Date:Sunday January 9 2011
09/01/11 - 4pm
As Manchester City Fan Noel Gallagher and Leicester City fan Serge Pizzorno withdrew the FA Cup balls from the bag, Leicester V Manchester City was set to be an enthralling encounter.
Roberto Mancini was making his return to the Walkers Stadium where he once played and ex-Manchester City boss Sven Goren Eriksson was also facing his former employers.
Although the magic of the FA Cup has sadly wavered during the last few seasons, plenty of giant-killings on Saturday, made certain that City had to remain focused to gain a positive result in the third round.
Goals from James Milner and Carlos Tevez had cancelled out Sol Bamba`s very early strike, but when Joe Hart made a rare mistake, Leicester midfielder Andy King capitalised ensuring Leicester a deserved replay and a chance for Sven to be re-united with Eastlands.
City`s focus was immediately in question when 45 seconds from kick-off, debutant Sol Bamba, made the most of City`s defensive naivety with his first goal, poking home from close range.
Leicester`s pressure was causing a City defence- without Vincent Kompany- plenty of problems. Bamba continued to defeat our back four aerially and was unfortunate not to double his tally.
However, with Bamba scoring his first Leicester goal, James Milner took notice. The City and England midfielder netted his first goal for the club after an indifferent start to the season. City`s liveliest player, Milner, played a delightful one-two with Carlos Tevez, before finishing off in style, his left-foot shot placed to perfection.
After the goal City`s dominance was apparent, Milner continued to provide the spark and when released by Johnson, his right footed cross was turned home in style by Captain Tevez.
Unfortunately with a 2-1 lead on the stroke of half-time, City failed to capitalise in the second. City`s ecstasy on an emotional day- evolving round the great Neil Young and his traumatic battle with cancer- was turning to frustration.
The chances were becoming few and far between for the visitors, whereas Leicester, and in particular the dangerous Bamba, looked destined to breach an awkward defence.
With City retreating and changing the system to a more defensive 4-5-1, the pressure increased and although Gallagher`s clipped ball looked nothing more than a statistic, Joe Hart fumbled a routine cross allowing the talented King to snatch a deserved equaliser.
The unwanted replay at Eastland`s was now looking a certainty, but as Nigel De Jong strode into the oppositions box, he looked to have put the tie beyond a battling home side. Nevertheless, six yards out and fortunate not to suffer a nose bleed, De Jong struck his shot into the grateful Chris Weale`s hands.
A day to be remembered for many things- including the love and affection shown to legend Neil Young- will have the chance to entertain once again as Notts County`s Meadow Lane eagerly awaits a challenger.
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Date:Sunday January 9 2011
|Man City||3||-||0||Crystal Palace|
|2. Man City||22||14||5||3||+23||47|
|4. Man Utd||22||11||7||4||+15||40|
|7. West Ham||22||10||6||6||+10||36|
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