There are only so many times Carlos Tévez can be arrested before he can’t play soccer anymore. Which is too bad for City, because if El Apache’s response to yesterday’s incident is any indication, the Argentine attacker is really, really good when coming back from criminal concerns.
Tévez scored in the 11th, 31st, and 50th minute today at Eastlands, leading City to a 5-0 victory over Barnsley in the FA Cup quarterfinals. The win clinched City’s second trip to Wembley in three years, giving them a chance to regain the trophy they won in 2012.
Aleksandr Kolarov and David Silva also scored in what was a lopsided affair – the kind of game you’d expect when one of the Premier League’s best host a team sitting at the bottom of England’s second division.
By the 50th minute, City was up 4-0, compelling David Flitcroft to use all three of his subs. It didn’t matter. Twelve minutes later, Silva finished City’s scoring.
Twelve points behind Manchester United in league, the FA Cup represents City’s last chance to make it three straight years with silverware. Perhaps that (and the fixture list) explains why Roberto Mancini started a nearly first choice team against a club that was destined to be overmatched. Aside from Joe Hart and Matija Nastajic (who sat in favor of Carlos Pantilimon and Joleon Lescott), City put their first team out. It ended up being overkill.
For all the magic of the FA Cup, there are many other games that end up like this one. After Tévez scored his second in the 31st minute to put his team up 3-0, Manchester City put it in cruise. And they still managed two more goals.
There was no magic in Manchester on Saturday. Unfortunately, this game played out exactly as we would have expected.