Manchester City daily – Wembley date with rivals United booked whilst Toure receives Adebayor backing

Manchester City set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with neighbours United after they finally saw of a resilient Reading side. Roberto Mancini named a strong side for the clash at Eastlands, but City looked like they lacked creativity throughout, and only a late header from Micah Richards saw them through. The draw for the semi-finals was made shortly before the Blues kicked off, and City will have pleased many a football fan by setting up the clash everyone wanted to see.

Earlier in the day, City striker Emmanuel Adebayor begged the Football Association to take pity on his Manchester City team-mate Kolo Toure. Even though Adebayor joined Real Madrid on loan in January, he claims that he has remained in regular contact with his fellow African Toure, and has been kept fully abreast on the defender’s unfortunate situation. And the former Togo international is adamant his good friend would never have knowingly cheated deliberately. “I know Kolo Toure very well and I know he would never take any drug to help his ability on the football pitch,” Adebayor said. “I know him very well because he always comes to my house. It’s more for losing weight. It’s a little mistake. He will learn from his mistake. Hopefully the FA will manage to see that he’s innocent and he will be back on the football pitch to play again.”

In transfer news, City are believed to be eyeing a summer swoop for Tottenham’s England striker Jermain Defoe. The diminutive forward recently admitted that he considered leaving White Hart Lane in the January transfer window, and it is thought that a move away from Spurs could be on the cards for the end of the season. Although Harry Redknapp will probably not want to see the former Portsmouth striker leave the club, City believe that a big-money bid will be enough to persuade Spurs to let the striker leave the club.

Joleon Lescott has said that he hopes to cement a place in the centre of City’s defence, during Kolo Toure’s forced absence. The England international has really struggled to live up to his £24m price tag since he joined City from Everton in 2009. The 28-year-old former Wolverhampton man sat down with Mancini for a heart-to-heart talk as he looked to force his way into City’s starting XI on a regular basis.

“I wasn’t satisfied with the way things were working out for me and that’s why I went to see the manager. There was no showdown or anything like that, but I was disappointed and I wanted some assurances because there had been some games when an opportunity arose and he picked someone else,” Lescott stated. “I wasn’t aggressive about it. I just wanted to know what I needed to do to get back into the team. I wanted to know if I’d done something the manager wasn’t happy with, just so I didn’t do it again. We spoke, in fact we’ve had a few chats this season, and I took on board what he said. Hopefully I am doing exactly what he wants because I’m in the team again.”

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