Man City 1-0 Stoke

Man City 1 - 0 Stoke

Yaya Toure smacks the ball in from 10 yards out to give City the lead
Yaya Toure (left) smacks the ball in from 10 yards out to seal City's win

Manchester City ended a barren sequence of 35 years without a major trophy as Yaya Toure's late strike gave them a deserved FA Cup Final victory over Stoke City.

Toure was City's Wembley hero with the semi-final winner against Manchester United - and the giant Ivory Coast midfield man was on target again 16 minutes from time to set the seal on their first top-level success since the 1976 League Cup win against Newcastle United.

Roberto Mancini's side dominated throughout against a disappointing Stoke, who never came close to reproducing the form that swept Bolton Wanderers aside to reach their first FA Cup final.

Manchester City were only kept at bay by an outstanding first-half display from Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen, as he produced saves from Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli while David Silva also squandered a glorious chance.

The Dane was powerless, however, in the moment that finally ended the long wait for Manchester City as Toure pounced on a loose ball 10 yards out to thrash his finish past Sorensen in front of the delirious hordes of sky blue supporters.

Media playback is not supported on this device

FA Cup win a bonus - Roberto Mancini

It capped a momentous day for Manchester as City claimed the FA Cup just hours after United secured a record 19th league title with a point at Blackburn Rovers to set up a meeting between the clubs at Wembley in the Community Shield.

It was also a day of triumph for boss Mancini, whose long-term future at Eastlands has been questioned. He has now brought silverware back to the club and taken Manchester City into the Champions League - a more than acceptable return on lavish investment at the conclusion of his first full season in charge.

He threw his arms into the air in joy at the final whistle and his name rang around Wembley as captain Carlos Tevez ascended the steps to the Royal Box to lift the FA Cup.

Stoke's consolation is a place in next season's Europa League but boss Tony Pulis will be disappointed that his side, so dangerous and effective in recent weeks, failed to get to grips with the Wembley occasion and rarely threatened.

They were given a mighty ovation by their fans, superb throughout, as they collected their losers' medals - but the reality was they had not done themselves justice and could have no complaints at the outcome.

Kenwyne Jones had their best opportunity just after the hour, but it was the only moment of serious alarm for Manchester City keeper Joe Hart.

Mancini will now look to use Manchester City's Abu Dhabi riches to build even further on these foundations to make a serious challenge for the Premier League title next season and to have an impact in the Champions League.

Tevez's impressive cameo in the win against Spurs that secured City's top-four place was enough to convince Mancini of his fitness after a month out with a hamstring injury, and he played his full part in a dominant display.

Matthew Etherington also won his fitness battle after a hamstring problem, along with defender Robert Huth, but he looked off the pace and struggled to make any serious impact before being substituted.

City's early superiority should have brought a goal but they found Stoke keeper Sorensen in superb form as he formed a one-man barrier of defiance.

Sorensen set the tone with a fine diving save from Tevez's deflected shot and produced even better to turn away Balotelli's curling right-foot effort that looked destined for the top corner until his late intervention.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Tony Pulis disappointed with Stoke FA Cup performance

Silva should have given City a deserved lead after 34 minutes, but if there is a weakness in the gifted Spaniard's game it is an occasional failure to produce the cutting edge to go with his creativity. He was perfectly placed to score after Sorensen could only block Balotelli but hit his shot into the ground and over the top from only eight yards.

Huth was fortunate referee Martin Atkinson did not see him catch Balotelli with an elbow early on, but there was no escape six minutes before the interval when he mistimed a challenge on Micah Richards horribly and was booked.

Stoke's support had been as passionate as ever despite their team's surprisingly timid approach. It was a display reflected in boss Pulis's animated behaviour in the technical area and only brought one half-chance in the opening period, which Jones failed to profit from.

Pulis clearly got his message across to Stoke at the break but it was Silva who was again guilty of over-elaboration as Manchester City wasted another chance after 55 minutes. Tevez found Silva unopposed in the area, only for him to inexplicably hesitate and allow Stoke's defence to regroup.

Stoke had started to show a lot more intent and should have taken the lead just after the hour when Jones latched onto a ball over the top and brushed aside Joleon Lescott with ease, but Hart raced off his line to make a crucial block.

Etherington's selection was clearly a gamble and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Dean Whitehead after 62 minutes. He had looked a shadow of the player who has been such a strong influence on Stoke's season.

The goal City had merited arrived on 74 minutes. Silva released Balotelli in the area and when his shot was deflected invitingly into the path of Toure he gave Sorensen no chance with a thunderous finish.

Stoke were unable to gather any serious momentum and even the sight of Sorensen venturing forward for corners failed to unsettle Manchester City before referee Atkinson blew the final whistle to end the years of suffering in the shadow of their illustrious neighbours.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Top Stories