City produced a masterclass in finishing as they saw off Championship strugglers Scunthorpe in the third round of the FA Cup at Glanford Park.
Goals from Martin Petrov, Nedum Onuoha, Sylvinho and a first goal of the season for Robinho proved vital for the blues as they ran out 4-2 winners as Roberto Mancini decided to rest some of his stars ahead of Wednesday night’s game at Old Trafford.
Pre match speculation surrounded Robinho as he has been rumoured to have told Brazilian radio that the FA Cup tie will be his last in a City shirt. However, when asked after the match whether or not the Brazilian will be staying, manager Mancini replied with “I think so.”
If it does turn out to be his last game, City will be grateful for his contribution. In the opening minutes, he mesmerised the Scunthorpe defence with a series of stepovers before releasing the ball to Martin Petrov, whose thunderous left foot strike beat the home keeper at the near post.
Despite the early setback, Iron hit back. Cliff Byrne headed against the bar and Paul Hayes scuffed his shot wide moments later.
But Scunthorpe were back on level terms on 29 minutes. Gary Hooper hooked the ball over the City defence and Hayles was yards offside when he volleyed past Stuart Taylor in the City goal.
Scunthorpe pressed hard and looked well worth the draw they had but on the stroke of half time, City retook the lead. Stephen Ireland, back in the first team after injury, clipped the ball into the box and Onuoha stayed onside to calmly beat the keeper and send the blues in 2-1 ahead at half-time.
Early in the second half, Taylor brilliantly tipped Sam Togwell’s drive over the bar before Sylvinho made it 3-1 to the blues. Collecting the ball from thirty yards out, he rasped a drive that flew past the keeper and the game looked over.
However, Iron’s resilience came through and they pulled a goal back on 69 minutes and unfortunately it was youngster Dedryck Boyata who got the final touch on Byrne’s shot to deflect the ball past Taylor.
Scunthorpe pushed for the equaliser which would almost certainly mean a replay at Eastlands but it wasn’t to be. A slick City move played in Robinho and the Brazilian thumped his shot high into the net to secure the tie.
Credit to Scunthorpe for the fight they put up and if they can reproduce this form in the league, they should escape relegation.
However it was City’s day and their march to Wembley has seen them handed a home tie against Stoke City, who beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
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