Manchester City are through to their fourth consecutive League Cup final after a convincing 2-0 victory over Manchester United in an entertaining derby.
John Stones’ first goal in over three years and Fernandinho’s in over two proved the difference to ensure a final meeting against Tottenham on April 25 at Wembley. United have now lost their fourth semi-final in 12 months under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The first half saw the ball hit the back of the net three times but they were all chalked off for offside. In the fourth minute, Stones had an own goal ruled out because Marcus Rashford’s initial shot was from an offside position before Ilkay Gundogan strayed ahead of the United backline to tap in what looked like the game’s opener.
City’s stand-in goalkeeper Zack Steffen produced an excellent reflex save to deny Bruno Fernandes in the eighth minute a few moments before Kevin De Bruyne’s venomous strike from range smashed off the woodwork; the closest chance of an open first half.
The third disallowed goal arrived in the 24th minute when Foden was ahead of play before he slotted the ball through Dean Henderson’s legs.
Stones grabbed his first goal in over three years shortly after the break. A low free-kick swung in from the left by Foden lands at the feet of the 26-year-old who bundled it home off his thigh.
The second half continued at a frantic tempo and Dean Henderson, on his Old Trafford debut, produced an excellent fingertip stop to deny Riyad Mahrez just past the hour mark.
United could not find a way through City’s resolute defence and the visitors sealed it in the 82nd minute when 35-year-old Fernandinho coolly volleyed into the net from outside the box, ensuring it is Pep Guardiola’s side who will be walking out onto the Wembley pitch once again.