City 3 Watford 0
January 5th 2013 46,821
FA Cup Round 3

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A good easy win for City to move into the fourth round of the FA Cup at the expense of a Watford team that failed to lift their game to City's level. Such was the gap ( sorry) between the sides that Watford had to wait well into the second half to win their first corner. They rarely tested Pantilimon but at least they did not come to defend like Stoke City a few days earlier. They occasionally made some dangerous counter attacks but the City back four were equal to the challenge and helped Pantilimon keep a clean sheet. The City reserve keeper performed well on his first outing since September.
City started well and won a succession of corners before going ahead with a great free kick by Carlos Tevez. Barry made it two nil with an excellent header just before half time after good work by Milner and Silva who was gold today.
City threatened for most of the second half and just when it looked like it was just going to be the two goals Balotelli - who had come on for Dzeko on 70 minutes - had a good shot blocked by Watford keeper Bond ( not James) . First to the ball was 17 year old Marcos Lopes making his league debut and he scored with almost his first touch after being on the field for a minute or so. A day he will remember. Barry and Milner had good games as did Silva while Tevez and Dzeko worked hard up front and kept the Watford defenders on their toes.
Watford were well supported 6000 of their noisy fans filling the South Stand adding to the atmosphere
City had a strong side for this game - only Hart being rested.
An early attempt by Dzeko goes wide
Watford manage to clear a free kick by Silva
The two Italian managers urge on their players
City put Watford under pressure with many corners
Bond saves from Zabaleta
Pantilimon takes an easy catch
A cross from Milner is cleared with difficulty
City get the ball in the net following a corner but.....
..the goal is disallowed - for offside???
good concentration to complete the clarence
Down goes Tevez fouled by Eustace who gets a yellow card for his pains
Tevez takes a great free kick and scores to open the scoring
A well deserved lead after having so much possession.
Watford almost equalized straight away as Forestieri broke away but Pantilimon made a great save
City continue to attack and here Silva fails to put his name on the score sheet
However just before half time Silva passed to Milner and his cross was headed into the net by Gareth Barry to make it two nil
Barry fully deserved his goal as he had been playing really well
At half time the mascots of both side had a battle which Watford won 3-1 though the City goal was bigger than the Watford one Mmmm! - days of coats down in Fog Lane park!
A shot from Tevez goes just wide
keeper Bond is soon in action in the second half
On 53 minutes an attack by Watford ended with Pantilimon saving from Deeney who got booked for a late challenge
Bond saves a Milner effort
Dzeko just fails to meet a cross by Milner
As the sun set behind the Colin Bell stand would this be the last time Balotelli waits to come on the pitch!!
Mario soon made his presence felt
With less than five minutes to go on came Marcos Lopes for his debut. He had played in pre-season friendlies and was just a week or so past his 17th birthday. He came from Benfica
Just as we went into extra time Balotelli had a strong shot which was pushed out by Bond and quick to see the opportunity.....
....Lopes was first to the ball and slotted it past Bond to score his fist goal in his first game. What a late birthday treat for him. We will see more of this mid-fielder I am sure.
Pantilimon 7.5: Zabaleta 7, Kompany 7, Lescott 7, Clichy 7: Garcia 6 ( Sinclair) , Barry 8, Milner 8, Silva 8 ( Lopes) Tevez 7.5 Dzeko 7 ( Balotelli 7)
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