By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City’s FA Cup dream was shattered as they suffered a 3-1 extra-time defeat at the hands of Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, with Roberto Mancini’s side reduced to ten-men and overrun in additional time.
Neither side had been able to claim a win in the previous two encounters played out over recent weeks, and so it was to follow that both sides toiled and tested their opponents only for the game to be a dead heat after 90 minutes.
Micah was restored to the starting-eleven having recovered from a niggling injury, one of three changes made following the side’s draw with Liverpool in their last Premier League outing.
It was the 21-year old himself who had the first half-chance of the game as he connected with a corner only to head over, whilst a lively Craig Bellamy almost beat Thomas Sorensen to the ball only for Zac Whitehead to make a crucial intervention.
Emmanuel Adebayor went close to breaking the deadlock 10 minutes in as he worked an opening and drew an instinctive save from Sorensen, while Gareth Barry continued City’s dominance in the early stages with a header that dropped just inches wide of the post.
Stoke were all over the place at the back and Nedum Onuoha and Bellamy scuffed their shot after Barry’s corner, and City’s Welsh forward saw another effort well-saved by Sorensen in a move that should have resulted in the away side edging into the lead.
The hosts’ saving grace was inevitably Rory Delap’s long-throws, and Ryan Shawcross was looking particularly receptive to them as he saw one effort blocked superbly by Joleon Lescott and Delap saw another header reach Given’s palms before the back of the net.
The tie was delicately poised after City’s opening spell of possession and Stoke’s subsequent improvement, and as such the opening phase of the second half boasted few incidents of note , though Micah picked up a yellow card for a strong challenge on Liam Lawrence.
Shawcross was effective at both ends, blocking another Bellamy effort which was surely goalbound, whilst the former Manchester United defender did enough to put Barry off his header – the effort flying over the bar.
With 10 minutes remaining, the Stoke fans were on their feet and thought they were heading through within normal time as substitute Dave Kitson coasted through City’s defence and slotted beyond Shay Given.
However, barely a minute had passed before City were level, Adebayor laying off Bridge’s pass into the path of Bellamy who added the necessary finish to make it 1-1.
As has been the case at times this season for City, just as they looked to push on, they were pegged back by a negative, in this case Adebayor’s dismissal for seemingly pushing Shawcross in the face, and the remaining minutes saw City try to regroup before the whistle was blown to signal the end of the first 90 minutes.
Micah went close with another header minutes into the re-start, but Stoke soon regained their lead as Shawcross connected with the latest of Delap’s rocket throw-ins to nudge past Given and send the home crowd into raptures.
City’s misery was compounded as Glenn Whelan fought well for the ball in midfield, allowing Tuncay Sanli to go past two defenders with ease and blast home to hand Stoke a two goal advantage.
Micah then had one final chance as his diving header flew wide, and the final whistle brought to an end Mancini’s side disappointing evening.
Stoke City: Kitson (79’), Shawcross (95’), Tuncay (99’)
Man City: Bellamy (81’)
Stoke: Sorensen, Whitehead, Shawcross, Huth, Collins, Lawrence, Whelan, Diao, Delap, Sidibe, Fuller.
Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Lescott, Bridge, Zabaleta,Ireland, Kompany, Barry, Bellamy, Adebayor.