English FA Cup

May 14, 2011


Manchester City

1 - 0

Stoke City

English FA Cup

14:00 +00:00, May 14, 2011

Wembley Stadium, London, England

Referee: M Atkinson

  • 94'

    FT Thanks for following the FA Cup final with us. Stick around on site for all the best post-match reaction from Wembley.

  • 94'

    FT It is hard not to sympathise with Stoke, who lose their first FA Cup final. But this is Manchester City's day and the party is well and truly starting.

  • 94'

    FT John Brewin at Wembley: Mancini hails the skies and Manchester City's 35-year curse is finished. The project has delivered and we have a sea of blue. Some anger among some Stoke fans, and there is a fracas in front of me. This has been Manchester's day.

  • 94'

    FT It was richly deserved as well. Man City played the better football, created the better chances and Stoke lacked their usual presence.

  • 94'

    FT City's coaching staff stream onto the pitch as they celebrate the club's first trophy for 35 years. United fans better take that banner down.

  • 94'

    FULL TIME! Manchester City win the FA Cup!

  • 93'

    Stoke are again unable to prove potent from their trusted set-pieces. The chance goes wasted.

  • 93'

    City hold firm as they clear from the corner and then subsequent Stoke attempts to test Hart. Another corner.

  • 93'

    Sorensen is up!

  • 92'

    Silva replaced by Vieira, who is on course to win his fourth FA Cup final.

  • 92'

    A late chance for Stoke. Pennant almost wins a penalty before drawing a corner.

  • 91'

    We will have three additional minutes.

  • 90'

    Manchester City have a late corner and Balotelli wastes time effectively.

  • 88'

    Here comes that change, Tevez replaced by his compatriot Zabaleta.

  • 87'

  • 86'

    Balotelli tricks his way into the box and finds Silva. As usual, though, the Spaniard appears reluctant to pull the trigger and the chance goes begging.

  • 86'

    Now it is time for City to shut up shop, Pablo Zabaleta is preparing to come on for Tevez.

  • 85'

    Glenn Whelan is replaced by Danny Pugh.

  • 84'

    Balotelli is halted in his tracks in the box but Silva takes up the mantle and drags a shot across goal that Sorensen spills. No one is in attendance to tap home though.

  • 83'

    We know Roberto Mancini likes a 1-0 but this will have been achieved in a positive manner, should they hold on to win.

  • 82'

    Eight minutes for Stoke to rescue this game but in truth, they don't deserve to. Manchester City have been by far the better side, and the more ambitious too.

  • 81'

    Stoke go for it as John Carew comes on for Delap.

  • 79'

    Adam Johnson does superbly to turn Wilkinson inside out and drive into the box. His cut-back falls to Silva, who sees his flicked effort blocked.

  • 79'

    I'm not sure you could ever say that wages in excess of £200,000 a week are justified, but Man City's accountants will happily sign Yaya Toure's cheque this month.

  • 78'

    John Brewin at Wembley: Toure is the man for City's big occasion as he slaps the ball in the net. Stoke taken apart via the work of Silva and Balotelli and finally gave way. Great finish, and let's hope we get one to this game too.

  • 77'

    Right then, what do Stoke have now? Manchester City deservedly lead and are 13 minutes from their first trophy in 13 minutes.

  • 76'

    Andy Wilkinson produces a bad tackle on Balotelli and is rightly booked. Not the most subtle footballer, this one.

  • 75'

    The Poznan comes out as Yaya Toure, hero of the semi-final win over Manchester United, bashes the ball home from 12 yards. Stoke failed to clear after Balotelli's effort and Toure just belted it in.

  • 74'


  • 73'

    Well, well, well. Mancini casts off those defensive shackles as Johnson replaces Barry. That means Toure dropping deeper.

  • 73'

    We are inside the last 20 minutes now and either side could win this. Stoke just need a goal for a big shock.

  • 72'

    Here comes Jonno, and it will probably be Balotelli who makes way.

  • 71'

    Jermaine Pennant wastes a free-kick in a dangerous area. He can't blame the ankle for that.

  • 70'

    Man City are readying Adam Johnson on the sidelines.

