Manchester City will get the chance to defend their EFL Cup title in the final against Aston Villa after beating Manchester United 3-2 on aggregate, despite Nemanja Matic – who was also sent off – inflicting a 1-0 defeat in Wednesday’s second leg.
City produced a wonderful display in the first meeting at Old Trafford and were arguably unlucky to only win 3-1, though it proved to be enough to send Pep Guardiola’s men to Wembley even though they failed to meet expectations at home.
Despite finding themselves under extreme pressure at times in the first half, United managed to go into the break ahead thanks to Matic’s satisfying strike in the 35th minute, casting some uncertainty over City’s command of the tie.
But United were unable to use that goal as a launchpad, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men failed to craft further meaningful chances and Matic’s late dismissal for a second booking effectively ended their hopes.
City looked eager to kill off United’s chances as early as possible, with Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez forcing David de Gea into fine saves in the first seven minutes.
United weathered that storm and took the lead just past the half-hour mark – Matic slamming a crisp half-volley into the bottom-right corner after Fred’s delivery was only partially cleared.
Raheem Sterling seemingly erased United’s lead just before half-time when he turned Bernardo Silva’s pass home, but the England international had strayed offside.
Sterling had another opportunity in the 58th minute when he was played through on goal, but after checking back to evade Victor Lindelof and then De Gea, he blazed his effort over from 12 yards.
United were reduced to 10 men 14 minutes from time when Matic cynically tripped Ilkay Gundogan to halt a counter-attack, and City had little difficulty seeing out their aggregate win from there despite Aguero’s late strike being disallowed for offside.
Red Card! Chasing the game, United Goalscorer Nemanja Matic gets a second yellow! This doesn’t look good!
Goal! Manchester United take the lead with their first shot on target! Nemanja Matic with a thumping strike! Game on!
Chance! Aguero goes close to putting the tie beyond doubt!
Peep! We are underway in Manchester!
A huge night in prospect for Mason Greenwood! Can the youngster inspire a magical comeback tonight?
City are all ready to go! Remember they have a 3-1 lead heading into the second leg!
Now for Manchester United! Four changes from the side that won against Tranmere! The headline, Mason Greenwood leads the line for the Red Devils!
Team news time! ⌚
Right! Manchester City team news! Sergio Aguro returns to the side, as does Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling!
Your City line-up for tonight!
XI | Bravo, Walker, Rodrigo, Otamendi, Cancelo, Gundogan, Mahrez, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero.
SUBS | Ederson, Stones, G Jesus, Zinchenko, D Silva, Foden, Garcia.
Time for Manchester United to focus up! Team News should be coming in any minute now…
Behind enemy lines 👀
What an entry for the Man City players…
Come on boys! Let’s have this!
The news Man United fans would be loving to see right now!
Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes.
The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms.
A further announcement will be made in due course. pic.twitter.com/6bDVHszxL1
Good evening! Here we go again! Semi-final second leg time in the league cup! Can Manchester United somehow overhaul a 3-1 deficit against Manchester City and book their place in the final? United will certainly be boosted by the news that Bruno Fernandes is winging his way to Old Trafford, only personal terms and medical to sort on that one. Anyway, join me for all the build-up, team news and yes all the goals from the game!
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