Verdict: Manchester City 3 Stoke City 0

City moved up to third in the table with a confident and professional defeat of injury ravaged Stoke. Carlos Tevez was the hero with two contrasting goals of the highest quality, while a Joleon Lescott header was sandwiched inbetween.

Afterwards Mancini claimed Tevez is set to stay with the club. It’s to be hoped he is, but one can’t help but feel the captain’s future is a story that is set to run for a while yet.

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Player ratings: Manchester City v Stoke City

Hart – A quieter day than he had at Wembley. Caught the odd cross and made a couple of saves to win the Premier League’s Golden Gloves award with his seventeenth clean sheet. 7

Richards – Without Etherington to trouble him, Micah put in a storming display down the right flank. Great to see him charging through challenges, while his intelligence with the ball is improving. 8

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Preview: Manchester City v Stoke City

Tonight should see an extra special ovation greet the teams as they walk out onto the pitch. Hopefully that will inspire Roberto Mancini’s side in a game that has gained extra significance following Arsenal’s defeat to Villa.

There are two clear advantages to finishing third. Qualifying directly for the Champions League group stages rather than having to play a qualifier where City might not be seeded is the obvious one. The second is that payments for partaking in the competition are higher for the team that finishes third.

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FA Cup Final verdict: Manchester City 1 Stoke City 0

City won the 2011 FA Cup courtesy of a 75th minute strike by Yaya Toure. Regardless of what happens in the future this was a historic victory for the club as, for the first time in a generation, a City captain lifted a piece of major silverware.

All the players contributed in a thoroughly professional team performance of which Roberto Mancini could be proud. There may have been few clear-cut chances and only the one goal, but this was an assured display far removed from our usual travails against Tony Pulis’ side.

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