Manchester City 5 Barnsley 0 FA Cup match report: Too quick to handle Carlos Tevez drives City to an unqualified triumph

 

the etihad stadium

If the pressure of facing a possible jail sentence for driving while disqualified was weighing on Carlos Tevez, it did not show. Three goals and two assists suggest a man at ease with himself, which is more than can be said for the defenders who tried to block his path.

His manager, Roberto Mancini, had made a late decision to play the striker, although this had nothing to do with his arrest.

"I only read about it in the newspapers," Mancini said. "It is not our problem, it is his problem but, if it has that effect, I hope the police will stop him again next Friday."

These clubs were one game away from a Wembley semi-final, but as a contest it was like trying to stage a race between a Porsche and a Trabant on the grounds both had been made in Germany. It was, however, a better result for Barnsley than their previous trip to Eastlands, when they lost 7-1 in the League Cup to a side managed by Kevin Keegan, who was working as a summariser here last night.

As a boy Keegan had once tried to run from Doncaster to Manchester but collapsed near Barnsley. Their football team did not come nearly so close. Before kick-off other results had sent the Tykes to the bottom of the Championship and this was not an evening to inspire them before facing Brighton on Tuesday night.

"If they are the second-best team in the country, I wouldn't like to face Manchester United," said the Barnsley manager, David Flitcroft, who had compared Mancini's team to Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. "Their ruthlessness was incredible. It is what champions are about. They wanted to batter us into a pulp by half-time and then drill us into the floor in the second half."

Like the first FA Cup quarter-final, the second saw one side 3-0 up by the interval, although unlike the jaw-dropping events at Everton, the pattern had been entirely predictable. Realistically, Manchester City were through to the semi-finals the moment Tevez, having pumped his way down the right flank, picked out Aleksandar Kolarov to put City two up.

There was more than an hour remaining and for Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal and the rest of his defence, time would have dripped like a water clock. "A slow death," is how Flitcroft described the view from the dugout.

Flitcroft is an inventive manager who has taken his team to Spain to prepare for League games and had used Manchester United's training ground at Carrington to ready his players for what was to come here. But wherever he went, Flitcroft would not have discovered an antidote to Tevez in this kind of mood.

"He was a ghost," the manager said. "With his power and pace we could not get near him."

The rout began with a flick from Yaya Touré for David Silva, whose shot was palmed on to the post by Steele. As it dribbled clear, Tevez beat Stephen Foster to the rebound. When he was first arrested for driving offences, Tevez celebrated goals by pretending to hold a steering wheel. Now that it has all become rather more serious, it was probably just as well that he merely ran to the City fans with his arms outstretched. His second carried a higher degree of difficulty. A short pass from Silva saw Tevez with his back to goal and under pressure from Martin Cranie. The defender might have expected a back-flick from the Argentinian's yellow boots; instead they turned venomously on him and City were three up.

A two-handed save from Steele merely delayed the hat-trick which arrived via Samir Nasri's cross, and although Cranie once more tried to block him, Tevez was again too quick.

It stung Barnsley into a kind of hopelessly belated action as Ryan Tunnicliffe sprinted goalwards, his face screwed up with determination. But for the long legs of Costel Pantilimon, the 6,000 who travelled from Yorkshire would have had their consolation.

Instead, there was merely more pain as Tevez, later forced off with a tight hamstring, picked out Silva, who, despite Steele blocking his first attempt, was able almost to walk the ball home.

Even with his side 5-0 up, James Milner still crashed a shot against the post. It was merciless. The FA Cup carried the romance of an accident and emergency ward on a Saturday night.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor