City hit five past undeserving County
Manchester City moved into the FA Cup fifth round as a flurry of late goals sealed a 5-0 win over Notts County in Sunday's fourth round replay at Eastlands. Patrick Vieira nodded home before the break and League One side County were blown away following Vieira's second goal in the 58th minute. Substitute Carlos Tevez scored in the 84th minute before Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards found the net as the visitors ran out of steam late on.
City can now look forward to a home tie with Aston Villa next month, but Roberto Mancini's side rode their luck before killing off Paul Ince's team. The tone was set as Alan Gow's corner saw Joe Hart struggle under the high ball and Krystian Pearce headed just over from four yards out.
The early moment of panic summed up City's sluggish start, with Lee Hughes testing Hart once again from distance. Gow was the next to threaten as his 25-yard free kick forced Hart to push his shot around the post. County, who lie 59 league places below City, almost took the lead when winger Karl Hawley curled a fine 25-yard shot that beat Hart, but bounced off the inside of the post.
The City crowd were becoming increasingly frustrated at the home side's laboured opening. But against the run of play moments later, Dzeko, whose late equaliser spared City's blushes to set up this replay, saw his header from Richards' cross tipped over the crossbar by Stuart Nelson.
It was the first time the Notts County goalkeeper had been called into action, yet that sparked a prolonged period of pressure, with Nelson busy again after fumbling a tame effort from Aleksandar Kolarov. As the home side got their act together, Richards was next to be frustrated when he lost his marker but could only head Kolarov's corner over the crossbar.
Despite their efforts, the incisiveness of City, and David Silva, was beginning to cause the League One side all kinds of problems. The Spanish winger's trickery saw him create a chance where Yaya Toure deflected wide.
Vieria leads City to victory
It was now a matter of time before the hosts took the lead and the goal duly arrived from the resulting corner in the 37th minute. Silva's set-piece saw Vieira leap highest to scramble a header home, via a deflection off Pearce, for the opener.
City began the second half sluggishly and when Mario Balotelli lost the ball he simply shrugged his shoulders to sum up his and his side's uninspiring performance. Yet set-pieces proved County's undoing once again as Vieira found himself in space to power home Kolarov's corner in the 58th minute.
The floodgates then opened as three late goals flattered the home side. Tevez collected Dzeko's pass to round Nelson to score in the 83rd minute. The pair combined in the 89th minute when Tevez turned creator for Dzeko to nod home before Richards added the fifth when he netted in injury time.