  • 68'

    Yaya Toure throws himself to ground in a failed attempt to win a penalty from Wilson. It was pretty shameless stuff and could have drawn a yellow card.

  • 67'

    Balotelli sees a free-kick blocked by the Stoke wall and for a second it looks as though Man City might threaten as they work the ball back into the box. No luck though.

  • 66'

    It's such a shame Etherington wasn't fit for this game. It was worth a gamble by Pulis but he couldn't continue in the condition he was in.

  • 65'

    A Delap throw is cleared and Wilkinson attempts an audacious half-volley from long range. Unsurprisingly, the effort soars wide.

  • 64'

    Tevez evades the clutches of Rory Delap and takes aim from 20 yards, but his low effort is smothered by Sorensen.

  • 63'

    That change is made as Etherington makes way for Whitehead.

  • 62'

    Big chance for Stoke City! Jones collects a ball over the top but his lack of control undermines him when through on goal, allowing Hart to block. That could have been the moment.

  • 61'

    Mario Balotelli went closest for City.

  • 61'

    Stoke are preparing Dean Whitehead and Etherington will be coming off. He has been poor today, and his lack of fitness is showing.

  • 60'

    Sorensen is quick to rush off his line and grab the ball at the feet of Richards after Silva releases the right back with a quick pass. Richards has been everywhere in this game, though not always to great effect.

  • 59'

    John Brewin at Wembley: Much more open this, and Stoke's fans are very loud indeed. Silva, again, hesitated, and looked like a City player of old in doing so.

  • 57'

    More chances. Tevez has a shot that is deflected wide and from the corner City again fire over. This game has picked up a touch.

  • 56'

    Now it is City's turn to waste a good chance as Tevez dances clear down the right and slips a square pass for Silva. He has an open pitch in front of him but dallies too long and fails to shoot.

  • 55'

    Balotelli is furious when a free-kick is awarded against him and Stoke apply pressure from the set-piece as Man City fail to clear on multiple occasions.

  • 54'

    Filthy from Yaya Toure as he rakes the back of Andy Wilkinson's leg following a tackle from the Stoke man on Tevez. Arguably another red as it was dangerous and could have caused injury.

  • 53'

    Pennant turns his ankle again and looks in real pain. You wonder if he can continue, as certainly he will not be in anything like top condition. For a player like him, who relies on pace, that is a concern.

  • 52'

    Micah gets on the end of the free-kick from Silva but the defender is penalised for climbing all over Huth.

  • 51'

    Robert Huth, who is on a yellow card, is penalised for handball. It wasn't deliberate though so no danger of the red card he should already have.

  • 50'

    A Delap long throw is flicked into the path of Pennant but after taking a touch the winger drags his shot across goal and Man City clear.

  • 48'

    Robert Huth heads just wide for Stoke from a Pennant cross. That is what they need to do at the start of this second half.

  • 46'

    Kolarov darts into the box and his effort finds the side netting. There were no Man City players in sight anyway.

  • 46'



    David Silva wasted a glorious chance.


    Super Mario has been a central figure, as always.


    If you want a reminder about what happened in the Premier League earlier, look no further.


    Replays are now showing that the ball clearly struck Vincent Kompany's hand and that could well have been given as a penalty by some referees, even if it wasn't deliberate.


    Stoke really have to do something to turn the tide. Etherington, rushed back for the game, is a shadow of his usual self and they haven't possessed anything like their usual menace from set-pieces and throws.


    John Brewin at Wembley: Manchester City could perhaps be two goals up but they are not, and Stoke have hung on grimly - very grimly at times. Huth lucky to be on the pitch but the moment of the match was Silva's miss. Inexplicable.


    Just a quick reminder to follow us on Twitter. You won't be disappointed.


    Manchester City have been the better side, with Balotelli denied by a superb save by Sorensen and Silva wasting a glorious chance. And Huth should have been sent off of course.

  • 45'


  • 45'

    We are in a third extra minute now because of Pennant's injury.

  • 45'

    Pennant hobbles back on but he appears in real pain. Stoke will need to assess that at half-time.

  • 45'

    Pennant is down and requires treatment. He went over on his ankle very nastily. That would have hurt. A lot.

  • 45'

    We will have one additional minute at Wembley.

