Jesus Navas says Manchester City need to show their intelligence if they are to overcome a first-leg deficit and progress to the League Cup final.
City were beaten 2-1 in the first leg of the last-four tie at Everton on Wednesday as Navas’ second-half equaliser was almost immediately negated by a 78th-minute Romelu Lukaku winner.
The visitors had fought back after Ramiro Funes Mori opened the scoring for the Toffees in first-half injury time but they will have to respond again at the Etihad Stadium on January 27.
Winger Navas said: “We knew this competition the semi-finals are two legs and we know in these kind of situations we need to be clever. We wanted to win here but we conceded two goals and couldn’t win.
“But we have the second leg at home and we will work hard to get through to the final and win the cup.”
Navas’ strike, an excellent left-footed effort to cap a fine counter-attacking move, ended a personal goal drought stretching back 66 matches to September 2014.
The 30-year-old Spaniard was one of City’s best performers, with his introduction as a 54th-minute substitute injecting pace and a different attacking dimension into Manuel Pellegrini’s at times labouring side.
Navas, who also had a strong penalty claim turned down, said: “I tried to do what Manuel told me to do. Initially that was to get the draw and I managed to get the equaliser. I am very happy with the goal but obviously we couldn’t get the victory.
“I thought the whole team performed well and it is a pity we couldn’t win, but we need to focus on the next game.”
City now travel to Norwich in the FA Cup third round on Saturday before taking on Everton again, in the Premier League, at home next Wednesday.
“Everton are really tough opposition and they played really well but we need to focus on the next game on Saturday and then start thinking about Everton again,” Navas added.