Carabao Cup holders Manchester City reach consecutive finals for the first time in their history.
Manchester City booked their 12th Wembley trip in just nine years with a 1-0 win over Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup Semi-Final second leg on Wednesday night.
In sub-zero temperatures, Pep Guardiola named a a number of experienced players in his side to face Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion, despite going into the game 9-0 up from the first leg at the Etihad. However, it was also City’s youngest starting XI for more than ten years as Ian Carlo Poveda was handed his debut, with youngsters Phillippe Sandler and Eric Garcia started at the back.
Nigel Clough’s side however did themselves proud and in many ways it felt like their night, as they battled for 90 minutes in front of a sold-out crowd to restrict City to just the one goal at the Pirelli Stadium.
A bright start from Manchester City saw Riyad Mahrez go close just minutes into the game as his cross flashed across goal, before a first-half Sergio Aguero goal broke the deadlock after Kevin De Bruyne picked out Mahrez, allowing him to pull his cross back for the Argentine striker to comfortably slot home from inside the area. The goal became Aguero’s fifth goal in his past six EFL Cup semi-final appearances.
Burton did have their chances in the second half as Liam Boyce forced a save with a back-heel and David Templeton shot over the bar from range early on.
The Brewers felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the 54th minute when Danilo appeared to trip David Templeton inside the area, but they struck lucky when Aguero missed a great opportunity to double the visitor’s lead as his shot in front of goal went just wide following a Phil Foden pull back.
Deserving of a goal for their spirited performance, Burton almost got one. Running through on goal, Boyce was stopped by goalkeeper Are Muric, before Will Miller must have thought he’d scored following up the rebound, only to see his effort instinctively cleared off the line by Garcia.
Manchester City will face either Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup Final on Sunday 24 February at Wembley Stadium.
Burton Albion 0-1 (10) Manchester City
Burton Albion XI: Collins, McFadzean, Turner (Hutchinson 40’), Akins (c), Templeton, McCrory, Harness, Miller, Wallace, Quinn (Fox 45’), Boyce (Daniel 77’)
Subsitutes: Bywater, Brayford, Buxton, Sbarra
Manchester City XI: Murix, Danilo, Sandler, Garcia, Zinchenko (F Nmecha 67’) , Delph, Foden, De Bruyne (Mendy 63’), Poveda, Mahrez, Aguero (c) (Jesus 63’)
Substitutes: Grimshaw, Stones, Bolton, Richards