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Zabaleta: Breaks Potters hearts

Zabaleta: Breaks Potters hearts

Pablo Zabaleta fired home in the final five minutes to hand Manchester City their place in the FA Cup fifth round thanks to a 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday.

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The Britannia Stadium encounter looked to be heading towards a replay with neither side able to find the back of the net, but the City stalwart popped up with the goods in the 85th minute to secure the win.

Both teams started off with plenty of attacking intent, and it was the Citizens who had the best chances early on, with David Silva hitting the post with a curling left foot effort on 22 minutes.

However, the Potters defended stoutly and almost went ahead themselves, as Ryan Shawcross fired home from close range but his effort was rule out for offside and the teams went in goalless at the interval.

City came out all guns blazing in the second half and almost took the lead twice through Gareth Barry, as he headed over from close range before latching on to David Silva's excellent through ball but his cut inside was well smothered by Stoke stopper Thomas Sorensen.

The Premier League champions continued to push with Edin Dzeko shooting just wide from the edge of the area but they were not to be denied as Pablo Zabaleta coolly slotted home with outside of his right foot on 84 minutes after Dzeko had failed to control Sergio Aguero's cross.

Tony Pulis' men tried everything they could to get back into things, but despite a wayward Cameron Jerome effort, they failed to trouble the City goal and the Citizens scraped through.

Posted: 26/01/13 14:40

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