By William Wood | In General
Micah is celebrating after Manchester City ended their 35-year wait for silverware, seeing off Stoke City 1-0 in the FA Cup final courtesy of Yaya Toure’s winner.
With the victory, Micah collected his first major winners’ medal and with City dominating large spells of the game, the result never looked in doubt.
Having returned from a seven-week lay-off and impressed against Tottenham Hotspur midweek, Micah retained his place in the side, whilst Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez were also drafted in.
Micah was in the thick of the action early on, launching himself at Aleksander Kolarov’s corner only for his header to drift out of play, whilst Tevez struck a 25-yard effort that required the full attention of Thomas Sorensen.
As City continued to pressure early on, Ryan Shawcross almost diverted a low cross into his own goal whilst Toure saw a powerful drive float a yard past the post with Sorensen helpless.
Stoke were struggling to get the ball out of their half and Robert Huth could count himself lucky his illegal attempt to halt Balotelli – striking the 20-yard old with an elbow – went unnoticed by the referee.
City were keeping a hold of possession and, with little threat at other end, even Vincent Kompany – imperious as ever throughout – charged forward before his low drive was collected by Sorensen.
Arguably the best chance of the half fell to David Silva with 35 minutes on the clock. Balotelli did well to control before the ball was snatched off his toe, but with the goal at his mercy Silva was only able to volley into the ground and see the ball bounce over the crossbar.
Things certainly evened out in the second-half as Stoke began to exert their own attack on City’s defence, though Roberto Mancini’s side still looked in control.
Silva had another opportunity to edge his side in front as he was set clear by Tevez only to linger on the ball before the chance went begging, whilst a surging run by Micah almost paid off before Sorensen spotted the danger and raced from his line.
Stoke’ best chance of the game fell to Kenwyne Jones moments later as a long punt forward saw the striker muscle himself away from Joleon Lescott only for Joe Hart to superbly cut out the danger with his body.
Tension was rising in the stadium but as it did, Toure stepped up to fire City in front and duly send the fans into raptures. Silva, Balotelli and Tevez all had a hand in the goal and with the ball bobbling around Stoke’s six-yard box, Toure put his foot through the ball to send it past Sorensen and make it 1-0 to the Eastlanders.
Changes were made on either side for differing purposes as Stoke fought to get themselves level, but in truth a combination of sterling defending by Mancini’s men and the ongoing threat posed by Silva, Balotelli and company made the result look secure.
In fact, Silva went close to extending the lead with a low drive late on which was parried by Sorensen, and once City had weathered two corners at which Stoke’s stopper was a presence in the penalty area the final whistle was blown to hand the side their first trophy in more than three decades.
It caps off a fantastic season for Mancini and the club, and Micah collects his first winners’ medal of his young career after a great campaign with the side.
Man City team: Hart, Richards, Kolarov, Lescott, Kompany, Barry, De Jong, Yaya Toure, Silva, Balotelli, Tevez. Subs: Given, Zabaleta, Boyata, Milner, Johnson, Vieira, Dzeko.
Stoke team: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Whelan, Delap, Etherington, Walters, Jones. Subs: Nash, Collins, Pugh, Diao, Whitehead, Carew, Faye.