CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Rafa Benitez complained that Chelsea were not awarded a late penalty in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City.
City booked their place in the final of the competition after a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Goals from Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero gave City the lead but Demba Ba brought Chelsea back into the game midway through the second half. Substitute Fernando Torres felt he was being pulled back in the box by Vincent Kompany late on but referee Chris Foy did not give a penalty.
“For me the main one is the penalty not given, because the consequences could’ve been a red card and a goal for us,” Benitez said after the match. “It would’ve changed the game . . . Asking the referee? It won’t change anything.”
There was also a controversial incident earlier in the second half when Aguero looked to have stamped on David Luiz, but Benitez refused to criticise the Argentinian and praised City’s overall performance.
“It’s clear that we played against a very good team. Their early goal in second half really made it difficult for us because we wanted to react. Then after the goal our team had much more determination much more confidence and were on top of them until the end.”
However, in Roberto Mancini’s eyes it was only 10 minutes of Chelsea pressure that his side had to endure to seal the win and progress to their second FA Cup final under his management.
“I’m happy because I think we deserved to win. In the second half we had some problems for 10 minutes but I am happy with the performance.
“I don’t think it was the best performance of the season but in the first half we had everything under control, when we got the goal in second half maybe we played like the game was finished. Their goal changed the game.”
The match was only the two sides’ fourth meeting in the history of the FA Cup, and one that importantly for City gives them a chance of winning silverware this season as Manchester United are poised to regain the Premier League title.
But Mancini gracefully conceded the title to red side of Manchester saying “At the end of the season, United deserve to win this title. We deserve to fight until the last two or three games but they deserve the title absolutely.”
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