Carlos Tevez hit a superb hat-trick as Manchester City outclassed Barnsley to march into the FA Cup semi-finals.
The Argentine striker, who was arrested on suspicion of motoring offences on Thursday, did not allow his off-field problems to distract him as he helped City brush aside their struggling Championship opponents.
Tevez scored three goals and made two more in a one-sided contest where the gulf in class between the Premier League champions and the team at the bottom of the Championship was always apparent.
City's title defence remains on the rocks, but the 2011 Cup winners will return to Wembley next month full of confidence after strolling into the last four of a competition that provides their only realistic chance of silverware this season.
Tevez the FA Cup talisman
- Manchester City have never lost an FA Cup game when Carlos Tevez has played (won 10, drawn one).
- Tevez became the third player to net a hat-trick in the FA Cup this season after Will Hatfield and Danny Hylton.
From the start, City were too quick and too clever for the Tykes, who played with a packed defence but were often left chasing shadows.
Barnsley boss David Flitcroft and his players were hoping for a repeat of their famous wins over Liverpool and Chelsea on the way to the semi-finals in 2008 but in reality never came close to pulling off another shock.
City took the lead after 11 minutes when Barnsley's defenders failed to read Yaya Toure's clever chipped pass and Tevez mopped up from close range after David Silva volleyed against the post.
Barnsley were working hard just to contain their hosts but that strategy collapsed with two goals in four minutes either side of the half-hour mark.
Tevez escaped down the right to send in a low cross that found Aleksandar Kolarov arriving late to bury a skidding first-time finish.
Roberto Mancini on Carlos Tevez's arrest
“"It is his problem, it is not our problem. Will it affect Carlos? No, no, no. If it has this effect on him then I hope the police can stop him every day.”
And Kolarov turned provider soon after, with his delivery helped on by Silva for Tevez to turn and slam his shot past helpless Barnsley keeper Luke Steele from close range.
By now, City's fans were singing about going to Wembley and Tevez made sure that they would be making that trip when he completed his hat-trick four minutes after the break.
Samir Nasri advanced down the left by-line and pulled the ball back for Tevez to coolly sweep it into the opposite corner of the net.
Roberto Mancini's men were so dominant it took Barnsley close to an hour to bring a meaningful save from Costel Pantilimon, with substitute Jacob Mellis firing in a dipping shot that had the giant City keeper scrambling to his left.
City have not conceded a goal in the FA Cup this season, but Pantilimon had to do some more work to preserve that record, denying Ryan Tunnicliffe with his foot after the on-loan Manchester United midfielder surged clear.
But City still looked capable of scoring at will and increased their advantage with their next attack, which was started on the halfway line by Silva.
The Spaniard finished the move too, seeing his initial shot saved by Steele but following up to convert the rebound himself.
Barnsley's fans kept singing until the bitter end but their season now reverts to a relegation battle.
For City, what has been a disappointing campaign in the Premier League and Europe could still end with them lifting a trophy in May.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on Carlos Tevez:
"It is important that he continues to score because we need his goals in this period of the season, and also for the FA Cup.
"I don't know what will happen in the summer. Carlos has another year on his contract but many times he has said he wants to go back to Argentina."
Barnsley manager David Flitcroft on Tevez:
"It is his power and his explosion and his movement which is incredible. He is a ghost.
"After the game, our players have spoken about getting close to him in the box and what they are saying is that he just pulls off and then produces a shot on target which is a goal.
"But I was impressed with all of City's players. They are a team that has everything. We tried to get in them and around them and tried to get near them and we couldn't."
