Five of the best for Stoke in FA Cup semis

Five of the best for Stoke in FA Cup semis

A dazzling display of wing play from England midfielders Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant, outstanding performances in every position and tactical nous from manager Tony Pulis provided the foundation for the biggest win in an FA Cup semifinal for 72 years.

The victory sealed Stoke's place back at Wembley on May 14 when they will play Manchester City who beat Manchester United on Saturday.

Stoke ripped into Bolton with an unstoppable force and were 3-0 up after 30 minutes with goals from Etherington after 11 minutes, Robert Huth after 17 and Kenwyne Jones after 30 with Jonathan Walters adding two more in the second half.

Unusually none of their goals came from the trusted long throw-ins from Rory Delap or set-pieces, with all coming from open play.

Most of them were helped along by some woeful defending from Bolton, who were trying to reach their first Cup final for 53 years.

Much had been made before the game over the feeling that Bolton were destined to reach their first final since their greatest player Nat Lofthouse, who died aged 85 in January, scored two in a 2-0 win over Manchester United in 1958.

Instead, the legacy of the fearless centre-forward remained nothing but a distant memory as Bolton, who have had a good season, surrendered meekly and never looked like winning.

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