City train rolls into League Cup final
BRISTOL, England (AP):
Pep Guardiola reached his first final in English football as Manchester City ended second-tier Bristol City's memorable run in the League Cup yesterday to stay in contention for silverware on four fronts.
Man City won the second leg of their semi-final 3-2, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring off the last kick of the game, to advance to the February 26 final at Wembley Stadium 5-3 on aggregate.
Chelsea and Arsenal are locked at 0-0 heading into today's second leg of the other semi-final.
Top of the Premier League by 12 points and still in the Champions League and FA Cup, Man City are proving an unstoppable force but need trophies to back up their exhilarating displays in the first five months of the season.
"Of course, I know that we will be judged by trophies we win," said Guardiola, who didn't win any silverware last season, his first at Man City. "But we are so happy. Nobody can take away what we have done."
Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero scored in a seven-minute span around halftime to build on Man City's 2-1 lead from the first leg at Etihad Stadium two weeks ago.
Marlon Pack reduced the deficit in the 64th minute and even though Aden Flint equalised in the fourth minute of stoppage time, there was no way Bristol City was about to add the Premier League leaders to their list of top-flight scalps that already included Manchester United, Watford, Stoke, and Crystal Palace in this campaign.
"They are a top, top side, probably the best team I've seen live," Bristol City manager Lee Johnson said. "But the spirit we showed, we never gave in. Not many score two goals against a team like that."
Bristol City were attempting to become the first team since Sheffield Wednesday in 1991 to win the League Cup from outside the top flight. Around 180 journalists, broadcasters, and photographers were at Ashton Gate, the club said, for a game being watched in more than 100 countries, putting the second-tier hosts in the global spotlight.
Having needed a late goal from Aguero to earn a first-leg advantage, Man City paid their opponents a compliment by fielding close to a full-strength team for the return match despite being in the middle of a busy period of domestic fixtures.