United exploded into life in the second half and brushed aside the fragmented challenge of Manchester City to win their place at Wembley.
Tevez was once again one of the standout performers on the pitch with his expertly taken finish threatening to steal the headlines. Unfortunately for him, his new supporting cast exhibited none of the collective ability of his former club-mates.
The team was king tonight. Roberto Mancini’s side looked every bit the work in progress you would expect after the dramatic investment lavished on them.
City’s time is to come and harsh lessons must be taken from the 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford. Ferguson’s charges worked together to enact a blow to the Blue revolution taking hold in their other half of the city.
The midfield trio of Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes gave a master class in the second half of perfectly balanced interplay. An intrinsic understanding of each other’s movement enabled United to take hold of the tie.
Through sharp passing and tenacity in the tackle, the threesome starved the visitors of possession. For Carrick and Scholes, this set the platform for a goal grabbing performance.
Scholes was in nappies the last time City won a trophy and it was he who began the charge to continue this run. Taking up a trademark position on the edge of the opposition box he rifled in the kind of shot that has typified his glory-filled career.
The teamwork that booked United’s passage to Wembley came to the fore when Carrick got on the scoresheet. A charge forward from the irrepressible Fletcher led to chaos in the City defence which was preyed upon with a cool finish.
Tevez’s goal threatened to throw a cog in the efficiently operated United machine. No such thought was entertained.
Detractors cite luck when analysing the Red Devils’ obstinacy but nine injury time goals this season alone speaks volumes for their will to win. It was left to Wayne Rooney to nod home the third goal to send Old Trafford in to ecstasy.
Money has catapulted City up the standings. Time is required before they can hope to compete with United for silverware.