So Sven’s old team beat Sven’s new team and now face another of Sven’s old teams!
Still with me? Well in case you are not; City eased past Leicester in their FA Cup sponsored by e-on third round replay to earn a trip to Notts County on the last Sunday of the month (2pm kick-off live on ITV).
Having made a meal of the original tie at the Walkers Stadium, the Blues feasted on their visitors’ relatively soft centre as first half goals from Carlos Tevez, Patrick Vieira and Adam Johnson paved the way for a relatively serene passage into round four.
Tevez’ opener on the quarter of an hour was an absolute gem a rasping, rising drive that flew without deviation and at high-velocity into the top corner from around 16-yards. It was easily one of the best the 45 since his arrival.
Leicester were back in the game quickly through Gallagher’s penalty in the 19th minute - an extraordinary award by Mark Halsey after Dyer fell into the box following a non-challenge from Vieira and Joleon Lescott.
But they were out of contention again before the break. First Zabaleta’s low cross caused mayhem in in the Foxes’ box allowing Vieira to pounce at the far post and then David Silva produced one of his perfect passes for Adam Johnson to burst clear and make it 3-1 in the next attack.
What with four against Wolves on Saturday and the Foxes thrashed on Tuesday it is to be hoped that the RSPA are not taking too much notice of football. We might be accused of ruining the Canidae family!!
Roberto Mancini promised changes for this game and they came in the form of Kolo Toure, Nigel deJong, Edin Dzeko, and Gareth Barry missing out and Joleon Lescott, James Milner, David Silva, and Patrick Vieira starting.
It was a team selected to get the job done quickly without fuss and proved just that.
On a night that began emotionally with the team walking out in red and black shirts all bearing the name of Neil Young, the all-time great currently fighting a losing battle with cancer, the intensity never really let up.
Leicester roared on by 6,000 fans sniffing an upset were happy to trade blows for as long as they were able which was a good 35 minutes until the two goals in a minute ended their foothold in an absorbing contest of thrust and counter-thrust.
Such is the depth of talent within the Manchester squad these days, something that Sven could never have dreamt about during his eventful time holding the reins, that Mancini is able to rotate star names at will.
That he is able to keep legs fresh and just as importantly prevent minds from wandering or getting fatigued, is one of the reasons that City have now lost just once in 17 starts in all competitions stretching back to the first week in November.
It is a record of which to be proud even if it draws little positive comment from outsiders.
Until more suspect defending allowed Leicester to double their tally, the second half was largely academic though for the record Tevez missed his second penalty in a row when he drove straight at Weale on the hour mark after he had been tripped.
Dyer then gave the last eight minutes some zip when he outpaced the Blues down the middle to give the scoreline a close look but Kolarov ended thoughts of a famous revivial scoring his first with a low drive from the edge of the box as time expired.