Samir Nasri delighted to hit form at 'right moment' for Manchester City

Frenchman scored opener against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Samir Nasri feels he has found form at the “right moment” as Manchester City home in on FA Cup glory.

The France midfielder continued his recent burst of form with an influential and goalscoring display in City's 2-1 semi-final victory over Chelsea at Wembley.

Manager Roberto Mancini joked he could punch the 25-year-old last month after what he felt was a belated display of his true potential.

Nasri's underwhelming performances earlier in the campaign - including an infamous moment when he ducked in a defensive wall against Manchester United - had brought criticism from Mancini.

But there was no mistaking his desire and determination to impress as he troubled Chelsea throughout a gripping semi-final.

Nasri, who hit the opening goal after 35 minutes, told City TV: "I wish I was like this since the start of the season but I had a couple of injuries which stopped me.

"Now I am playing really well, really great. I am full of confidence.

"I try to do my best for the team and we are going to fight until the end for the league and we want to win the FA Cup. It is the right moment."

Nasri struck after combining neatly with Sergio Aguero and although he benefited from a ricochet, it was no more than then dominant City deserved.

Aguero added a second with a looping header from a Gareth Barry free-kick early in the second half but Demba Ba hooked in a superb reply to set up a tense finish.

The Londoners applied most of the pressure thereafter and substitute Fernando Torres had a late penalty appeal denied but City held on to book a final date with Wigan.

Nasri said: "We were a little bit tired at the end of the game.

"We didn't close the game and they had a chance to come back but the most important thing is that we are in the final."

City's win ended the reign of the holders and took them a game closer to regaining the trophy they won in 2011.

Nasri, Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure were all outstanding but the defensive effort late on, particularly from back-up goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, was equally praiseworthy.

Toure said: "We have to give big credit to the defence.

"The second half was very hard for us, Chelsea have fantastic skilled players.

"They came out of midfield and tried to control the game but I think it was a big performance from all the team."

Toure, who signed a new four-year contract earlier this month, also paid tribute to the City fans.

The former Barcelona player said: "The team and the players will continue to fight for them, to make them happy.

"They continue to help the team and give you more strength.

"All the time they were unbelievable. I think I know now I made a very good choice to sign the new contract.

"I want to continue to make history and continue to be part of the story of the club.

"With those kind of fans it would be difficult for me to leave."