The EFL Cup has reached the semi-final stages and we already now know that Manchester City will contest the final after a thrilling victory at Championship Bristol City on Tuesday night. Here is what happened at Ashton Gate:
This second leg tie was always going to be interesting and it produced tremendous entertainment, with the Premier League leaders eventually doing enough to make the final on Sunday 25th February.
The visitors struggled to break through the home side’s defensive resilience. However, the Citizens took the lead late in the first half. Hordur Magnusson lost the ball to David Silva, who found Leroy Sane and Germany international fired home.
The Robins made changes at half time, but the tie was virtually killed off early in the second half. City produced a typical counter-attack, as Sergio Aguero produced a cool finish after receiving the ball from Kevin De Bruyne.
The Robins gave themselves a sliver of hope on 64 minutes, as Marlon Pack headed past Claudio Bravo from 12 yards after good work by Jamie Paterson.
The home side scored a second goal four minutes into stoppage-time, as Aden Flint poked home from close-range. Any hope of a goal to take the tie into extra-time was extinguished two minutes later, as De Bruyne struck the winner on the night and sealed the victory for the Citizens.
Bristol City will return to league action on Saturday with a game against QPR at Ashton Gate. Manchester City face another Championship side Cardiff City on Sunday in the FA Cup fourth-round.
Who City will face in the EFL Cup final will be decided on Wednesday night, as Arsenal host London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.
The first game produced a very uneventful 0-0 draw, so it is all to play for in tonight’s clash in north London. Chelsea are the favourites to win the game, but recent history suggests this game will be a tight one.
The last three meetings between these two teams have finished all square. In fact, the Blues have not beaten Arsenal in four outings against the Gunners.
Both teams have endured mixed runs of form of late. However, head into this clash on the back of victories in the Premier League.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has recently defended the job he is doing at Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues are not living up to last season’s title-winning campaign. The visitors will have to cope without Spanish pair Alvaro Morata and Cesc Fabregas for this clash, as both are ruled out through injury. Conte may select the same eleven that recorded a comfortable win at Brighton in their last outing.
Arsenal will not be able to use new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as the Armenian international is cup-tied. Arsene Wenger may also field an unchanged starting line-up from their weekend win over Crystal Palace. However, that depends on whether Spanish defender Nacho Monreal recovers in time after picking up an injury against the Eagles.
Who will face Manchester City in the EFL Cup final in February?