Football

Guardiola delighted as Man City close in on 4th straight League Cup

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised his under-strength side as they defeated Manchester United 2-0 to reach a fourth consecutive League Cup final yesterday morning (Singapore time).

John Stones and Fernandinho were the unlikely goalscorers for the Citizens, who were without players such as Ederson, Aymeric Laporte and Ferran Torres due to injuries or Covid-19.

City, who will face Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur in the final at Wembley on April 25, now have the chance to equal Liverpool's record of winning four successive League Cups between 1981 and 1984.

"I know the Carabao (League) Cup is not the Champions League but four times a row is incredible. I'm so impressed with the quality of this team," added Guardiola, who dedicated their win to the family of Colin Bell, a day after the City great died aged 74.

Bell scored 152 goals in 492 appearances for City during a 13-year career in which he won five major trophies.

But the Red Devils' wait for silverware under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer goes on, as they lost a fourth semi-final in the last two seasons.

"It's not psychological, sometimes you meet good teams in the semis," said Solskjaer, whose side also lost to City at this stage of the competition last season.

"We met the best team in England and for me, we didn't have enough today. But we're getting closer. This is a much better Manchester United compared to a year ago in those semis, that's positive but not enough."

City went ahead five minutes after the break when Phil Foden whipped in a free-kick from the left through a crowded box and Stones bundled it home, with the ball going in off his thigh.

Fernandinho made sure of the win seven minutes from time with a volley as he pounced on a headed clearance from Aaron Wan-Bissaka. - AFP, REUTERS

Football