The Carabao Cup has reached the semi-final stages and the first of the ties kicked-off on Tuesday night, as Premier League leaders hosted Championship Bristol City at the Etihad Stadium. Here is what happened:
Manchester City 2-1 Bristol City
The Championship promotion chasers did their best to take home a positive result for the second leg at Ashton Gate. However, City’s quality eventually shone through with a late winner from Sergio Aguero.
Surprisingly the visitors struck first late in the first half. Bobby Reid surged into the Manchester City penalty area, only for John Stones to bring the forward down. Reid then dispatched the spot-kick past Claudio Bravo in the City goal.
The Citizens were level ten minutes into the second half. Kevin de Bruyne played a nice one-two with winger Raheem Sterling before firing past Frank Fielding from just inside the visitor’s box. Pep Guardiola had chosen to leave Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero on the bench. However, the striker was sent on to find City the winner and the substitute did just that two minutes into stoppage-time. The striker got his head onto a Bernardo Silva cross to head home from close-range.
Lee Johnson’s visitors will be disappointed by conceding late on. However, the Robins are still well in this tie, ahead of the second leg in two weeks at Ashton Gate, where they defeated Manchester United in the last round. The Citizens are still favourites to win the clash and the trophy, though.
On Wednesday the second semi-final first leg takes place at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea host Arsenal in a London Derby.
Chelsea are the favourites to progress to the final. However, the Blues have failed to win any of the last four meetings with the Gunners. In fact, these two teams met just last week in an entertaining 2-2 Premier League draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Three of the last four meetings between these two teams have finished in draws in 90 minutes, so the encounters have been of a close kind in recent seasons.
Chelsea rested a number of key players for their weekend 0-0 draw at Championship Norwich in the FA Cup. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also rotated his squad in the FA Cup. However, the holders went out of the competition courtesy of a 4-2 defeat at another Championship side Nottingham Forest.
Chelsea are strong on home soil and are unbeaten 11 games at Stamford Bridge in all competitions, winning nine of those 11 unbeaten games. The Blues have won their last four home games, conceding just one goal in the process.
Coupled with Arsenal’s away record of just three away wins in their last 12 games in domestic competitions, Wednesday night’s game looks particularly difficult for Arsene Wenger’s side. The team from north London will be looking for a positive result to take back to the Emirates Stadium for the second leg in two weeks’ time. Even then, the Gunners could find it hard to get the better of their London rivals.
Who will make it to the League Cup final?