We take a look at Manchester City's route to the Capital One Cup Final
Third Round – Manchester City 5-0 Wigan Athletic
Manchester City’s Capital One Cup campaign didn’t kick-off until the Third Round because of their European commitments. Their first match in this season’s competition saw them come face-to-face with a side who had handed them a chastening Wembley defeat just a few months previously in the FA Cup final.
However, both clubs had changed their managers since Wembley while only five players in the starting line-ups from May began this match.
It was City’s Edin Dzeko, a late substitute on that day, who got the ball rolling with the opening goal of the game in the 33rd minute.
Wigan were giving a good account of themselves and kept City at bay until the hour mark when summer signing Stevan Jovetic opened his account following his move from Fiorentina.
That wasn’t quite the cue for the floodgates to open as Wigan continued to stand tall, but the third goal arrived on 76 minutes through Yaya Toure.
Further efforts from Jovetic and Jesus Navas added a bit of gloss to the final scoreline and ensured City went through and gained a modicum of revenge for that Wembley loss.
Fourth Round – Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City (AET)
The draw for the Fourth Round sent Manchester City on the road this time and gave them a tie against fellow Premier League side Newcastle United, who they had beaten at the Etihad Stadium in their opening match of the season.
It was 4-0 to City over the 90 minutes that night but on this occasion the game was goalless after an hour and a half.
City had lost Stevan Jovetic, the two-goal star of their victory over Wigan in the previous round, to an early injury but in the first half neither forward line mounted a serious threat on the opposing goal.
It brightened up a bit after the break when Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul was called into action, but the breakthrough would not come so extra time was required, where City’s Costel Pantilimon produced an excellent save to deny Papiss Cisse.
That was the inspiration for City to step up a gear or two and have the victory wrapped up by the end of the first period of extra time.
They opened the scoring on 109 minutes through Alvaro Negredo and shortly before the whistle Edin Dzeko added a second to earn City’s place in the Quarter-Finals.
Quarter-Final – Leicester City 1-3 Manchester City
The draw for the Quarter-Final once again gave Manchester City a tie against Championship opposition as they were handed a visit to Leicester City.
The Foxes had picked up a 1-1 draw at home to Burnley the Saturday before the last-eight encounter but prior to that they had suffered successive defeats, away to Brighton and Hove Albion and Sheffield Wednesday.
Manchester City, meanwhile, had picked up eye-opening results in their previous two matches – a 6-3 victory over Premier League title rivals Arsenal coming just a few days after a 3-2 win at Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The visit to the King Power Stadium could have been tricky, but Pellegrini guided his players to a relatively comfortable victory.
It took them just eight minutes to open the scoring with Aleksandar Kolarov netting. Edin Dzeko scored either side of half-time to put the tie to bed.
Leicester did get themselves on the scoresheet 13 minutes from time through Lloyd Dyer’s deflected effort – the Citizens’ first goal against in the competition during 2013/14 - but there was no way back for the underdogs.
That victory put the team from the blue half of Manchester into the last four of the competition for the first time since 2010, when they were beaten by their rivals from the red half, with another Semi-Final meeting a prospect this time around.
Semi-Final – Manchester City 9-0 West Ham United (on aggregate)
As it was, the two great adversaries were kept apart in the draw for the Semi-Finals and just 24 hours after Manchester United lost their first leg at Sunderland, City welcomed West Ham United to the Etihad Stadium.
Not that the Londoners would have felt particularly welcome as they left on the wrong end of a 6-0 scoreline that essentially wrapped up City’s progress to Wembley. That win made made it 14 wins from their last 17 fixtures in all competitions for the hosts.
Alvaro Negredo led the way by scoring a stylish hat-trick, with an Edin Dzeko brace and one for Yaya Toure completing the scoring.
The tie was as good as over ahead of the second leg at Upton Park, a feeling shared by many of the Hammers’ faithful with a crowd of just over 14,000 turning up to watch the last rites.
It took City only three minutes to stretch their advantage further through Negredo, then Sergio Aguero notched on 24 minutes.
Another Negredo goal just before the hour made it 3-0 on the night and 9-0 on aggregate, securing the biggest ever winning margin in a League Cup Semi-Final.