  • 45'

    Stoke's pass completion rate is well below City's. Though that is an occupational hazard when you resort to long balls so frequently of course.

  • 44'

    A poor ball, this time from Walters, gives Kolarov possession but he fires high into the stands from 35 yards or so. Bit of a silly effort in all honesty.

  • 42'

    Nigel de Jong has now had two shots, which is very unusual for him. This one rolls harmlessly wide.

  • 41'

    Presented with a decent chance to test Sorensen from a free-kick, Kolarov instead fires the ball well off target. That was disappointing.

  • 40'

    Huth is booked for a nasty challenge on Micah Richards. Of course, he should already be off the pitch for elbowing Balotelli.

  • 40'

  • 39'

    John Brewin at Wembley: Thank you, David Silva for your quality, your sureness of touch, and thank you for lifting football's greatest occasion ... oh.

  • 38'

    A sloppy pass from Barry gives Pennant possession and after he is allowed to saunter down the length of the pitch, Jones pulls a shot well, well wide.

  • 36'

    Carlos Tevez picks out Balotelli with a clever ball into the box and when Sorensen gets a touch to the ball it drops nicely for Silva. With the goal at his mercy, and eight yards out, he drills a shot into the turf and off target. A horrible miss.

  • 34'

    Gareth Barry whips in a cross from the right and Balotelli fails to properly connect under pressure.

  • 34'

    Man City may be feeling they should already be a goal ahead here, and that possibly they missed a good chance to get a goal when well on top. Only time will tell if that proves fatal.

  • 33'

    City fans do 'The Poznan'.

  • 32'

    Joe Hart is put under pressure as a free-kick soars in from the right and grasps the ball before almost taking it over the line when falling to the turf.

  • 30'

    Kenwyne Jones desperately appeals for a handball by Vincent Kompany but nothing is given. The defender then charges downfield and drives a low shot that Sorensen spills. Need a replay for the handball decision.

  • 29'

    Man City's pressure has dipped a touch and Stoke look more comfortable as a result. They are still struggling to create chances though.

  • 27'

    Stoke boot a free-kick forward and Walters finds the side netting when attempting to head across goal. It's no secret how Stoke will approach this game, and it's a formula that works.

  • 26'

    Man City are playing some good stuff at times, but after another well-worked move David Silva's cross floats into open space, no one attacking it.

  • 25'

    Walters is down and City play on, with Tevez firing wildly off target. The Stoke forward doesn't require treatment, so we continue.

  • 24'

    Sorensen isn't even first choice in the league as Asmir Begovic is usually in nets. However, he gets the cup games.

  • 24'

    Big chance for Man City! Sorensen pulls off a stupendous save to tip wide a curling effort from Balotelli. Really, really good goalkeeping.

  • 23'

    Stoke's Mark Wilson takes the bemusing decision to try and shoot from a 35-yard free-kick. It sails harmlessly over. Surely with all the giants in his side, a floater into the box would have been the better option.

  • 21'

    John Brewin at Wembley: An attack, a veritable Stoke attack and KJ has lifted the voices of the Stoke fans.

  • 21'

    Kenwyne Jones and Walters exchange passes but when the former receives the ball back in the box, he cannot get a shot away. That was Stoke's first chance.

  • 19'

    According to OptaJean, this is the first time since 1995 that there has not been a French player starting the FA Cup final. Paddy Vieira is on the bench though.

  • 19'

    Sorensen runs off his line and just gets a touch to the ball as Tevez darts through and is pushed out wide. Stoke regroup and clear.

  • 18'

    A loose pass from Tevez presents Matthew Etherington with the ball, but Stoke's attack peters out. Man City need to be careful, Stoke destroyed Bolton on the break in the semi-final.

  • 17'

    John Brewin at Wembley: Manchester City much the better team so far, and Tony Pulis' cap is bobbing around in anguish. Huth got very lucky there too.

  • 17'

    Frankly you have to question what on earth Huth is up to. He could so easily have been dismissed. Idiotic behaviour.

  • 16'

    You do not want to make an enemy of Mario Balotelli. He may be outfoxed by a bib, but he's handy with darts, let's not forget.

