Stoke/Manchester City – They Didn’t Want A Replay, But That’s What They Got

With all the excitement of todays FA Cup ties, we rounded off with an all Premiership affair as Manchester City played at home to Stoke City.

All the smart money was on Manchester City here with odds as high as 7/1 for Stoke to win this before the match. Anything can happen in the FA Cup though as any football fan will tell you.

Manchester City got into an explosive start with Bridge and Petrov both looking strong down the left, but it was a number of mistakes from Stoke that gifted City the opening goal. Wright-Phillips turned the Stoke defense and ran after a ball from Ireland, Sorensen rushed out of his box to try to clear the ball but missed as Wright-Phillips lifted it over the top of him. Defender Shawcross also missed a chance to clear as the Man City midfielder tapped in the opening goal after it bounced off the post. A comedy of errors and a lesson in how not to defend.

Stoke City did try to find a way back in the game with Higginbotham coming closest on forty-two minutes, his thunderbolt shot from thirty yards just swerved wide. The away side also lost two players to injury in the first half, with Etherington and Lawrence both being forced out of the game.

In the second half a Stoke Special gave the away side the equalizer with less than an hour played. A long throw in from Delap was found by Fuller who worked his way through the defense unseen and headed past Given to square this game up.

Man City brought on Santa Cruz and Vieira to win the game and bombard the Stoke goal with twenty minutes to play. Barry came incredibly close to getting the winner with just over ten minutes to go, he jumped well and directed a powerful header on goal but Sorensen had a spring in his step and jumped well to tip it over.

Wright-Phillips and Adebayor both attempted to put the home side ahead as they began to dominate the game in the closing stages. In stoppage time substitute Santa Cruz beat the keeper but couldn’t beat Shawcross who cleared the ball off the line.

Neither side wanted a replay but this game ended 1-1 and they will be forced to play out a replay.