Man City 1-0 Stoke
Man City 1 - 0 Stoke
Manchester City ended a barren sequence of 35 years without a major trophy as Yaya Toure's late strike gave them a deserved FA Cup Final victory over Stoke City.
Toure was City's Wembley hero with the semi-final winner against Manchester United - and the giant Ivory Coast midfield man was on target again 16 minutes from time to set the seal on their first top-level success since the 1976 League Cup win against Newcastle United.
Roberto Mancini's side dominated throughout against a disappointing Stoke, who never came close to reproducing the form that swept Bolton Wanderers aside to reach their first FA Cup final.
Manchester City were only kept at bay by an outstanding first-half display from Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen, as he produced saves from Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli while David Silva also squandered a glorious chance.
The Dane was powerless, however, in the moment that finally ended the long wait for Manchester City as Toure pounced on a loose ball 10 yards out to thrash his finish past Sorensen in front of the delirious hordes of sky blue supporters.
It capped a momentous day for Manchester as City claimed the FA Cup just hours after United secured a record 19th league title with a point at Blackburn Rovers to set up a meeting between the clubs at Wembley in the Community Shield.
It was also a day of triumph for boss Mancini, whose long-term future at Eastlands has been questioned. He has now brought silverware back to the club and taken Manchester City into the Champions League - a more than acceptable return on lavish investment at the conclusion of his first full season in charge.
He threw his arms into the air in joy at the final whistle and his name rang around Wembley as captain Carlos Tevez ascended the steps to the Royal Box to lift the FA Cup.
Stoke's consolation is a place in next season's Europa League but boss Tony Pulis will be disappointed that his side, so dangerous and effective in recent weeks, failed to get to grips with the Wembley occasion and rarely threatened.
They were given a mighty ovation by their fans, superb throughout, as they collected their losers' medals - but the reality was they had not done themselves justice and could have no complaints at the outcome.
Kenwyne Jones had their best opportunity just after the hour, but it was the only moment of serious alarm for Manchester City keeper Joe Hart.
Mancini will now look to use Manchester City's Abu Dhabi riches to build even further on these foundations to make a serious challenge for the Premier League title next season and to have an impact in the Champions League.
Tevez's impressive cameo in the win against Spurs that secured City's top-four place was enough to convince Mancini of his fitness after a month out with a hamstring injury, and he played his full part in a dominant display.
Matthew Etherington also won his fitness battle after a hamstring problem, along with defender Robert Huth, but he looked off the pace and struggled to make any serious impact before being substituted.
City's early superiority should have brought a goal but they found Stoke keeper Sorensen in superb form as he formed a one-man barrier of defiance.
Sorensen set the tone with a fine diving save from Tevez's deflected shot and produced even better to turn away Balotelli's curling right-foot effort that looked destined for the top corner until his late intervention.
Silva should have given City a deserved lead after 34 minutes, but if there is a weakness in the gifted Spaniard's game it is an occasional failure to produce the cutting edge to go with his creativity. He was perfectly placed to score after Sorensen could only block Balotelli but hit his shot into the ground and over the top from only eight yards.
Huth was fortunate referee Martin Atkinson did not see him catch Balotelli with an elbow early on, but there was no escape six minutes before the interval when he mistimed a challenge on Micah Richards horribly and was booked.
Stoke's support had been as passionate as ever despite their team's surprisingly timid approach. It was a display reflected in boss Pulis's animated behaviour in the technical area and only brought one half-chance in the opening period, which Jones failed to profit from.
Pulis clearly got his message across to Stoke at the break but it was Silva who was again guilty of over-elaboration as Manchester City wasted another chance after 55 minutes. Tevez found Silva unopposed in the area, only for him to inexplicably hesitate and allow Stoke's defence to regroup.
Stoke had started to show a lot more intent and should have taken the lead just after the hour when Jones latched onto a ball over the top and brushed aside Joleon Lescott with ease, but Hart raced off his line to make a crucial block.
Etherington's selection was clearly a gamble and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Dean Whitehead after 62 minutes. He had looked a shadow of the player who has been such a strong influence on Stoke's season.
The goal City had merited arrived on 74 minutes. Silva released Balotelli in the area and when his shot was deflected invitingly into the path of Toure he gave Sorensen no chance with a thunderous finish.
Stoke were unable to gather any serious momentum and even the sight of Sorensen venturing forward for corners failed to unsettle Manchester City before referee Atkinson blew the final whistle to end the years of suffering in the shadow of their illustrious neighbours.
