Manchester City defeated fierce rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals to reach the EFL Cup Final for the third successive season. Let's take a look at how they got there to set up a Wembley clash against Aston Villa on March 1.
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Round 3: Preston North End 0-3 Manchester City
The defending EFL Cup winners entered the 2019/20 competition in the third round and they were sent away to take on Championship side Preston North End. Pep Guardiola named a relatively strong side with the likes of Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus all starting. This was over at half-time, Sterling opened the scoring with a superb solo effort before Jesus added a second. Any hope of Preston making a fight of this ended three minutes before the break as Ryan Ledson turned home David Silva’s cross to make it 3-0.
Round 4: Manchester City 3-1 Southampton
City were drawn at home against Premier League opposition in the fourth round. They made light work of Southampton as they cruised to a 3-1 success and into the quarter-finals. A rare goal from defender Nicolas Otamendi put City in front after 20 minutes before Sergio Aguero converted Kyle Walker’s pass to make it 2-0. City put the game out of Southampton’s reach in the 56th minute when Aguero bagged his second after Riyad Mahrez’s efforted deflected into his path. The Saints did pull one back through Jack Stephens but it was too little too late as City advanced.
Quarter-Final: Oxford United 1-3 Manchester City
Manchester City had to travel to take on League One side Oxford United. This was the second time in two years that Oxford faced City in the EFL Cup. This one ended in the same outcome as they crashed out, but they did themselves justice. City led 1-0 at the break after Joao Cancelo put them ahead with a deflected effort. Oxford equalised immediately after half-time, Matty Taylor slotting home after a fine weaving run. Unfortunately for Oxford, they were on level terms for just four minutes as Sterling put them back in front. He added a second and City’s third in the 70th minute to set up a semi-final clash against rivals Manchester United.
Semi-Final 1st Leg: Manchester United 1-3 Manchester City
City versus United games are always thrilling and passionate affairs. This one looked like being all over after 45 minutes as City took full advantage of some poor United defending to lead 3-0. City took the lead through Bernardo Silva’s excellent strike. Two more goals in the first-half from Mahrez and an own goal from Andreas Pereira saw them take full control. United did pull one back in the 70th minute when Marcus Rashford collected a pass from Mason Greenwood to score. The Red Devils were still in the tie because away goals do not count anymore in the EFL Cup.
Semi-Final 2nd Leg: Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United
United travelled to the Etihad Stadium knowing they needed to win by two goals to send this game to a penalty shootout. City dominated the opening stages but couldn’t convert any chances. They then fell behind to United’s first real effort on goal as Nemanja Matic fired home. Sterling and David Silva both wasted chances to put this tie to bed as the home fans started to become a little anxious. United’s hopes of grabbing a second were dealt a blow when Matic was sent off for a second yellow card. City managed to hang on and this was the first game in the EFL Cup this season that they had failed to score a single goal. That is something they will hope to rectify when they take on Aston Villa in the EFL Cup Final on March 1.