Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City: Stones ends goal drought as holders reach another final

Stones’ first goal in three years opened the scoring before Fernandinho’s first goal in two years doubled the visitors lead late in the second 45. Solskjaer’s side did have their chances, namely through Fernandes and Rashford, but did not do enough to overcome their local rivals, who run out 2-0 winners in the end.

90′ + 4′ FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-2 MANCHESTER CITY

90′ + 3′ Dias manages to sort his feet out quickly and turn Greenwood’s low cross behind for a corner, as United remain in search of a consolation goal against their local rivals.

90′ + 2′ De Bruyne produces a teasing delivery from the right-hand side but, this time, no City defenders appear intent on attacking the cross as it races out for a United goal-kick.

L. Shaw

Yellow Card

90′ + 1′ Shaw is shown a yellow card by Atkinson for his foul on Sterling and then his confrontation of the assistant referee afterwards.

90′ Lindelof has a bit of a disagreement with the assistant over a throw-in decision, which in the grand scheme of things does not matter for the hosts. It is then Shaw’s turn to question the same assistant, as the left-back is adjudged to have commited a foul on Sterling near the right-hand touchline.

89′ City have now had 16 different goalscorers in all competitions this season, more than any other Premier League team.

D. van de Beek

Fred

88′ Van de Beek is Solskjaer’s next change as he replaces Fred, who was booked in this half for a late tackle on Gundogan.

87′ The men in sky blue are dominating possession now, with Cancelo, on this occasion, looking to slide in Sterling on the right before Shaw intervenes and clears for a throw-in.

85′ Foden is hesitant as he allows Lindelof to dispossess him on the left-hand side. Greenwood then looks to break for the hosts but Dias, as he has done all game, averts the danger with a well-timed tackle.

Fernandinho

Goal

83′ GOALLLLL! 2-0 CITY! United deal with the initial corner, heading out to the edge of the area. Fernandinho then greets Wan-Bissaka’s headed clearance by volleying it with his right foot into the bottom left corner. Henderson, perhaps unsighted, does not even move as the Brazilian’s effort whistles past him and that surely seals the victory for Guardiola’s men.

83′ Shaw fails to clear his lines and Cancelo’s deflection finds De Bruyne, who shifts it onto his right foot before Lindelof manages to deflect the Belgian’s effort behind for a corner.

82′ De Bruyne is released by Sterling down the left and then looks to return the favour towards City’s forward but Maguire and Shaw recover well to head clear before Sterling can capitalise at the far post.

81′ Rashford looks to pick out Wan-Bissaka but fires his pass straight into the feet of Zinchenko. Fernandinho then theatrically goes down but, instead of a visitors’ free-kick, the assistant awards United a throw-in.

Rodri

R. Mahrez

79′ Mahrez, who had a good opportunity in the second half, is replaced by Rodri as Guardiola looks to defend the visitors’ 1-0 lead.

João Cancelo

Yellow Card

78′ For his involvement in the altercation with Shaw, Cancelo becomes the second City player to go into referee Atkinson’s book.

78′ Shaw has a little bit of an altercation with Cancelo, after the Portuguese had stepped across and fouled Rashford near the left-hand touchline. VAR then has a quick check of the incident but deems it nothing more than a little commotion and allows play to go on.

77′ A reminder that if the hosts can find an equaliser, this semi-final tie will go to extra time and then penalties if required, unlike previous rounds, which have just skipped straight to penalties.

M. Greenwood

S. McTominay

75′ Solskjaer outlines his attacking intentions as he brings off midfielder McTominay for forward Greenwood. Pogba will no doubt drop deeper into midfield to allow the substitute to take up a more attacking position on the right-hand side.

75′ Martial goes over, after pushing in between Dias and Stones, but referee Atkinson is having none of it and awards the goal-kick. Dias is visibly furious with the French forward as he accuses the United man of diving.

74′ This is United’s 16th appearance in the EFL Cup semi-finals, with the Red Devils progressing to the final nine times. However, they have lost two of their last three semi-final ties in the competition, having progressed from eight of nine before that. The hosts need a goal here otherwise they will make it three losses in four semi-finals.

72′ WIDE! Pogba retrieves Rashford’s wayward cross before finding the feet of Fernandes, who takes his chance quickly but can only curl his right-footed effort just wide to the right of Steffen’s goal from inside the area.

71′ Rashford and Fernandes cut frustrated figures as they fail to link-up through the middle of the pitch, with the loose ball trickling through to Steffen. The visitors then work possession from one side of the pitch to the other before Foden is caught offside on the left-hand side.

Fred

Yellow Card

69′ Fred is the first of United’s players to go into the book as he needlessly slides through the back of Gundogan near the halfway line.

69′ Fernandinho and Cancelo both have optimistic long-range efforts within seconds of each other, which are both blocked by the head of Maguire inside United’s area before they can trouble Henderson in goal.

68′ Shaw overlaps Fernandes, who ignores the left-back and instead ghosts inside, crossing towards the back post. Despite Rashford’s presence, the Portuguese’s cross travels over the head of Zinchenko and comfortably into the hands of Steffen.

66′ Space opens up for Fernandes and the Portuguese midfielder attacks it, cutting in from the left and shooting into the hands of Steffen from 30 yards out. That was a chance for the United man and he may be disappointed with his tame effort not testing the American goalkeeper more.

65′ Fernandes’ inswinging corner finds Maguire at the back post, where the English centre-back heads wide to the right of the goal, under the pressure of Stones.

