Man City into EFL Cup final despite defeat to Manchester United
Pep Guardiola side were beaten 1-0 by Manchester United last night but the one goal was not enough to derail them from reaching the EFL final to set up a Wembley meeting with Aston Villa.
Guardiola’s team were subpar in front of goal squandering several opportunities and prompting him to say that his boys needed to learn to be more clinical.
Manchester City will now face Aston Villa at Wembley on March 1st after defeating Manchester United 3-2 on aggregate.
Having had a 3-1 lead from the first leg at Old Trafford the home side launched forward in search of a goal to put tie to bed but could not find a way past an inspired David de Gea
Instead, it was United who put things back in the balance before the interval when Nemanja Matic put them ahead on the night with the first effort on goal.
“Over 180 minutes we were better than United,” said Guardiola. “We created chances to score a lot of goals and didn’t convert. We need to learn to be more clinical.
“We played a side with incredible physicality. The goal was from a set-piece. The first time they shot on target. In both games, we were better.”
David de Gea had to be at his brilliant best to deny Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez in the opening minutes but was finally beaten by Raheem Sterling but the flag was already up off for offside.
It was a tense atmosphere at the Ethiad. United again went close at the 80th minute when Harry Maguire was denied from close range and Anthony martial forced a low save from Bravo putting the visiting fans in an excited mood while the home fans were biting their nails.
Sterling who is still without a goal in 2020 had a chance to settle the tie but fluffed his effort.
Guardiola’s side are now into the final for the third successive year and will go for their 7th win when they face Aston Villa in the final of Wembley on March 1st.
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan: “We should have scored early in the first half. We should have scored at least one or two goals today but it wasn’t to be.
“The manager said before the game this is now an experience, we have to survive and overcome. I think we can improve. It is a learning process.”
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “I am so proud of these players. They have beaten City twice at their ground. They have come so far these players. They have given me absolutely everything.
“We have come a long way. Even though we did not create too many clear cut chances, we pressed them back. It pleased me.
“Of course it is hard to come here and score a goal with 11, never mind 10. It was never a sending off. An absolute joke. How many times did they foul us?”
Both sides return to Premier League action this weekend with United facing Wolves on Saturday and City are away at Tottenham on Sunday.