City have United's number

Toure strikes as Mancinis men storm into FA Cup final with 1-0 win

At the same time they killed off United’s dream of repeating their Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble of 1999 after Yaya Toure struck a 53rd minute winner at Wembley.

Favourites United began positively and dominated the opening half-hour but they were then out-muscled by a City team famously dismissed by manager Alex Ferguson as “noisy neighbours”.

United’s misery was complete when midfielder Paul Scholes was red-carded 18 minutes from time for a lunge on City defender Pablo Zabaleta and their players ended up pushing and shoving opponents and a TV cameraman in a melee after the final whistle.

In the end the night belonged to City and they will return to Wembley for the May 14 final exactly 30 years to the day since they lost to Tottenham Hotspur in a replay. Their opponents will be Stoke City or Bolton Wanderers who meet in their semifinal on Sunday.  City’s victory, totally deserved after they recovered from a sluggish start, gives them the chance at the first major honour in 35 years to repay the super-rich sheikh who bought the club in 2008 and has since invested a fortune in players.

The result went against the formbook with United having won their last seven matches in all competitions, including home and away wins in the Champions League quarterfinals over Chelsea in the last 10 days, while City slumped at Liverpool on Monday.

United did have to cope without in-form striker Wayne Rooney, who was suspended, but City were also weakened by the loss of their captain and most dangerous player Carlos Tevez, who pulled a hamstring in the 3-0 Premier League defeat at Anfield.

City coach Roberto Mancini was thrilled with the victory over United but warned against taking anything for granted. “I’m very happy for our supporters because they have waited a long time for a day like this,” he said.


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