Manchester City dominate United at Old Trafford to reach League Cup final in search of 4th successive triumph

Manchester City beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford to reach League Cup final and a possible 4th successive triumph.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: Oleksandr Zinchencko of Manchester City celebrates with Fernandinho of Manchester City after Fernandinho scores his sides 2nd goal during the Carabao Cup Semi Final match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on January 06, 2021 in Manchester, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola will face off against old nemesis Jose Mourinho, after Manchester City won 2-0 at Old Trafford to reach the League Cup final.

A half of offside strikes

Opting to continue without an out-and-out striker despite having both Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero on the bench, Pep Guardiola tasked Riyad Mahrez with the job that Kevin de Bruyne had taken up over the weekend. The Belgian scored in a 3-1 win over Chelsea, but was returned to his natural attacking midfield position for tonight’s trip to Old Trafford.

The Manchester derby got off to a bizarre start, after Manchester City’s blushed were spared by the offside flag, following what looked set to be an own goal netted by the Citizens.

Then it was the visitors’ turn to have a goal ruled out for offside. Phil Foden played in Ilkay Gundogan, who guided an effort past Dean Henderson. The German international, though, was a foot beyond the last United defender. A promising start to a fixture which played out into a drab 0-0 draw on the last occasion the two sides met.

Bruno Fernandes had a curling effort, heading for the top-right corner, well saved by American goalkeeper Zack Steffen. De Bruyne, meanwhile, though not in a striking role, was still threatening, and had a long range effort strike the United post.

A third offside goal would follow a slight dip in the intensity of the clash in the 23rd. Foden was played in down the left, before attacking the United box, and putting the ball between Henderson’s legs. The England international was deemed, however, to have been offside upon receiving the ball. This proved to be the best chance before the break.

City come out on top

The second-half kicked off brilliantly for the travelling City side. A free-kick from the left was swung in by Phil Foden, with the ball having made its way to the back post, where John Stones was on hand to tuck home his first goal in more than 3 years. The game’s opener sparked a period of dominance on the part of City, who also saw Joao Cancelo fire just over Henderson’s crossbar.

Any time that United attempted to press forward, the threat of a Sky Blues counter attack gave rise to tension, which cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the final third. Sterling’s header towards goal was well saved by Henderson, before a curling ball across the box was missed by the outstretched Foden.

Mahrez then had a brilliant bending strike also kept out by Henderson. The Algerian drove at the home side’s back line, before moving left and forcing the save from the man who spent an impressive year with Sheffield United last season.

United attempted to create, but were majorly limited by the constant pressing of Guardiola’s side. Bruno Fernandes took aim with multiple long-range efforts in search of an equaliser, but to no avail.

The game was then clinched in the second-half, as United could only clear a corner to the edge of their box, where Brazilian Fernandinho was waiting to strike a first time effort into the bottom left hand corner.

Victory for City guides them through to yet another League Cup final, as the Citizens go in search of a 4th successive triumph in the competition. They will take on Spurs in the competition’s showpiece, after the north Londoners beat Brentford 2-0 on Tuesday.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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1 Manchester United FC 17 10 36
2 Leicester City FC 18 12 35
3 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 18 16 33
5 Manchester City FC 16 12 32
6 Everton FC 17 7 32
7 Chelsea FC 18 12 29
8 Southampton FC 18 5 29
9 West Ham United FC 18 4 29
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11 Arsenal FC 18 1 24
12 Leeds United 18 -4 23
13 Crystal Palace FC 18 -7 23
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16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 19 -7 17
17 Burnley FC 17 -13 16
18 Fulham FC 17 -11 12
19 West Bromwich Albion 18 -27 11
20 Sheffield United FC 19 -22 5
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Player Team Goals
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Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
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Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 7
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