- 30 Pantilimon
- 05 Zabaleta
- 06 Lescott
- 13 Kolarov
- 28 K Toure
- 08 Nasri (Sinclair - 52' )
- 18 Barry
- 21 Silva (Razak - 66' )
- 42 Y Toure Booked
- 10 Dzeko
- 32 Tevez (Milner - 76' )
- 01 Hart
- 22 Clichy
- 33 Nastasic
- 07 Milner
- 11 Sinclair
- 14 Garcia
- 62 Razak
- 01 Steele
- 06 Foster
- 14 Wiseman
- 25 Cranie
- 33 Kennedy
- 11 Perkins
- 19 Cywka (Mellis - 52' )
- 28 Tunnicliffe Booked
- 13 Dagnall (Scotland - 52' )
- 16 Harewood
- 23 Etuhu (O'Brien - 52' )
- 30 Lidakevicius
- 02 Hassell
- 05 Delap
- 08 O'Brien
- 21 Mellis
- 09 Scotland
- 32 Rose
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +0:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gareth Barry by Jim O'Brien. Joleon Lescott takes the direct free kick.89:40
Joleon Lescott produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.89:21
Short corner worked by James Milner.88:31
James Milner takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Marlon Harewood.84:52
James Milner takes a shot from a just insdie the penalty box and hits the post.83:46
Shot by Edin Dzeko from outside the box goes over the target.76:32
Edin Dzeko has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.75:41
Corner taken by Tom Kennedy from the right by-line.75:41 Substitution
Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with James Milner coming on for Carlos Tevez.74:42
The offside flag is raised against Edin Dzeko. Ryan Tunnicliffe restarts play with the free kick.71:43
Marlon Harewood has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.70:27
Pablo Zabaleta concedes a free kick for a foul on Jason Scotland. David Perkins restarts play with the free kick.67:42
Abdul Razak produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.65:45 Substitution
Substitution Abdul Razak joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Silva.64:32 Goal scored
Goal! - David Silva - Man City 5 - 0 Barnsley David Silva finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 5-0 Barnsley.64:27
David Silva takes a shot. Luke Steele makes a save.63:47
Edin Dzeko has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.60:52
Jacob Mellis takes a shot. Costel Pantilimon makes a save.60:36
Ryan Tunnicliffe takes a shot. Save made by Costel Pantilimon.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jim O'Brien by Joleon Lescott. Jim O'Brien restarts play with the free kick.58:42
Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Luke Steele.57:03
Jacob Mellis takes a shot. Save made by Costel Pantilimon.56:46
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jacob Mellis by Kolo Toure. Free kick taken by Jim O'Brien.53:27
Jim O'Brien produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.52:47
Aleksandar Kolarov concedes a free kick for a foul on Jim O'Brien. Tom Kennedy takes the direct free kick.51:18 Substitution
Substitution Jacob Mellis is brought on as a substitute for Tomasz Cywka.51:18 Substitution
Substitution Kelvin Etuhu goes off and Jim O'Brien comes on.51:18 Substitution
Substitution Jason Scotland comes on in place of Chris Dagnall.51:18 Substitution
Substitution Samir Nasri leaves the field to be replaced by Scott Sinclair.49:04
The assist for the goal came from Samir Nasri.49:04 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlos Tevez - Man City 4 - 0 Barnsley Carlos Tevez scores a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 4-0 Barnsley.47:46
Free kick taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.47:46 Booking
Booking Ryan Tunnicliffe is booked.47:39
Aleksandar Kolarov fouled by Ryan Tunnicliffe, the ref awards a free kick.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:00 +2:03 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +0:37
Tomasz Cywka produces a left-footed shot from outside the box and misses left.43:40
Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line.39:47
Chris Dagnall has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.37:19
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Luke Steele makes a comfortable save.37:03
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Silva.36:41
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by Luke Steele.35:26
Aleksandar Kolarov fouled by Chris Dagnall, the ref awards a free kick. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.34:25
Marlon Harewood concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth Barry. Gareth Barry takes the free kick.32:25
The referee blows for offside. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.31:33
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marlon Harewood by Kolo Toure. Tom Kennedy takes the free kick.30:32
Assist by David Silva.30:32 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlos Tevez - Man City 3 - 0 Barnsley Carlos Tevez finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 3-0 Barnsley.29:01
Chris Dagnall is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Kolo Toure.26:10
Assist on the goal came from Carlos Tevez.26:10 Goal scored
Goal! - Aleksandar Kolarov - Man City 2 - 0 Barnsley Goal scored by Aleksandar Kolarov from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 2-0 Barnsley.24:06
Unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Tomasz Cywka results in a free kick. Kolo Toure takes the free kick.23:05
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Samir Nasri, Header from close in by Edin Dzeko misses to the right of the target.22:37
Foul by Gareth Barry on Kelvin Etuhu, free kick awarded. Kelvin Etuhu takes the free kick.22:06
The referee blows for offside against Marlon Harewood. Free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.21:32
Direct free kick taken by Tomasz Cywka.21:32 Booking
Booking Yaya Toure is shown a yellow card for dissent.21:16
Samir Nasri concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Dagnall.20:41
Inswinging corner taken by David Silva from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Marlon Harewood.17:36
Carlos Tevez produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.16:44
The official flags Samir Nasri offside. Luke Steele takes the indirect free kick.13:26
Corner taken left-footed by Tom Kennedy.11:46
Stephen Foster concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlos Tevez. Joleon Lescott restarts play with the free kick.10:08
Assist on the goal came from David Silva.10:08 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlos Tevez - Man City 1 - 0 Barnsley Goal scored by Carlos Tevez from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 1-0 Barnsley.9:57
David Silva takes a shot. Save by Luke Steele.8:15
Edin Dzeko has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.5:37
Marlon Harewood gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joleon Lescott. Free kick taken by Costel Pantilimon.4:16
Short corner worked by Samir Nasri.2:04
Martin Cranie challenges Edin Dzeko unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.0:41
Tom Kennedy takes the inswinging corner, Shot from just outside the area by Ryan Tunnicliffe misses to the right of the target.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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