Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Richards Sets Up a Semi-Finals Derby

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Richards Sets Up a Semi-Finals Derby

Article excerpt

Manchester City 1 Reading 0 MANCHESTER City will face Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley next month after Micah Richards' header took the Blues past Reading in a last-eight tie at Eastlands yesterday.

Richards settled a nervy confrontation against their npower Championship opponents when he rose to power David Silva's 73rd-minute corner past Alex McCarthy to send his side into a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

City have met United in the last four once before, when the Blues came out on top 3-0 at Bramall Lane in 1926 before losing to Bolton in the final - which could in fact repeat itself.

This is a different era, though. The hype will be massive as Roberto Mancini's men embark on their first semi-final since 1981 knowing victory over the club who have lorded it over them for so long will leave them one step away from the end of that 35-year trophy drought.

For City, who have for so long watched their neighbours lift silverware while their cupboard remained bare, losing in the last minute in last season's Carling Cup semi-final the latest heartbreak, the pairing was something to relish and fear at the same time.

Reading began with confidence befitting a side boasting a seven-game unbeaten run, including a victory at Everton in the previous round.

Skipper Jobi McAnuff sparkled around the Blues box and Noel Hunt was not far off with an early header.

City quickly started to dominate though, even if their attacks centred around the twinkle-toes of Silva.

If anything, the Spain star has started to eclipse Carlos Tevez as the Blues' most dangerous player.

The pair combined to set up the returning Shaun Wright-Phillips, whose shot brought the first in a series of excellent saves from McCarthy. Silva pounced on the rebound but also failed to beat McCarthy, who denied the former Valencia man with his legs.

After all that industry prior to the interval, Reading almost committed suicide immediately after it.

Shane Long strained to reach an Aleksandar Kolarov corner and succeeded only in turning it towards his own goal. …

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