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Football news - Sergio Aguero winner helps City ease into Carabao Cup final

Aguero winner helps City ease into Carabao Cup final

23/01/2019 at 17:59Updated 23/01/2019 at 22:24

Carabao Cup, Pirelli Stadium - Burton Albion 0 Manchester City 1 (Aguero 26') agg 0-10

Manchester City sneaked into their third Carabao Cup final in four years, a 1-0 win on the night giving them a 10-0 aggregate victory. The holders – who have won the trophy on each of those occasions - will be strong favourites, regardless of whether it is Chelsea or Spurs joining them.

The first half was relatively quiet, certainly by the standards of this tie, just one goal coming in it. But it was one very nice goal, lovely combination play from Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez setting up Sergio Aguero for a typically expert finish.

Understandably, and though Burton did all they could to quicken things up, the game died in the second half. City were happy to conserve energy, while the home side lacked the quality to penetrate. They did, though, create one fantastic opportunity for a consolation, only for William Miller to drive straight at Eric Garcia, with Arijanet Muric prostrate.

So it is City who will visit Wembley for the final on 24 February, but they and Burton will now refocus on the league, where both have work to do - of a very different nature.

Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on ahead of the Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg match between Burton Albion and Manchester City at Pirelli Stadium on January 23, 2019 in Burton-upon-Trent, United Kingdom.

Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on ahead of the Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg match between Burton Albion and Manchester City at Pirelli Stadium on January 23, 2019 in Burton-upon-Trent, United Kingdom.Getty Images

City will find out their final opponents on Thursday night after Chelsea and Tottenham meet at Stamford Bridge with Spurs holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

TALKING POINT: What is the plan for Eric Garcia?

Though he did not have that much to do, Garcia proved that he us ready for more. He is quick, good on the ball and reads the game well - perhaps he should now be first reserve, behind John Stones and Aymeric Laporte.

MAN OF THE MATCH Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

No player really stood out, but Mahrez was the game's best player in the opening passage, during which it was decided.

Benjamin Mendy climbs over and advertising hoarding to give a young fan his shirt following the English League Cup second leg semi-final football match between Burton Albion and Manchester City.

Benjamin Mendy climbs over and advertising hoarding to give a young fan his shirt following the English League Cup second leg semi-final football match between Burton Albion and Manchester City.Eurosport

PLAYER RATINGS

  • Burton Albion: Collins 6, McCrory 5, Turner 6, McFadzean 6, Akins 5, Wallace 5, Quinn 5, Templeton 6, Miller 5, Harness 6, Boyce 5. Subs: Hutchinson 5, Fox 6, Daniel 6
  • Manchester City: Muric 6, Danilo 6, Sandler 5, Garcia 7, Zinchenko 6, Foden 5, De Bruyne 6, Delph 5, Mahrez 7, Aguero 6, Poveda 5. Subs: Mendy 6, Jesus 6, Nmecha 6

KEY STATS

  • The average age of Manchester City's starting XI tonight, 23 years and 323 days, was their lowest since their Premier League game against Middlesbrough in October 2008.
  • Manchester City have reached consecutive League Cup finals for the first time. The Citizens are looking to emulate Manchester rivals Man Utd who were the last team to both reach and win consecutive finals in the competition in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
  • Man City’s 10-0 aggregate victory over Burton Albion is the biggest semi-final aggregate win in League Cup history – overtaking their 9-0 aggregate win against West Ham in 2014.
  • Manchester City’s starting XI against Burton had a combined age of just 23 years and 323 days – the club’s youngest starting line-up in any competition since 29th October 2008 (23y 318d v Middlesbrough).
  • Since conceding a goal to Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino on 3rd January, Man City have gone 476 minutes without conceding while scoring 24 in reply.
  • En route to the final, Manchester City have conceded just one goal – Leicester’s Marc Albrighton scoring an equaliser in the quarter-finals.
  • Manchester City have kept five successive clean sheets for just the second time in all competitions under Pep Guardiola – also doing so November 2018.
  • Riyad Mahrez was directly involved in four of Man City’s 10 goals against Burton – one goal and two assists in the first leg and an assist in the second leg.
  • Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has scored in five of his last six League Cup semi-final appearances (5 goals).

KEY MOMENTS

  • 12’ - But here comes Mahrez, who's had a lot of the ball. Delph swings a ball out to him, McCrory gets caught underneath it, and he barges into the box, opening his body to henry a finish into the far corner ... but he's wide!
  • 14’ - Quinn curls it in low and Boyce peels away from the middle of the box towards the near post, twisting into a flick .. but he gets too much of it, such that the fizz on the ball disappears into his boot and the giant Muric lopes down to save.
  • 18’ - Foden finds Mahrez on the right and again he hoves inside across the face of the box before unleashing a curler which flies only just wide. So far, he's been the game's most dangerous player by far.
  • 26’ - GOAL! Burton Albion 0-1 Manchester City (Aguero) De Buyne gets it on halfway and plays a lustrous pass inside McFadzean, the left-back, and out to Mahrez. He moves into the box, cuts back for Aguero, and he flips low into the far corner. Burton are really up against it now!
  • 61’ - Lovely touch from Aguero, picked up by De Bruyne, and he slides a ball between right-back and centre-back for Foden. The youngster does really well to screw a cut-back right into the path of Aguero, who's used nitro to get into the box ... where amazingly, he passes it wide! What a miss that was!
  • 70’ - Aaaaaaaaarrrggghhh! Delph's loose touch plays Sandler into trouble and he dwell on it, allowing Boyce to nip in. But his first touch is heavy so Muric blocks ... only for the ball to fall beautifully for Miller! He takes aim, shoots low ... and picks out Garcia on the line! Great defending, but he ought not to have smelt that.
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