  • 15'

    Balotelli is down in the box clutching his face and replays show Huth elbowed him in the throat. That was a sending off offence but the referee missed it. Disgraceful behaviour.

  • 13'

    De Jong is quickly across to snuff out any danger after Walters turns inside with intent. The Dutchman plays such a crucial role for City.

  • 12'

  • 11'

    Still the chances keep flowing for Roberto Mancini's side. Yaya Toure drives a superb effort from 25 yards that had Sorensen scrambling. Just wide.

  • 10'

    Kolarov whips in a dangerous low cross and Ryan Shawcross almost turns it into his own net at the near post. Again, City do little with the corner.

  • 9'

    More pressure from Man City. Silva plays the ball square to De Jong, who smashes a shot high over the bar. He is no goal machine.

  • 9'

    The magnificently barmy Mario Balotelli has a shot blocked, but City waste a subsequent corner.

  • 8'

    Stoke are too keen to launch long balls forward from the back. That will not surprise veteran Stoke watchers, or indeed anyone with a basic working knowledge of Premier League football.

  • 7'

    Tony Pulis appears furious with Stoke's start. They certainly have allowed Manchester City to spread the ball around with ease.

  • 5'

    Thomas Sorensen dives to his left to palm out a stinging shot from Carlos Tevez from 20 yards. That's our first decent chance and City look to have found a rhythm.

  • 5'

    Abdoulaye Faye is already warming up for Stoke, hopefully that doesn't mean Robert Huth is struggling having been rushed back in time for today's game.

  • 3'

    Aleksandar Kolarov's delivery is met with a diving header from Micah Richards but Stoke are able to clear.

  • 2'

    Nigel de Jong robs Jermaine Pennant with a typically thumping challenge and Manchester City launch a counter-attack to win a corner.

  • 2'

    Carlos Tevez does a turn and spin to take the ball away from Matthew Etherington but runs it out of play. He looks in the mood.

  • 1'

    Stoke make an early foray into the Manchester City box but Jonathan Walters can't get the ball fully under control so Joe Hart is able to grab it.

  • 1'



    Ridiculously, Tony Pulis has now changed back into his trademark outfit and cap. How bizarre.


    Manchester City supporters do 'The Poznan' and we are minutes away from kick-off.


    A nice pre-match sight.


    The sides line up for the pre-match ceremony and the lovely Stacey gets ready to belt out the national anthem. She's come a long way from X-Factor, eh? If Jedward weren't at Eurovision they'd be doing it, presumably.


    John Brewin at Wembley: Stacey Solomon has just delivered a tribute to Manchester United with 'We Are The Champions' and we are ready. Stoke and Man City take to the pitch.


    The two teams are in the tunnel and ... Tony Pulis is not, I repeat not, wearing his usual tracksuit and baseball cap. Due deference to the occasion, superb work sir.


    Manchester City are clearly favourites, having just secured Champions League football, but Stoke's wonderful performance in their semi-final rout of Bolton served notice of their growing quality. I feel it might be a classic.


    Ah, Abide With Me rings out at Wembley. Just one of the traditions that makes this day so special. Usually, of course, the league title hasn't been settled just minutes before. Anyway, this is the big game of the day, for sure.


    As for the game itself, Manchester City are set out to attack, with David Silva and Mario Balotelli flanking Carlos Tevez, and Yaya Toure providing impetus through the middle. They will have to combat Stoke's physical approach at the back.


    It appears a fantastic atmosphere at Wembley, with Delilah and Blue Moon both being belted out. Though we are also being subjected to X-Factor almuni Stacey Solomon.


    Will those resident in the Sretford End finally have to pull that banner down? Manchester City fans will certainly hope for.


    Stoke, who are able to field both Robert Huth and Matthew Etherington, have never been to an FA Cup final before, while Manchester City are without a trophy in 35 years.


    Welcome, one and all, to our coverage of the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Stoke City. One of these two clubs will be ending a long trophy drought at Wembley.


    Finally, you can catch everything from 0800 BST on ESPN TV (UK only)




    We have a host of features to read ahead of the big day:


    Roberto Mancini is under pressure to deliver


    Join us for live commentary on the FA Cup final from 1500 BST as Manchester City and Stoke face off.