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Apr 15, 2013

Barry: Trophies or bust for Man City

Midfielder Gareth Barry believes trophy-less years should now be the exception rather than the norm at Manchester City.

City moved within a game of claiming a third major piece of silverware in three years after holding off Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley to book a date with Wigan in next month's FA Cup final.

"We knew this was the realistic chance of a trophy this year," Barry said. "Where the club is now, you don't really want seasons going past without winning a trophy. The FA Cup is a massive one. If we can win that, fantastic.

"Wembley is a fantastic place to come and play. The big players, as we have seen over the last few years, when we come to semifinals and finals, they generally turn up and do the business," Barry said. "Hopefully they can continue that until the final."

That would earn the club considerable consolation after a disappointing title defense in the Premier League and a failure to make an impression in Europe.

The situation represents a remarkable transformation for an outfit that had gone 35 years without success before winning the FA Cup in 2011.

City dominated the first hour of the contest, scoring through the impressive pair of Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero. But a superb hooked reply from Demba Ba just after the hour transformed the atmosphere and forced City to defend resolutely.

Backup goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, again preferred to Joe Hart for this competition, made some brave interventions and City breathed again when Fernando Torres was denied a late penalty for a shirt pull by Vincent Kompany.

When asked if City was hanging on, Barry said: "You probably could use 'hanging on' because the ball kept coming back at us. It was a massive effort. We are obviously delighted to get through."

Aguero headed the second goal from a Barry cross early in the second half and was a constant threat to Chelsea along with Nasri, Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure.

It was a highly effective performance from the Argentinian, who had been a doubtful starter before the game after a recent knee injury, but he was at the center of controversy late on.

Aguero caught David Luiz in a two-footed challenge for which he was not even booked, though a free kick was awarded.

Barry highlighted the positive aspects of the striker's performance, which came after he scored a stunning winner against Manchester United last week.

"It was a fantastic header and he deserved that for his performance," the 32-year-old Barry said. "He didn't stop running, like the rest of the lads. We really dug in and for 'Kun', it was a fitting goal to win the game."

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