Manchester City set up a blockbuster FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United at Wembley with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Reading on Sunday.
A 74th-minute goal from defender Micah Richards was all that stood between the two sides in a scrappy affair at the City of Manchester Stadium, as City’s edge in class struggled to break down a stubborn Reading defence for most of the match.
The best opportunity in a tight first half fell to Yaya Toure who found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Reading shot stopper Alex McCarthy was equal to the task and saved well with his legs.
Roberto Mancini tried to inject some more firepower in the final third when he replaced Patrick Vieira with Mario Balotelli with 20 minutes remaining, and four minutes later his wish was granted – although the goal came from an unlikely source.
A David Silva corner was met by Richards who pinpointed a fierce header past McCarthy to hand City the win and a place in the semi-finals against their fiercest rivals, as they attempt to win their first FA Cup since 1969.
Bolton meet Stoke in the other semi-final, with both matches to be played the weekend of April 16-17.