Man City beats 10-man United to reach FA Cup final
WEMBLEY, England (AP) -- Yaya Toure exploited Manchester United's calamitous defending to put Manchester City into the FA Cup final with a 1-0 victory on Saturday that keeps the team on course to end a 35-year trophy drought.
Toure netted in the 52nd minute at Wembley Stadium after poor clearances from both United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar and midfielder Michael Carrick.
United was reduced to 10 men in the 72nd when Paul Scholes was sent off for a dangerous, high lunge on Pablo Zabaleta. And the match ended with City striker Mario Balotelli clashing with United midfielder Anderson.
City was overrun for most of the first half and Dimitar Berbatov should have put United ahead when he lofted the ball over from close range in front of an unguarded net.
In the final on May 14, City will play for its first trophy since the 1976 League Cup against the winner of Sunday's semifinal between Stoke and Bolton.
City's fierce rival, though, remains in contention for two more prestigious trophies. Alex Ferguson's side is seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and will return to Wembley for the Champions League final next month if it can overcome Schalke in the semifinals.
City will see this victory as a sign that the balance in power could be shifting thanks to around $1 billion pounds of investment by owner Sheikh Mansour since 2008.
"The boys are over the moon, the club are over the moon, but nothing has been won yet,'' City goalkeeper Joe Hart said.
The first Wembley derby between the Manchester rivals looked to be heading toward a comfortable United victory after a vibrant start by Alex Ferguson's side.
United, though, were made to pay for Berbatov's profligacy after being restored to the starting lineup in favor of Javier Hernandez, who scored in Tuesday's Champions League victory over Chelsea.
Berbatov - the Premier League's leading goalscorer - was presented with two openings in quick succession in the 15th minute.
Park Ji-Sung played in the Bulgaria striker, but he was first denied when one-on-one with Hart by the goalkeeper's legs.
And when Nani squared the ball from the left flank, Berbatov raised it over from three meters (yards).
Given this was City's biggest match since the 1981 FA Cup final, there was no menace from the team to match its lofty ambitions for more than half an hour.
City didn't go close to Van der Sar's goal until the 32nd, when Gareth Barry on the turn lashed the ball into the side netting.
Van der Sar was tested for the first time when Balotelli unleashed a fierce shot from distance that the 40-year-old Dutch goalkeeper turned over.
Joleon Lescott was then left in space to latch onto a corner, but he blasted over.
City's newfound confidence carried over into the second half and City punished United's sloppy defending in the 52nd.
A poor clearance from Van der Sar was picked up by Michael Carrick, who passed straight to Toure.
The Ivory Coast international stormed past Vidic, who was attempting to tug at his shirt, and slotted the ball between Van der Sar's legs.
Lescott could have extended the lead when David Silva's cross presented the center back with a free header that he nodded wide.
United became a shadow of the vibrant side that started the match and Ferguson was forced into bringing Hernandez on with 25 minutes to go.
It took Hart's acrobatics to keep out Nani's free kick, pushing the strike onto the crossbar.
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