises their normal game.
    Indeed, the sense of devilry which usually attends their efforts was strangely absent, save for one apparently brutal, two-footed tackle by Glenn Whelan on Javi Garcia early in the second half.
    Maestro: Silva (left) pulled the strings for the visitors in midfield
    Maestro: Silva (left) pulled the strings for the visitors in midfield
    Vincent Kompany
    Vincent Kompany
    Blow: Vincent Kompany was forced off injured as City edged out Stoke to reach the fifth round
    Inexplicably, the referee Howard Webb chose to ignore it, although the matter is unlikely to rest there. Stoke's manager Tony Pulis would later insist that he hadn't seen the tackle.
    Selective myopia is perhaps the only trait that Pulis has in common with Arsene Wenger.
    While City were predictably swifter in thought and movement, it was almost as if the diminished.
    Returning: Sergio Aguero (left) was back in action as a substitute for Manchester City
    Returning: Sergio Aguero (left) was back in action as a substitute for Manchester City
    Snow joke: The wintry weather didn't stop the match going ahead as Stoke were knocked out
    Snow joke: The wintry weather didn't stop the match going ahead as Stoke were knocked out


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2268638/Stoke-0-Manchester-City-1--match-report.html#ixzz2J8wk7trA
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    Item Reviewed: MAN CITY YASHINDA LAKINI ULIMI NJE Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Mahmoud Bin Zubeiry

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