By William Wood | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City cruised through to the Carling Cup semi-final with a stunning 3-0 win over Arsenal at the City of Manchester stadium, a game in which Micah impressed at right-back.
The win sends Mark Hughes’ men into a clash with arch-rivals Manchester United after their own 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, and it will serve to underline the team’s credentials given the nature of the performance.
Carlos Tevez was the first to get a shot away for either sides, turning close to the edge of Arsenal’s penalty area and firing over, while Emmanuel Adebayor saw his free-header fly straight into Lukasz Fabianski’s hands.
Next up came an effort from starlet Aaron Ramsay which was superbly blocked by Kolo Toure, before Craig Bellamy fired wide from a central position when, in truth, he should have at least hit the target.
Although the Gunners had City pinned back for much of the first-half, Micah and co. were defending imperiously, reducing the visitors to a pot-shot from Emmanuel Eboue after a jinxing run.
Both sides had minor chances leading up to the break, though it remained a scrappy affair as both sides struggled to get their attacks flowing, and both managers welcomed the 15 minute interval equally.
Just five minutes had elapsed after half-time when City grabbed a deserved lead, and it came after they hit Arsene Wenger’s men on the break. Bellamy broke forward and the ball finally found its way to Tevez who in turn cut inside beyond several Arsenal defenders before curling the ball home.
The stadium erupted, and rightfully so given the club’s ongoing quest for silverware. Adebayor – fairly quiet against his former employers – scuffed an opportunity soon after to enhance the lead as Fabianski did enough to put him off, while a Bellamy free-kick was saved on the line by the stopper.
At the other end Ramsay scuppered a free header from 12 yards out, and the succession of wasted opportunities for the away side was to be punished a minute later.
Shaun Wright-Phillips broke from midfield before blasting the ball beyond Fabianski and into the top-corner, sending City two goals clear and capping off a stellar individual performance.
There was a moment of controversy as Stephen Ireland was hauled down by Song, seemingly the last man, but the referee awarded a yellow card rather than a red, much to the home players’ dismay.
There was time for a third even with both scorers of the first two off the pitch, Vladimir Weiss pouncing on Bellamy’s cross and hammering home to make it 3-0, with Wenger clearly livid on the touchline.
Fran Merida struck the crossbar from distance for the visitors but that was as close as they were to get as City saw out the closing minutes to move one step closer to Wembley.
Man City: Given, Richards, Toure, Lescott, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Ireland, Bellamy, Tevez, Adebayor.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Eboue, Song, Silvestre, Traore, Ramsey, Eastmond, Rosicky, Wilshere, Merida, Vela.
Manchester City: Tevez (50’), Wright-Phillips (69’), Weiss (89’)