Semi-final derby clash divides a city

Manchester City's Dedryk Boyata (left) and Micah Richards celebrate victory after the final whistle during the FA Cup Sixth Round at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester. Photo.  Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Manchester City's Dedryk Boyata (left) and Micah Richards celebrate victory after the final whistle during the FA Cup Sixth Round at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester. Photo. Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
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Manchester City team-mates Micah Richards and Vincent Kompany relished the prospect of facing rivals United in the FA Cup semi-finals after a 1-0 win over Reading at Eastlands.

Richards netted the second-half header which separated the sides and set up a semi-final with United.

Richards said: “We’re looking forward to it, it’s going to be a great game.”

Belgian defender Kompany said: “I will let you guess how much the next opponent will mean to us. There’s no easy way to the final. We’re looking forward to it.”

Kompany also paid tribute to Championship side Reading. Credit to them. They gave us a hard time. We had a lot of chances so I think it’s fair,” he added.

Richards added: “It was very difficult. As the game went on it got harder and harder. Reading defended very well.”

Reading manager Brian McDermott was disappointed his side had lost to a set-piece goal after Richards headed in from a corner.

He said: “You look at all the talent they’ve got, all the brilliant players they’ve got and we get done at a set-piece.

“This is where you want to come and play every week.”

Reading chairman Sir John Madejski backed his players to build on their cup run and make the Championship play-offs.

“I think a draw would have been a much fairer result,” he said.

“It puts them (the Reading players) very well placed in the Championship to move on to the Premier League.

“Reading should be proud, they should hold their heads up high and be proud of what they’ve achieved this afternoon.”

City boss Roberto Mancini backed his side to overcome Sir Alex Ferguson’s team in the semi-final.

He said: “We have played two games against Manchester United this season and played very well.

Mancini added: “I think we have a good chance to go in the final. For sure the semi-final will be very hard.

“I think to play at Wembley is always fantastic.”

n Semi-final draw: Manchester City v Manchester United; Bolton v Stoke.

(To be played on the weekend of April 16 and 17)