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +2:30
Corner taken by Jermaine Pennant from the left by-line, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Ryan Shawcross misses to the right of the target.90:00 +1:28
Outswinging corner taken by Jermaine Pennant from the right by-line, Nigel De Jong manages to make a clearance.90:00 +1:28 Substitution
Substitution David Silva goes off and Patrick Vieira comes on.90:00 +0:17
Gnegneri Toure Yaya challenges Robert Huth unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.88:58
Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Andy Wilkinson gets a block in. David Silva takes a short corner.86:45 Substitution
Substitution Carlos Tevez goes off and Pablo Zabaleta comes on.83:49 Substitution
Substitution Glenn Whelan leaves the field to be replaced by Danny Pugh.83:38
David Silva takes a shot. Save made by Thomas Sorensen.82:07
David Silva decides to take a short corner.79:54
Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.79:54 Substitution
Substitution Rory Delap leaves the field to be replaced by John Carew.79:54
Unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead by Carlos Tevez results in a free kick.78:53
David Silva takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.76:32
Nigel De Jong fouled by Jonathan Walters, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.75:27
Gnegneri Toure Yaya restarts play with the free kick.75:27 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Andy Wilkinson for unsporting behaviour.75:18
Unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli by Andy Wilkinson results in a free kick.73:45 Goal scored
Goal! - Gnegneri Toure Yaya - Man City 1 - 0 Stoke Gnegneri Toure Yaya grabs a goal from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Man City 1-0 Stoke.73:35
Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
Substitution Adam Johnson is brought on as a substitute for Gareth Barry.71:45
The ball is sent over by Rory Delap, save by Joe Hart.69:20
Foul by Micah Richards on Jermaine Pennant, free kick awarded. Jermaine Pennant takes the direct free kick.68:00
Unfair challenge on David Silva by Kenwyne Jones results in a free kick. Gareth Barry takes the free kick.65:29
Unfair challenge on Mario Balotelli by Ryan Shawcross results in a free kick. Mario Balotelli produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick. Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.64:25
Andy Wilkinson takes a shot from 35 yards and missed to the right of the net.63:18
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by Thomas Sorensen.61:37 Substitution
Substitution Dean Whitehead replaces Matthew Etherington.61:14
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Brilliant save by Joe Hart.59:35
Foul by Andy Wilkinson on Mario Balotelli, free kick awarded. Aleksandar Kolarov takes the free kick.55:40
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth. Corner from the left by-line taken by Aleksandar Kolarov, Gareth Barry takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.55:23
Nigel De Jong takes a shot. Carlos Tevez gets a block in.54:41
Marc Wilson takes a shot.53:53
Mario Balotelli challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Matthew Etherington.52:59
Unfair challenge on Andy Wilkinson by Gnegneri Toure Yaya results in a free kick. Marc Wilson takes the free kick.51:59
Joleon Lescott challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Matthew Etherington, Joleon Lescott makes a clearance.50:29
Robert Huth is penalised for a handball. David Silva crosses the ball in from the free kick, free kick awarded for a foul by Micah Richards on Robert Huth. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.49:22
Jermaine Pennant takes a shot. Gnegneri Toure Yaya gets a block in.48:26
Mario Balotelli concedes a free kick for a foul on Rory Delap. Marc Wilson restarts play with the free kick.46:40
The ball is crossed by Jermaine Pennant, Header by Robert Huth from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.46:26
Kenwyne Jones fouled by Joleon Lescott, the ref awards a free kick. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.46:02
Aleksandar Kolarov produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the left-hand post.45:01
The second half has started.45:00 +3:09 Half time
Half Time The half-time whistle blows.45:00 +2:31
Foul by Andy Wilkinson on Mario Balotelli, free kick awarded. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.44:02
Free kick awarded for a foul by Joleon Lescott on Kenwyne Jones. Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Nigel De Jong manages to make a clearance.43:09
Shot from 35 yards by Aleksandar Kolarov went over the net.41:57
Nigel De Jong has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.41:38
Unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Ryan Shawcross results in a free kick. Aleksandar Kolarov restarts play with the free kick.41:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Glenn Whelan on Nigel De Jong. Vincent Kompany restarts play with the free kick.39:25
Aleksandar Kolarov produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.39:25 Booking
Booking Robert Huth is given a yellow card.39:17
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Micah Richards by Robert Huth.38:22
Outswinging corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov, clearance made by Marc Wilson.37:16
Kenwyne Jones produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.34:38
Shot by David Silva from inside the six-yard box clear the bar.30:08
Aleksandar Kolarov challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from right wing, save made by Joe Hart.29:31
Vincent Kompany takes a shot. Save made by Thomas Sorensen.25:53
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kenwyne Jones by Vincent Kompany. Free kick taken by Marc Wilson.25:42
A cross is delivered by David Silva, Matthew Etherington makes a clearance.24:27
Effort from inside the area by Carlos Tevez misses to the left of the goal.23:22
Mario Balotelli produces a curled right-footed shot from 18 yards. Save made by Thomas Sorensen. Inswinging corner taken by David Silva from the right by-line, save by Thomas Sorensen.21:05
Foul by Vincent Kompany on Kenwyne Jones, free kick awarded. Marc Wilson shoots direct from the free kick.20:36
Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.20:03
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.15:40
Aleksandar Kolarov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Pennant. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jermaine Pennant from right wing, save made by Joe Hart.13:10
Jermaine Pennant delivers the ball, Micah Richards manages to make a clearance.10:24
Gnegneri Toure Yaya has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the goal.9:44
Corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.8:42
Nigel De Jong has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.7:50
Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Robert Huth gets a block in. Corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov to the near post, clearance by Andy Wilkinson.4:33
Shot by Carlos Tevez. Save made by Thomas Sorensen.1:42
Gareth Barry sends in a cross, Andy Wilkinson gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov from the left by-line to the near post.0:00
The game begins.
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