Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

REVENGE IS SWEET FOR THE SLICKER CITY MEN ; MATCH ANALYSIS CITY 2 CHELSEA 0blues Cruise into the Last Eight as Mourinho Is Silenced in One-Sided FA Cup Victory

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

REVENGE IS SWEET FOR THE SLICKER CITY MEN ; MATCH ANALYSIS CITY 2 CHELSEA 0blues Cruise into the Last Eight as Mourinho Is Silenced in One-Sided FA Cup Victory

Article excerpt

AKE a bow, Javi Garcia.

Te Spanish mid-elder has been the subject of much criticism since he joined City at the start of last season, written oas not good enough for the Blue revolution.

But when the Blues' world-class talents dismantled Chelsea with a ruthless display of style and power, it was Garcia who underwrote the performance.

Give the man himself all the credit he deserves, but spare some for Manuel Pellegrini, who seems to have a magic touch in reviving the careers of players who appeared to be sitting in the departure lounge at the Etihad Stadium.

Already this season, Samir Nasri and Aleks Kolarov have gone from unwanted, expensive ...ops to vital, vibrant essentials.

After this display, and remembering that he also put in a fantastic shift in the 3-2 win at Bayern Munich in December, maybe Garcia could add his name to that list.

Pellegrini was rst to praise the Spaniard: "Javi played his best game of the year, without any tactical or technical mistakes, and with good intensity. I am very pleased for him - - he is a very important player for our team."

e prospect of facing Barcelona tomorrow night now seems a whole lot less daunting if Pellegrini has to turn to the former Real Madrid man to anchor his mield alongside Yaya Toure.

e Chilean manager keeps dropping hints that it may not come to that. Last week, he was ruling out the possibility of Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero being t for the Champions League last 16 tie. Now, just a day away, he is not so adamant. Aguero is back training, and there are whispers that Fernandinho may also make the squad.

Whether this is some kind of black ops campaign by City to keep Barcelona guessing about their team, or whether the Blues truly will spring their strongest front six on the Catalans, will be revealed on the night.

But Garcia's performance, and the goalscoring return of Nasri, were grounds for optimism in themselves, especially as the three truly worldclass players City had on display - - Vincent Kompany, Toure and David Silva - - all hit top form at the right moment.

After the frustration of the home league defeat by Chelsea a fortnight ago, and the disappointment of a blank scoresheet at Norwich, this was the tonic everyone needed.

And, of course, the bonus of shoving Jose Mourinho's weasel words back down his throat sat well with all at the Etihad.

Mourinho has not let up in his sniping at City in the last few weeks, using words like "dodgy" and "lucky".

e only thing dodgy in this match was Chelsea's over-powered mideld, and their underwhelming defence, while the luck was also on their side - - otherwise it might have ended up as another City goal landslide.

e league defeat by Chelsea two weeks ago was far from being dispiriting.

Indeed, it was clear that City were under the weather on that occasion, and one or two tactical tweaks, and a chance taken, would have made all the dierence. …

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