1-0 (Ireland 2), 2-1 (Santa Cruz 37), 3-1 (Lescott 55), 4-1 (Tevez 71), 5-1 (Johnson 76)
Scunthorpe United 1
1-1 (Forte 25)
- Matchday centre
- Match reports
- 28 October 2009 22:11
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
City moved into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup by putting five past a spirited Scunthorpe United side, who had silenced the City faithful by drawing level mid-way through the first half.
Both Roque Santa Cruz and Sylvinho made their first starts for the Blues. The Paraguayan had made a couple of brief substitute appearances in recent weeks, but for the Brazilian it would be his first competitive action since winning the Champions League against another United in Rome last May. Elsewhere, Vincent Kompany started for the first time since getting over his toe injury and partnered Lescott in defence, while Zabaleta was at right back with Micah Richards on the bench. Craig Bellamy was also a replacement, with Shaun Wright-Phillips starting after being benched for Fulham.
Barnsley’s hopes had been dealt a big blow by an early goal the night before, and their South Yorkshire compatriots were also barely out of the blocks when City made the perfect start. With just two minutes gone, SWP’s pass across midfield found Stephen Ireland, who was able to make space and then place the ball past a flat-footed Murphy to set the Blues on their way.
From then on it all looked very easy for City – maybe too easy, and on 25 minutes the visitors pounced and made the most of their first real opportunity. De Jong lost possession just inside his own half, and in a flash Williams was crossing from the left hand side of the box towards Jonathan Forte. Lescott was stranded and Scunthorpe’s striker had the easiest of chances to draw level.
City were stung and within a couple of minutes Murphy made a good stop to deny SWP. Scunthorpe were right back at City, and Hayes should have done better than head straight at Given from eight yards out after the Blues’ had been opened up on the right of defence again, this time by Forte.
But after a nervous spell, City were back in front with eight minutes to go to the break. Pablo Zabaleta broke down the right side of the Irons’ box and crossed deep towards Roque Santa Cruz. From his starting position the striker would have been underneath the ball, but taking a couple of steps backwards he then nodded the ball back and across Murphy, who could not scramble across in time to prevent the ball bouncing into the net.
His first goal in sky blue spurred Roque on, and before half time he was crossing from the left towards Gareth Barry, who could not quite finish one of his trademark undetected runs into the box with a goal, instead striking the outside of the post from six yards out.
Ireland was at the heart of two fine chances for City within 10 minutes of the resumption. First of all he went on a long run that ended with him sliding the ball towards Tevez – who was denied by a last ditch sliding challenge. That was quickly followed by a pass to Santa Cruz that was just under the striker’s feet, but he was still able to force a shot that went straight at Murphy.
But the two missed chances did not matter when the lead was extended on 56 minutes. Mirfin conceded a corner by heading away from under his crossbar, but from the set-piece, taken by SWP, Joleon Lescott headed the ball powerfully beyond Murphy from near the penalty spot. The England international arrived with a reputation as a goal scoring defender, and with two goals in as many games he was now living up to his billing.
Stephen Ireland’s evening came to an end just afterwards when he was replaced by Weiss, but he had had the time to make it 4-1, however his dink past the keeper towards an empty net was a touch under hit and a defender was back to clear off the line.
City’s Slovakian prodigy immediately made a nuisance of himself down the right, meaning that SWP moved over to the left, and with 20 minutes left quick thinking involving him led to our fourth goal of the night. With Scunthorpe sleeping at a corner, Barry rolled it to Weiss, whose cross to an unmarked Carlos Tevez was in the back of the net within a flash.
Barry, who could be excused for being tired after weeks of club and country commitments, came off straight away to be replaced by Michael Johnson and within just a few minutes the midfielder was banging in his first goal for City since September 2007. The ball had flown outcome back to him a long way out, but after moving to around 25 yards out he curled an unstoppable shot with his left into the top corner of the net. It was a wonderful moment for the 21-year-old after a 2008/09 season ruined by injury.
There was still time for Weiss to go close from both sides of the pitch, and there was an unexpected appearance from Benjani, replacing Tevez for his first stint in the side since White Hart Lane last May.
So it ended 5-1, with City’s quality shining through after a difficult patch. Saturday’s draw will be an all-Premier League affair, but a favourable draw will have City fans hoping that they can take another step towards Wembley and some much-coveted silverware.