Manchester City players reflected on a thrilling performance after booking their place in a second FA Cup final in three years.
The Blues ran out 2-1 winners against Chelsea in the Wembley sunshine despite a second half fightback from their opponents.
Yaya Toure, City’s man for the big occasion, put in a typically influential performance in the centre of the park and was impressed with the style his teammates displayed to see off the west Londoners.
“I thought we played very well in the first half. It was a fantastic performance from us but Chelsea came back strongly in the second half and we were happy for the result,” said the Ivorian.
“I love playing at Wembley. I am lucky here. It brings the best out of me and the best out of the team.”
He admitted: “This has not been an easy season because opponents have studied us closely but we can still win a trophy and finish second in the Premier League and make our fans proud of us.”
Captain Vincent Kompany was confident the referee was correct to waive away Fernando Torres’ claims for a penalty after the two grappled in the box late on.
The Belgian insisted: “I thought it was great defending. I put my body in the way and did everything I could.”
On the game itself, he conceded: “For a while it was too comfortable and it [Ba's goal] was a wake-up call.
“You never know what can happen, but I thought in the end we defended really well.
“This was an important game and the most important game is the final against Wigan, which we’re all looking forward to. It was another great day for the club we hope to see the same scenes on 11 May after the Wigan game.”
City’s first half performance displayed their thrilling attacking play at its very best, but Rafa Benitez’s side threatened a late rally after Ba’s strike got them back into the match after 66 minutes.
Assistant boss David Platt admitted he was surprised at how the game panned out.
“Chelsea have had a lot of games in recent weeks and they have had a tough away trip as well,” he declared. “But they finished the game the stronger in the second half. We got the goal and went 2-0 up and then they came onto us and the game got very stretched in the second half.
We tired, had to defend deep and dig in.”
The Blues now have another Wembley final to look forward to in May, but Platt was keen to point out there is plenty of work to do first.
“[The final} is a long way off,” he cautioned. “We have got a lot of games in the league before then. We need to make sure that we finish the season strongly in the league as well. It’s nice to be there but we have to put it away now and play the league games that we’ve got.”
City start with Wigan on Wednesday night at the Etihad Stadium – get your tickets here.