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Home » Sport » Football

Aguero header sends City into final

Sergio Aguero provided a Jekyll and Hyde contribution to Manchester City's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final triumph over Chelsea.

The brilliant South American scored the second-half goal that ended up booking a meeting with Wigan next month. But he was also fortunate to escape a red card after a nasty challenge on David Luiz.

With Samir Nasri also on target for City, it was enough to repel a spirited Chelsea revival after Demba Ba had pulled one back.

Needing a fifth winners' medal to shove David Seaman out of his share of being the most successful goalkeeper in the competition's history, Petr Cech had a particular reason to impress. It certainly seemed like it anyway given the brilliance of his early save to deny Aguero and the Czech Republic international had set himself to deny Yaya Toure.

Cech then denied Carlos Tevez as City continued their fast start, with Chelsea hardly in the contest until Vincent Kompany cleared Eden Hazard's mis-hit volley off the line.

City's opener arrived after 35 minutes. The sight of Yaya Toure powering at any defence is enough to get them quaking and Chelsea seemed spooked by the midfielder lumbering towards their box, which meant Aguero was afforded too much space when the short pass came.

He quickly flicked it onto Nasri, whose attempt at a return, resulted in a couple of fortunate rebounds and the perfect opportunity to lash home.

When Aguero spun away from Branislav Ivanovic and headed home Gareth Barry's cross straight after the restart, all Chelsea hope seemed lost.

Rarely can a substitute have had such an immediate impact as Fernando Torres. For, as play restarted following his 65th-minute introduction, Luiz drove a long ball to the edge of City's box, Torres flicked it on and Ba superbly hooked it in.

It ended City's chances of becoming only the fourth team to lift the trophy without conceding a goal and injected Chelsea with some much-needed self-belief. Costel Pantilimon saved at the feet of Juan Mata, then produced a wonderful stop to deny Ba. It was spellbinding stuff, which made Aguero's two-footed lunge at David Luiz all the more stupid.

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