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Manchester City vs. Manchester Utd: Half-Time Update

Joe Hart, Nani and Pablo Zabaleta


The first FA Cup Semi-Final of the weekend has reached half time, with both sides involved in a competitive 0-0 draw so far. With Wembley packed with both sets of fans, both managers will be hoping to return to Wembley next month for the final, to face either Bolton or Stoke who play tomorrow.

After an even start with both sides pressing and covering in equal measure, the first attempt fell to the team in blue: winger Adam Johnson struck a low effort from 25 yards that zipped safely wide.

The chances then fell to United; Berbatov had two in quick succession, the first being saved brilliantly well by City goalkeeper Joe Hart after a series of passes from Scholes, Carrick and Park. The second chance that came just moments later saw Nani deliver a cross from the left that Berbatov could only manage to scoop of the bar from two yards out under a challenge from a City defender.

City took a long while to get into the game compared to United; arguably their best effort came after 31 minutes when Gareth Barry had a shot on the turn which only graced the side netting.

Balotelli had a fierce shot two minutes later; the Italian striker hit his effort from all of 30 yards, that stung the hands of Van Der Sar as the United goalkeeper parried it over the crossbar.

Nani had a half chance seven minutes before the end of the half, hitting a half-volley along the floor and wide of the post.

Roberto Mancini’s City, who are paying their first visit to the new Wembley, have been unable to call upon leading scorer Carlos Tevez for this crucial game. They have opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, meaning a lone striker role for Mario Balotelli. Edin Dzeko was expected to feature in the line-up is only deemed worthy for a place on the bench.

The Citizens’ 16 goals so far in this competition have been shared between ten different players, including three a piece from Carlos Tevez and Patrick Vieira.

United are unbeaten in four games against City, and may opt towards a similar line-up, as Dimitar Berbatov gets the nod up front with Antonio Valencia and Nani supporting from the wings. There is no place in the squad for Ryan Giggs, as Paul Scholes returns to the starting 11, with Anderson named amongst the substitutes.

Man Utd last won the FA Cup back in 2004, beating Millwall in the final; their 11th final win. En route to this year’s semi-final they have defeated big-name clubs such as Liverpool and Arsenal.


Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, De Jong, Barry, Johnson, Yaya Toure, Silva, Balotelli

Substitutes: Taylor, Boyata, Milner, Wright-Phillips, Vieira, Dzeko, Jo

Man Utd: Van Der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Park, Scholes, Carrick, Valencia, Berbatov, Nani

Substitutes: Kuszczak, Smalling, Fabio Da Silva, Anderson, Gibson, Owen, Hernandez

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