Blues crash out of cup following second successive home defeat
FA Cup Fourth Round
Saturday 24 January 2015, 15.00 KO
City: Caballero, Zabaleta, Kompany, Boyata, Kolarov, Fernando (Dzeko 80), Milner, Navas (Fernandinho 67), Silva, Jovetic (Lampard 67), Aguero
Unused: Hart, Demichelis, Sagna, Clichy
Booked: Kompany, Fernandinho
Referee: Phil Dowd
Man of the match: Dedryck Boyata
After the midweek trip to Abu Dhabi, Manchester City hosted Middlesbrough FC in the F.A Cup. It was another chance for City to pick up some silverware, and provide some confidence ahead of next week's crunch game against Chelsea.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini put out a very strong side, with both Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero given some much needed match fitness. Dedryck Boys was also given a rare start at the heart of the Manchester City defence.
The first half started with the hosts playing some good football, with David Silva at the heart of it all. The little Spaniard played in both Navas and Aguero who couldn't capitalise. Middlesbrough grew in stature as the first half went on, but it was City who were left feeling frustrated when referee Phil Dowd failed to spot a blatant handball in the box. Once again the standard of refereeing in this country came under scrutiny.
The second half from a City perspective was nothing short of shambolic, although Middlesbrough deserve a great deal of credit for their performance. They defended diligently, and took the lead in the 53rd minute through Patrick Bamford. Fernando's back pass was short and Bamford nicked the ball past Caballero and bundled the ball home from close range.
City were expected to respond, but instead looked increasingly desperate. Possession was squandered too easily, and there was a distinct lack of movement. At times City, once again, were guilty of overplaying it when the chance to shoot was there. Frank Lampard came closest to the equaliser, seeing his shot deflect onto the post, but the day belonged to Middlesbrough, who wrapped up the win in style as Bamford set up Kike who fired home past a despairing Caballero to knock the hosts out.
It was desperately poor from City, who need a rethink ahead of next weeks crunch game against Mourinho's Chelsea.