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A City Fan’s Perspective: Domination at the Riverside!

We're moving on to the Semis!

Middlesbrough v Manchester City - The Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

After a struggle in the fifth round against Huddersfield Town, Manchester City crusied past Middlesbrough with a 2-0 win to clinch a place in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley.

The scoring started early for City, as Yaya Touré and Raheem Sterling linked up to get the ball to David Silva, who slotted the ball into the net to make it 1-0.

It took Middlesbrough a while to get into the groove of the match, and City were able to control the game and did not have to force passes or make poor mistakes with the ball. Boro got their only shot on target in the 22nd minute when Christian Stuani’s header couldn’t hit the net and Claudio Bravo made his only real save of the game.

From there on out, it was complete City domination. City had three big chances in the rest of the first half, with Leroy Sané and Silva failing to convert great chances. Touré also had a massive chance with a header from a Kevin De Bruyne free kick, but City went into halftime with just the one goal.

But the Citizens came out absolutely firing in the second half: they had eleven shots (eight on target) in the final period, and Boro were lucky that Brad Guzan had one of the best performances of his career and prevented City from scoring multiple times in the second half.

However, he couldn’t keep them all of the shots from hitting the net, and when Sergio Agüero finished off a great move by Leroy Sané, the game was over.

Let's take a closer look at how City did against Boro:

Defense

Claudio Bravo was the only player in the lineup who usually doesn’t start, and he took the opportunity and did his job. He made two good saves on the afternoon, and even though Boro didn't really test the Chilean, he still kept the clean sheet, which isn't a regular thing for Bravo.

Gaël Clichy is playing great football again at left-back, and the Frenchman seems to be making a case for a new contract in the summer.. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi formed a strong center-back partnership, and Pablo Zabaleta had a nice afternoon. It was a strong performance from the City back five.

Midfield

The midfield is easily City’s strong point, and it shined again this weekend. Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, and he was very good again. However, the other midfielders played even better than him.

Yaya Touré was strong and fast at the holding midfielder role, and he was able to push up with the attacking midfielders when City weren't under significant pressure. Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling each got an assist and at least one shot on target, and the duo combined for eight key passes, showing off their ability to run and dribble past hopeless Boro defenders.

Attack

Sergio Agüero ended up on the scoresheet after a poor game against Stoke City, and the Argentine had a solid performance overall, with had three shots on target, one of those hitting the post, and he also completed his two dribbles.

Agüero has completely destroyed all rumors of a transfer away from the Etihad, and it’s great to know that he will stay a Citizen for a long time and keep scoring game after game.

David Silva

If you’re wondering why I left David Silva out of the midfield analysis, it’s because he deserves his own category.

Silva ended this match with his best statistical performance of the season: a goal, five shots with four on target, two out of three completed dribbles, and six out of nine duels won. He might be recognized by most as a truly world-class player, but the Spaniard has simply been one of the world’s best midfielders this season.