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MAN UTD v MAN CITY: EFL CUP SEMI FINAL REVIEW AS CITY BOOK WEMBLEY DATE WITH SPURS


Manchester United suffered more semi-final heartbreak under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their noisy neighbours won the Carabao Cup semi-final 2-0 at Old Trafford.

Manchester City reached the Carabao Cup final for the fourth year in a row and will meet Jose Mourinho's Tottenham at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 25 April.

Last month’s Premier League meeting between the two sides was pretty awful to say the least, ending in a boring 0-0. To be fair to both sides though this was a different spectacle altogether and was far more entertaining with a place in the Final up for grabs.


It was almost a perfect start by the home side as the ball was in City’s net after just two minutes, with John Stones scoring an own goal after Marcus Rashford’s shot had hit goalkeeper Zack Steffen’s legs before rebounding against the defender.

VAR got involved though and the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

Just three minutes later it was City's turn to bemoan an offside decision when Ilkay Gundogan was also flagged for offside as he turned in Phil Foden’s excellent low cross, as the game kicked off in the exciting way every neutral was hoping for.


United's Bruno Fernandes had a curling, goal-bound effort brilliantly kept out by American stopper Steffen, after nine minutes, following a pass by Scott McTominay, as the home side really flew out of the traps.


The attacking intent though was also there from visitors Man City, Kevin De Bruyne smacked the post with a 20-yard effort that had Dean Henderson well beaten, then the visitors had a second goal ruled out for offside when Foden set off too early before brilliantly nutmegging Henderson in the United goal.


Three goals had now been ruled out and a post struck, and we were only 25 minutes in. Surely a goal was coming?

Well, sadly not. The final 20 minutes of the half weren't dull though. A slick counter-attack for Man City finished with Sterling's header forcing a decent save from Henderson, before United keeper had to make a fantastic fingertip save to deny Mahrez from the edge of the area.

The home side did have a shout for a penalty as the half came towards a close, when the ball appeared to hit Stones on the arm in City's box. However, referee Martin Atkinson said no and VAR official Jon Moss didn't intervene either.


Into the second half and the deadlock was finally broken though after just 5 minutes of the re start. A Foden free-kick went across the penalty area behind and beyond United’s defenders and Stones ran into the ball at the far post. How much the City defender knew about the goal is anyone's guess, it certainly didn't appear to be much. Nonetheless, it was a massive goal in this local derby and it was City who had the advantage.


On 62 minutes the visitors nearly doubled their lead but Dean Henderson in the United goal pulled off an outstanding flying save to deny Riyad Mahrez’s screaming shot.


United responded well though with three efforts in quick succession, first with Harry Maguire steering a difficult headed chance wide, then Fernandes hitting his shot straight at Steffen and then again curling one wide from distance, as Solskjaer's side tried to put the pressure on their opponents.


However, there was to be no grandstand finish in this one, no end of game excitement as Fernandinho drilled home from 20/25 yards, after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s attempt to head away a corner had fell kindly to the Brazilian with 83 minutes gone. It was 2-0 and City had booked themselves into the final of the EFL Cup.


MY OPINION:

It was a good game but the result was well deserved in the end for Pep's side. United though can look forward to hopefully (for them) continuing their excellent form of late in the Premier League. This defeat whilst disappointing right now will soon be forgotten if Ole's side can beat Liverpool when the 2 sides meet in a few weeks in the league.


MAN UTD 0 MAN CITY 2

Stones 50

Fernandinho 83

 

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