An opportunistic second half strike from Yaya Toure was the difference as Manchester City defeated 10-man Manchester United to progress to the final of the FA Cup.

23316 - Toure leads City past Manchester United

On an afternoon of high tension at Wembley, Toure pounced on an individual mistake to sprint through on goal and slide the ball between Edwin van der Sar's legs for the game's only goal.

To add insult to injury for United, midfielder Paul Scholes was sent off with just under 20 minutes remaining for a high challenge on Pablo Zabaleta.

It was United who started the brighter in the semi-final, with Dimitar Berbatov guilty of wasting two of his side's best chances all match inside the first 15 minutes. On the first occasion Joe Hart rushed out quickly to deflect away the Bulgarian's shot, before Berbatov somehow contrived to flick the ball over from five yards after a fine cross from Nani.

United had a number of further chances - Nemanja Vidic flashed wide from a corner, before Berbatov came close with a similar loping effort - before City finally seemed to find their feet.

When they did Gareth Barry hit the side-netting with a turn and left-foot shoot after holding off Vidic, before Mario Balotelli tested Van der Sar's reflexes with a well-hit effort from 35 yards. Vincent Kompany also nearly got in the act with a first-time effort after a short corner that the Dutch goalkeeper was relieved to see curl outside his near post.

Joleon Lescott then missed arguably City's best chance with a first-time volley from a corner that he managed to loft high over the bar despite being under no pressure. It was perhaps unsurprising then, that both sides went into half-time on level terms.

23318 - Toure leads City past Manchester United

That all changed in the second half, however, as United proved the creators of their own downfall. Retrieving the ball in their own half, the defenders had to react quickly to remove further danger after Van der Sar scuffed a straightforward clearance from near his own byline. With the ball back at Carrick's feet, however, the midfielder's casual pass across the pitch was intercepted by Toure, who took it on towards goal.

Holding off Carrick and brushing past Vidic, the lanky Ivorian made no mistake as he side-footed his effort between Van der Sar's legs and into the unguarded net - sending the travelling City supporters that had packed into Wembley into raptures.

United immediately looked to hit back, and nearly did so when Nani's free-kick from a dangerous position hit the bar after taking deflections off Balotelli's head and Hart's palm.

However, that reaction was truncated after Scholes received his marching orders from referee Mike Dean. Going in for a challenge on a bouncing ball with Zabaleta - who had perhaps been guilty of a few questionable challenges of his own earlier in the game - the former England international managed only to plant his studs in the Argentine's thigh, immediately earning a dismissal.

Sir Alex Ferguson, once again banned from the touchline, attempted to inspire his side with the second-half additions of Javier Hernandez and Anderson, but neither could find a breakthrough.

Patrice Evra perhaps had the best of two half-chances United could carve out, but Roberto Mancini's side - reinforced by Patrick Vieira - held on to grab a dramatic triumph.