Five Star City Crush United
City Of Manchester Stadium
Wednesday 28th October 2009, 7.45pm
A five star City side crushed Scunthorpe United at Eastlands in the Carling Cup courtesy of goals from Ireland, Santa Cruz, Lescott, Tevez and Johnson.
Scunthorpe managed to draw level through Forte after Ireland put the Citizens ahead after only three minutes, however, Santa Cruz put the home side in front again before the break, before a crushing second half sealed the win.
Mark Hughes' side started the game in emphatic style, a goal after just three minutes from Stephen Ireland the first of City's mammoth goal haul.
Wright-Phillips played in Ireland as City burst into Scunthorpes half, the mixed martial arts enthusiast skinning a defender before striking a beauty from the edge of the box, curling inside the post to wash away all of the bad memories of the Fulham game.
City set about to capitalise on their opener, but a string of errors and poor passing allowed Scunthorpe plenty of possession and the chance to work their way back into the game.
The away side did just that, equalising after 26 minutes, memories of the Fulham game flooding back after another poor defensive lapse.
Holland international Nigel de Jong gave the ball away cheaply, the away side exchanging some neat passing which culminated in Jonathan Forte scoring an easy tap-in, Lescott disappointingly unable to cut the cross out.
The Championship outfit grew in confidence and unsettled their more glamorous Premier League opponents, pushing forwards in search of another goal.
Poor finishing from a couple of opportunities cost Scunthorpe the chance of gaining the lead and City were soon settling down to playing tight football as they looked improve their concentration levels.
A lightening fast counter attack saw the home side regain the lead before the break on 38 minutes.
Pablo Zabaleta's surging 40 yard run cut Scunthorpe to pieces as he skipped past two players down the right wing, picking out Santa Cruz with an inch perfect pass, the former Blackburn man sending a wonderfully controlled header back across goal and into the bottom corner for his first ever City goal.
Just minutes later, Santa Cruz almost got himself an assist to go along with his goal, the Paraguayan crossing from the left hand side towards Gareth Barry, the midfielder hitting the outside of the post from about six yards out.
Half-time: Manchester City 2 Scunthorpe United 1
As the game resumed, Mark Hughes must have had a word or two to say about the errant passing and lapses in concentration- despite the narrow lead.
Ireland was just as quick out of the blocks in the second half as he was in the first, this time the talented midfielder surging forward before playing the ball to Tevez, the Argentine denied by an excellent last ditch sliding tackle.
City were on the war path and moments later Santa Cruz was looking to build on his goal scoring expolits although his shot was sent straight to the nervous Scunthorpe keeper.
On 56 minutes Joleon Lescott finally got the breakthrough goal City were looking for as he headed in the home sides third goal from a Shaun Wright-Phillips corner.
With the Blues now firmly in control, Ireland had a great chance to make it 4-1 after rounding the keeper, his effort cleared off the line. He was replaced by the lastest academy Vladimir Weiss who hopes in time to break into the first team.
The tricky Slovakian instantly went about making a name for himself and his mazy runs were too much for the Scunthorpe defence to handle.
It was inevitable that he should play a part in the next goal as he crossed to Carlos Tevez to slot home from close range after a Barry short corner on 71 minutes.
Weiss continued to impress and looked like getting on the scoresheet himself on a number of occassions, only his finishing letting him down.
The crushing victory was all but completed on 77 minutes after substitute Michael Johnson struck home from 25 yards in what was only his second appearance in over a year.
Benjani was introduced into the frey after returning from injury in the place of the bustling Carlos Tevez to play out the last 10 minutes.
Mark Hughes' side finished the game comfortably in the end but Lescott's defensive lapses are once again cause for concern, despite his excellent goal.
City have breezed through to the last eight of the Carling Cup where they could face Champions League rivals Arsenal or Chelsea who both went through tonight.
Full-time: Manchester City 5 Scunthorpe United 1
Goals: Ireland 3' Santa Cruz 38' Lescott 56' Tevez 71' Johnson 77' (Manchester City) Forte 26' (Scunthorpe United)