Aguero on target as Manchester City saunter into Carabao Cup final

Date published: Wednesday 23rd January 2019 9:37 - Jamie Woodhouse

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Manchester City completed the formality of victory in their Carabao Cup semi-final with a routine 1-0 win at Burton.

Sergio Aguero scored the only goal on a freezing night at the Pirelli Stadium, completing a comprehensive 10-0 aggregate success for the holders that sends them to the final on February 24.

City fielded a side with a mixture of youth and experience as they went through the motions against their Sky Bet League One hosts, while Benjamin Mendy returned to action after more than two months out injured.

Nigel Clough’s side did create the odd threat as they sought a consolation on what was still a momentous night for the club, despite the one-sided nature of the tie, but City held firm.

Pep Guardiola gave Phil Foden another run-out while there was a debut for winger Ian Poveda-Ocampo and further chances for promising defenders Eric Garcia and Philippe Sandler.

None of them looked out of their depth but they benefited enormously from playing alongside the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Aguero.

Burton could not be faulted for enthusiasm as they ran at City willingly but with little joy.

Liam Boyce got the crowd excited when he flicked towards goal from an early set-piece but Aro Muric was down quickly to smother the effort. Marcus Harness also got the better of Oleksandr Zinchenko but his final ball was lacking.

Despite those efforts, the difference in quality was evident as Mahrez and De Bruyne took charge.

Aguero actually looked rusty in the early stages but he soon shrugged that off to score after 26 minutes. Mahrez, who had already shot wide twice, collected a fine through ball from De Bruyne and laid back for the Argentinian to finish with a neat low strike.

Burton were almost gifted a chance when Muric got too casual and allowed a pass to escape his control but the youngster recovered to clear off the line.

The Brewers pushed again early in the second half and David Templeton wanted a penalty after colliding with Danilo but referee Kevin Friend waved away the appeal.

Aguero should have doubled City’s lead on the hour but uncharacteristically missed the target from close range after being presented with a gilt-edged chance from a Foden cutback.

It proved his final act of the night as he made way for Gabriel Jesus soon after, while Mendy was also introduced.

Sandler almost allowed Burton in for a consolation when he slipped and Boyce pounced but Muric blocked his shot and Garcia cleared Will Miller’s follow-up effort off the line.

Jesus, who scored four in the first leg, almost added a second for City late on but his close-range effort was blocked and Bradley Collins pushed over a Danilo free-kick.


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