Football Man City downs United to reach League Cup final

Man City downs United to reach League Cup final

Manchester City's Fernandinho scores his side's second goal. Photo: PA
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Manchester City has a chance to win the League Cup for a fourth successive year and a sixth time in eight seasons after reaching the final with a 2-0 victory at Manchester United.

Second-half goals from John Stones and Fernandinho were the difference for Pep Guardiola’s men in Wednesday evening’s semi-final at Old Trafford.

City will attempt to maintain its stranglehold on the cup when it faces Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on April 25.

City repeated its win over United in last season’s semi-finals, which were played over two legs in contrast to this year’s one-match shootout.

An end-to-end match, which started with three goals being disallowed for offside in the opening 24 minutes, was settled by goals from set pieces.

Stones was fortunate not to give United the lead with a second-minute own goal, which was chalked off because United’s Marcus Rashford was offside.

City midfielders Ilkay Guendogan and Phil Foden also had efforts ruled out for offside, while Kevin de Bruyne’s strike hit the post in an action-packed 45 minutes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United had stood up well to the threat posed by the visitors but were undone by a free-kick in the 50th minute.

Foden swung in the ball from the left and Stones got between Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to bundle an effort past Dean Henderson.

City put the result beyond doubt with seven minutes remaining, courtesy of a stunning strike from Fernandinho.

The veteran Brazilian midfielder volleyed into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box for his first goal since October 2018, taking advantage of a weak headed clearance by United right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

After falling two goals behind, United offered little in response and was unable to spark an unlikely fightback in the closing minutes as its seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions ended.

City’s players wore retro No.8 jerseys before the game in honour of Colin Bell, the club’s former midfield great who died on Tuesday aged 74.

There was a minute’s silence and both teams wore black armbands in a tribute to the former England international.