Pirelli Stadium (Agg 0-10)
League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg
16/02/2019 7:45 pm
Referee: Kevin Friend of Leicester
|Burton Albion||Manchester City|
|40 Bradley Collins||49 Aro Muric|
|10 Lucas Akins||3 Danilo|
|5 Kyle McFadzean||34 Philippe Sandler|
|6 Ben Turner||Hutchinson 40'||50 Eric Garcia|
|14 Damien McCrory||35 Oleks Zinchenko||Nmecha 67'|
|23 Stephen Quinn||Fox 45'||17 Kevin De Bruyne||Mendy 63'|
|22 Kieran Wallace||18 Fabian Delph|
|16 Marcus Harness||47 Philip Foden|
|18 Will Miller||26 Riyad Mahrez|
|11 David Templeton||10 Sergio Agüero||Gabriel Jesus 63'|
|27 Liam Boyce||Daniel 77'||83 Ian Carlo Poveda-Ocampo|
|1 Stephen Bywater||5 John Stones|
|2 John Brayford||22 Benjamin Mendy|
|3 Jake Buxton||32 Daniel Grimshaw|
|9 Joe Sbarra||33 Gabriel Jesus|
|12 Ben Fox||61 Felix Nmecha|
|19 Reece Hutchinson||74 Luke Bolton|
|26 Colin Daniel||89 Taylor Richards|
Johnny On The Spot: #LONDONCALLING. For the first time in Manchester City’s history, the club will take part at Wembley next month in a second consecutive League Cup Final, the Blues having negotiated safely an entertaining if bitterly cold night on a dangerous pitch in Burton upon Trent.
A handful of hacks and clueless pundits have suggested that Pep Guardiola’s men should have declared at half time in Manchester earlier in the month in order to show Burton Albion respect, wholly ignorant of the strength of the XI the City boss had selected in full respect of the competition and opponents who had beaten Premier League side Burnley, as well as Championship teams Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough en route to this Semi Final. It was evident that Burton, backed by a record Pirelli Stadium crowd boosted by 1600 roaring Blues were determined to go out in a blaze of glory. To their immense credit they gave it a real go in tricky conditions.
The covers came off cricket style in the hour before kick off. The tarpaulins had been deployed to thwart icy conditions. What they appeared to do was compound moisture underneath. By the opening exchanges of the second half, players were sliding about all over the shop. The Blues celebrated medical team no doubt winced at some of the physical impacts.
Full of heart and industry, Burton battled for everything throughout. Their work rate epitomised by Liam Boyce who pushed City’s young centre halves hard and was unfortunate not to score. Giving and going, holding up, the works. Nigel Clough deployed a high press for much of the night, infrequently unsettling City keeper Aro Muric and his aforementioned young team-mates. In fairness, guiding the ball out from the back was not that well facilitated by the slithery surface, either.
The City squad again played well within themselves here, the winning of only 2 corners late on indicative of the reticence to go at full throttle. One could argue that game management was engaged in from the first whistle, but the upshot is that we have another cup final to look forward to and have registered 7 straight wins since the Boxing Day defeat at Leicester, 5 consecutive clean sheets adds further sheen.
Certain twitchy media types, perhaps a little unsettled by Liverpool’s over reliance upon lady luck and penalties to secure Premier League wins of late have been drawing increasing tut-tut attention to City’s packed fixture list while their choice of champions elect fill their spare time kicking up sand in Dubai. An intensive run of games has given the Blues an opportunity to regain momentum in cruise control, to rehabilitate injured key players needing rhythm, to rest the more overworked stars and to blood our youngsters. – Focus sapping warm weather breaks or cup finals? We’ll take the latter across Planet Blue!
JB’s Man Of The Match: Eric Garcia. 18 years old this month, the young Spaniard delivered another accomplished performance chalking up over 100 completed passes.