Hart-ache for Man City in FA Cup
Manchester City keeper Joe Hart's dreadful mistake provided Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson with another chance to teach old pupil Roberto Mancini in a 2-2 FA Cup draw this evening. England international Hart committed an appalling error to present Andy King with the simplest of equalisers, to ensure Eriksson, the former England manager, will return to his former club a week on Wednesday.
Manchester City manager Mancini appeared on course for a smooth path into the next round after goals from the Premier League side's James Milner and Carlos Tevez cancelled out a 44-second opener from Leicester's Sol Bamba. But Hart's needless howler midway through the second half gave Championship Leicester another opportunity in a clash of their respective divisions' big-spenders after it finished all square at 2-2.
Mancini spent five years of his playing career at Sampdoria with Eriksson and a further three at Lazio -- before becoming the Swede's deputy. And now he has even followed the former England manager to City.
Eriksson may only have spent a year at Eastlands in his world tour of management but remains a legend for City supporters after beating bitter enemies Manchester United twice. And City's travelling fans, who chanted Eriksson's name, were silenced within a minute at the Walkers Stadium.
Paul Gallagher's cross from the left was headed on by Jack Hobbs and City's expensively assembled defence stood still as Bamba diverted the ball home. Bamba had only arrived in a £200,000 deal from Hibernian barely a week ago but instantly became a cult hero on his home debut. City were momentarily stunned but eventually settled and Patrick Vieira tested Chris Weale with a close-range effort.
High-earners show cutting edge
Mancini clearly feared the prospect of a humiliation and only made six changes - rather reserved by City's standards - with Tevez, Hart, Jerome Boateng, Kolo Toure and Jo all surviving from the midweek draw at Arsenal. And the visitors were level midway through the half when Milner cleverly sidestepped Bamba and drove the ball into the corner.
City should have sneaked in front five minutes before half-time after a smooth counter-attack ended with Adam Johnson wastefully sliding Boateng's inch-perfect cross wide. But Tevez's clever back heel from Milner's cross on the stroke of half-time gave the visitors the advantage. Shaun Wright-Phillips was given his first start since mid-December but was booked at half-time - and made way for Nigel De Jong after the break.
Foxes seal deserved draw
Leicester admirably stuck to their task in the second half and Hobbs directed a header horribly wide from a good position. But the Foxes were level in the 64th minute after a quite astonishing howler from England's No1 goalkeeper. Gallagher's cross was timid at best but Hart lazily fumbled it and King was alert to poke home, leaving the City keeper shamefaced.
Both sides had chances to avoid adding another game to their congested fixture list. Mancini required Milner to stave off a humiliating exit when the England midfielder headed another Bamba chance off the line. And Eriksson breathed a sign of relief ten minutes from time when Weale produced an excellent save from De Jong, looking to cap off a fine counter-attack instigated by Milner.