A bitterly disappointed Roberto Mancini has paid tribute to players and fans alike after City's heartbreaking defeat at Old Trafford.
The two teams entered stoppage time all-square after Carlos Tevez' deft flick had restored parity, but Wayne Rooney's header put paid to hopes of a first Wembley final since 1981.
Reflecting on the game, Mancini said: "I am so disappointed because I thought we played well in the first half and into the second, but we had a spell where we allowed them two chances and we should have paid more attention.
If you allow a team like United chances like that, they have the players to hurt you. After we scored I thought we had a great chance to win, we played well and had another chance but then they hit us too late for us to do anything.
"I feel so sorry for the players, because they could not work any harder, but most of all I feel sorry for our fans. I wanted us to get to the final for them, and unfortunately that won't happen now."
The Manager urged that the team dust themselves down and quickly turn their thoughts to the tussle near the top of the Barclays Premier League table.
"We have to learn from this defeat and improve. It's easy to improve when you win, but losing like this can teach a team things, so we must pick ourselves up. We have to work hard over the next few months, try to improve and get into the top four by the end of the season. That's possible with these players, and we still have players to come back from injury, or Kolo to come back from Africa. I'm pleased with what the players I could choose from gave me in these two games.
"We're still in the FA Cup and we have a chance to go to Wembley in that competition, which I would love to do for the fans."