Manchester City 'keeper Joe Hart likely to miss FA Cup final

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Football News

Roberto Mancini expects Costel Pantilimon will retain his place as Manchester City's goalkeeper for the FA Cup final, leaving England No.1 Joe Hart stuck on the bench at Wembley once again.

Pantilimon has played in every domestic cup much for Manchester City this season, and the Romanian excelled during Sunday's breathless defeat of holders Chelsea in the second of the weekend's semi-finals.

Manchester City had cruised into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero, but Chelsea staged a spirited comeback as Demba Ba got one back to spark a grandstand finish.

Chelsea so nearly forced a leveller to take the match into extra time, but Manchester City had Pantilimon to thank for a number of key saves, including a perfectly timed dive to poke the ball from the control of Juan Mata when the Spaniard was through on goal.

Pantilimon now looks set to be rewarded for his performances in the FA Cup this season with a starting berth in the final against Wigan, leaving Hart to ponder what might have been as Manchester City fight for glory.

"We have four weeks to think about this, but I think it will be his in the final," Mancini said, according to The Sun.

"Costel is there to save the shots. He did very well, but he’s a good keeper and deserves this. He has worked very well behind Joe for two years and it’s very important he played well for Joe, too."

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