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Yaya: 2011 FA Cup success changed everything

MOBBED: Yaya's historic winner versus Stoke

MOBBED: Yaya's historic winner versus Stoke

Yaya Toure is desperate to add another winner’s medal to his already sizeable collection before the season is over.

To date, the Ivorian midfielder has already won six trophies with City including two Premier League titles, two Capital One Cups, one FA Cup and the Community Shield  

Another FA Cup winner’s medal would, says Yaya, sit nicely in his trophy cabinet – and he is determined to make it happen.

“This is a very big game for us,” said Yaya. “We can’t deny this is very a very important for game for us. I just want to add this trophy to my living room.

“I hope this time we going to be lucky from the first minute. Arsenal are a hurdle and we must get past them and get to the final. But we’ll see what happens.”

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Yaya, who once had an unsuccessful trial with the Gunners as a youngster, says the North London side share a lot of similarities with the Blues in footballing terms.

He also believes the semi-final will be a thrilling spectacle for both sets of fans – and neutrals.

“I think the philosophy of football on the field is a little bit similar, because two teams are going to attack,” said Yaya.

“The fans don’t have to expect one team to defend and the other to attack. They will expect two teams who are going to attack each other to the end, fighting for one objective - the trophy.

“I think it’s going to be a beautiful game. We expect that as players, the fans expect for sure because the two games we’ve played against Arsenal there were a lot of goals.

“Overall, I think we are the team who produce the most beautiful games in the Premier League.

“We all do a good job and we’ve been doing it, I think. We deserve something for our hard work.

“Of course, I don’t take credit away from Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham for being there. I think these four clubs, are fighting. They have all won trophies and I think the one who is going to win will deserve it.”

The hero of 2011, Yaya’s goals in the semi-final against Manchester United and in the final against Stoke City were both match-winners that wrote the Ivorian’s name into Club folklore forever.

The FA Cup will always hold a special place in his heart and returning to Wembley will again bring back what are unforgettable memories.

“I can’t describe what it felt like to score in both the semi-final and final,” he smiled.

“I scored the only goals in both games. What can I say? Lucky maybe, but I think to be honest the whole team deserved it because we were fighting so hard for that.

“The manager was behind the team, just pushing everybody to try to do it. I think everything paid off because after that, players like Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy because those players saw the team was starting to win things and the rest is history.”

 

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Asked whether he would tap into Yaya’s Wembley experience and the fact he scored the winner on the 2011 FA Cup semi and final, Pep said: “What will I say to him? I will tell him to do it again!

“When he came back he played really good - there was a period he didn’t play and he knows why. You know my opinion about him. Against Southampton, he played really well and he has been fantastic for us.”

Finally, on his own Wembley experiences he admitted the venue will always hold a special place in his career both as a player and as a manager.

“Wembley is so important to me,” he said. “Ronald Koeman scored against Sampdoria and Barcelona won the Champions League for the first time and, secondly against United at Wembley as a coach and especially in the way we played there. Wembley is important part of my life. To go back there will be always special."

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The Blues face the sizeable obstacle of Arsenal in the semi-final and the winners will then face either Chelsea or Spurs – but Pep believes winning the trophy would be so important for his team going into next season.

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Brazilian forward Jesus has not featured since fracturing his metatarsal against Bournemouth on February 13.