The Ped Report City 4-0 Leeds
Bright sunshine was the order of the day along Joe Mercer way as City had to negotiate a potentially trick visit by Leeds United to the Etihad this afternoon. More than 6000 visitors adorned the South Stand as they marched on together in fine voice, but the songs started to fall on deaf ears as early as the sixth minute.
Yaya Toure and David Silva played a delightful one-two around a couple of statuesque Leeds midfielders, Yaya then fed it into Tevez who neatly flicked it back into Yaya's path. Yaya went to shoot, stepped aside and then drilled home an excellent goal to get the scoreboard rolling.
This effectively knocked the steam out of Leeds and despite the endeavours of Michael Brown amongst others, there was not going to be a cup shock at the Etihad.
Ten minutes later Aguero in the inside left channel took on the Leeds defence, was too quick for them and Tom Lees was left with the decision to seek to garrotte him, wrestling him to the floor. Mark Clattenburg duly pointed to the spot and the victim stepped forward hammering a rocket high into the net, with keeper Ashdown heading in the other direction. So sixteen minutes in and the game was over.
Leeds normally difficult supporters decided to have a "hate ManU" afternoon which reached a crescendo with "Shoes off if you hate Man U" and a series of dodgy looking trainers were hoisted aloft. This brought a round of applause from the Blues in 110/111. Another of their songs assured City that "Michael Brown is not for sale!".
Leeds huffed and puffed a bit but were never really going to get back into a game that City won at a canter. The scoring hadn't finished and shortly after half time with another neat one-two, this time between Aguero and Silva down the left. A neat chip from Aguero only had to hit Tevez and deflect into the Leeds net for an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Rodwell should have made it 4-0 almost as soon as he replaced Garcia, but a free header hit the underside of the bar and fell in Leeds favour. Minutes later though a neat chip through by Silva went straight into the path of Aguero who was clean through and didn't miss. So 4-0 it was.
Mancini did make changes to the line up but to leave out Barry in favour of Garcia is another mystery. Pantilimon was expected to play in goal and once again did not disappoint. As I have said before he would probably start in more than half of the other Premier League teams and looks better than the assorted clowns that guard the sticks at a stadium just outside Manchester. Another clean sheet for him.
At the back it was a trouble-free day for Zabaleta, Kolo, Nastasic and Kolarov, as Clichy and Lescott found themselves in track suits.
Milner was thankfully back in for the waster known as Nasri and he, Yaya and Silva dominated in midfield whilst Garcia sat in front of the back four, at least comfortable against lower division opposition.
Tevez and Aguero were the low-level spearhead. Both got on the scoresheet but there is still something missing from Tevez's game.
Leeds Manager Neil Warnock for once had little to say as his team never looked like emulating their efforts in removing Spurs from the competition and frankly never looked like scoring. Diouf escaped punishment with a ridiculous late dive when there was no one near him, but City closed off this match with the minimum of fuss.
Micah Richards apparently selected man-of-the-match and picked the double goalscorer Aguero. The match was routine and didn't leave much for the Pedmachine to probe. The team selection was good enough to do the job and with Stretford lining up a quarter final against Chelsea and City pulling more Yorkshirmen in the shape of Barnsley out of the hat the stage is set for another trip to Wembley for the Blue Mooners. Will it be another semi against you-know-who or will the "warm ball brigade" save it for the Final?
Chelsea disposed of Brentford in routine fashion to line up their fifth round tie against Middlesbrough, so both City and Chelsea look in good form for their meeting next week and a match that City need to win to re-establish a gap between themselves and Chelsea which would narrow to one point if the Londoners should win.
Mancini will need to ensure that his charges have a proper head on for that match and to let Chelsea worry about City and not vice versa.
And finally...we must have a chuckle at the way the Ashburton Grove Development Squad took their exit from the Cup yesterday. Having hardly had a decent shot all afternoon Wenger made three simultaneous changes to bring on his "big guns", Walcott, Cazorla and Wilshere. Two minutes later Blackburn in the shape of Kazim-Richards scored the winner. Master stroke Arsene!!
all times East Manchester
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 15h00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL
Mo 08Apr 20h00 The Rags, The Swamp, PL
Mo 15 Apr 20h00 West Brom, The Etihad, PL
Su 21 Apr 13h30 Spurs, White Hart Lane, PL
Sa 27 Apr 12h45 West Ham United, The Etihad, PL
Sa 04 May 15h00 Swansea, The Liberty Stadium, PL
Su 12 May 15h00 Reading, The Madejski Stadium, PL
Su 19 May 16h00 Norwich City, The Etihad, PL