Man City find scoring touch to defeat Chelsea

ROB HARRIS
Last updated 08:19 16/02/2014
Samir Nasri
Getty Images
HEAVYWEIGHT VICTORY: Samir Nasri celebrates after scoring in Manchester City's 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round.

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Manchester City powered forward with ease into the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday (local time), beating Premier League title rival Chelsea 2-0 to maintain its quadruple chase.

Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri provided the goals to avenge a 1-0 league loss earlier this month against Chelsea, with a formidable City in complete control and preventing the visitors from hitting the target once.

"We can beat everyone," Jovetic said. "We learnt something (from losing to Chelsea), you could see that on the pitch."

Although Chelsea leads the league, City is only three points behind in third with a game in hand. City also remains in Champions League contention, and faces Sunderland in the League Cup final next month.

Sunderland also advanced in the FA Cup, with Craig Gardner clinching a 1-0 victory over Southampton.

Wigan maintained its cup defense by winning 2-1 at Cardiff, with Ben Watson, whose goal clinched the cup before the team was relegated from the top flight last May, netting the winner in south Wales.

In Sunday's headline fixture in the fifth round, Arsenal hosts Liverpool in another meeting of Premier League title rivals.

With City hosting Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, beating Chelsea showed the enviable depth of resources available at Manuel Pellegrini's disposal.

Jovetic, who is only City's fourth-choice striker despite costing 24 million pounds, first came close when he struck the crossbar from the rebound after goalkeeper Petr Cech fumbled Yaya Toure's strike.

Jovetic hit the woodwork again in the 16th minute but this time the ball went over the line as City ripped through a Chelsea defense missing captain John Terry with ease.

David Silva played in Edin Dzeko, who sent the ball out for Jovetic to strike off the post into the bottom left. It was just Jovetic's sixth goal since joining City in the offseason on a rare start.

City was far more assertive and cohesive than the side that was beaten here by Chelsea less than two weeks ago, with Dzeko also testing Cech with a curling shot.

After failing to get a sight of goal in the first half, Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o was replaced at halftime, with Mohamed Salah coming on.

The January signing didn't help to transform Chelsea's fortunes, and forward Fernando Torres was brought off the bench on the hour to replace Ramires, taking a central position as Salah shifted to the right.

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But it was a City substitution that made a bigger impact as Nasri completed an incisive move to score six minutes after coming on to make his first appearance after a month on the sidelines.

After receiving the ball from Nasri, Silva squared it back to the Frenchman, who had continued his run to dart into space between defenders David Luiz and Gary Cahill, and slot the ball in from the close range.

It was City's 117th goal of a season that looks like ending with a trophy unlike last year.

- AP

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