64′ Pogba slides in French colleague Martial, who reaches the byline and looks to slam a driven cross across to Rashford in the six-yard area. Dias, on the cover for Stones, does well to slide and block the Frenchman’s cross behind for a corner to the hosts.

62′ CHANCE! United are sloppy in midfield, allowing City to intercept and counter-attack through Mahrez. The Algerian then goes on his own, reaching the edge of the D before unleashing a left-footed effort towards Henderson’s right but the English goalkeeper produces another great save to tip it over the bar.

61′ The game has opened up since Stones’ opener, with the visitors finding space time and time again in between United lines. On this occasion, however, De Bruyne is far too casual and gives possession away but Pogba fails to capitalise.

60′ VAR is interested in a handball from Zinchenko at the back post after the left-back had done well to defend against Martial in the air. A quick check takes place before the officials decide play can go on without awarding a penalty.

58′ Cancelo looks for Foden at the back post but the cross has just a little too much on it and travels out for a goal-kick, despite Foden’s best sliding efforts to reach the cross.

57′ SAVE! Gundogan has options either side of him but opts for Foden, who reaches the byline on the left before chipping a cross back towards the penalty spot. Sterling is the first to the cross, heading back towards the near post, where Henderson tips it around the post for a corner to the visitors.

56′ Stones has scored his first goal for City in 1162 days, with his previous one coming against Napoli in November 2017 in the Champions League. In fact, that opener was only his second ever EFL Cup goal, after getting his first for Barnsley versus Rochdale in 2012.

55′ This is an important period for Solskjaer’s side right now with the visitors looking to press on for the second goal, which would effectively finish this game off. Guardiola’s men appear content at the minute, however, to manipulate possession from side to side as they remain patient in their search for a second goal.

53′ OVER THE BAR! That opener has given City some real impetus, this time Cancelo progresses towards the edge of the area before smashing a right-footed effort just over the bar. Henderson was left motionless after the Portuguese wing-back’s effort but fortunately for the hosts it travelled over the target.

52′ The away team won both the EFL Cup semi-final legs between United and City last season (3-1 City first leg, 1-0 United second leg), with the Citizens going through 3-2 on aggregate. At this rate, Stones’ goal could see the away side claim the bragging rights in Manchester once more.

J. Stones

Goal

50′ GOALLL!! 1-0 CITY! Foden takes the wide set-piece, crossing towards the near post. The youngster’s cross evades Mahrez at the near post but finds Stones at the back post, where the centre-back finishes past Henderson into the bottom right corner with his thigh. VAR has a quick check for offside and handball before confirming the goal stands.

49′ Sterling beats McTominay not once but twice and on the second occasion the Scot fouls City’s forward to give away a free-kick in a dangerous area on the left.

Fernandinho

Yellow Card

48′ Fernandinho becomes the first name in Atkinson’s book as he slides through the back of Pogba near the left-hand touchline.

47′ Shaw sends an outswinging cross into the near post, where Pogba flicks a header towards the back post. Dias does well to make a crucial intervention as he sticks a leg out and hooks it clear, before the likes of Rashford and Martial can pounce behind the Portuguese centre-back.

46′ Pogba instantly wins a free-kick on the left-hand side from kick-off after being fouled in the air by Sterling, which provides the hosts an early chance to whip a set-piece in.

46′ Both sets of players have made their way back out at Old Trafford and referee Atkinson gets this EFL Cup semi-final back underway!

Both managers will be content with the starts from their respective sides, however, Guardiola did cut a frustrated figure as he marched down the touchline upon Atkinson’s half-time whistle. The visitors may look to Aguero or Jesus off the bench if the scores remain level, while Solskjaer could call upon the likes of Greenwood or Mata for some added attacking impetus.

In what was a fairly hectic start, Fernandes forced Steffen into a great save early doors before De Bruyne cannoned a long-range effort into Henderson’s left-hand post moments later. Despite the ball being in the back of the net three times in the opening 45 minutes, the sides go in level at 0-0 at half-time, with neither goalkeeper having to make a save, barring Fernandes’ early opportunity.

45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-0 MANCHESTER CITY

45′ + 1′ There will be one minute of added time as Fernandes fails to capitalise on a counter-attacking opportunity down the left-hand side, when looking for Rashford.

45′ Sterling and De Bruyne make identical runs down the right-hand side but Mahrez’s passing intentions are clear to see and Fred easily intercepts.

43′ Rashford drills a right-footed cross from deep looking for Pogba at the back post. Stones seems to panic slightly as he controls the ball with his shoulder before clearing long. The hosts appeal for handball but Atkinson is having none of it as he waves for play to carry on.

42′ De Bruyne has acres of space on the right-hand side as the Belgian is played in behind Shaw. Despite having Foden and Mahrez to choose from in the box, De Bruyne manages to chip a cross into the feet of Wan-Bissaka, who comfortably clears from near the penalty spot.

40′ Cancelo does the hard part as he dispossesses Pogba near the left-hand touchline and then, with just Shaw to beat, plays a careless pass out of play with De Bruyne racing around him on the overlap. That was an opening for City but the Portuguese full-back wasted the opportunity.

39′ Foden strokes a left-footed pass across the face of goal but Maguire takes up a good position inside the six-yard area, where he intervenes and clears before Mahrez can pounce.

38′ Foden spins in circles before sensibly opting to play backwards to Stones. Guardiola’s men are then methodical in their play but cannot break down United’s compact defensive shape as they pass from side to side looking for an opening.

36′ Sterling cuts back inside instead of shooting and throws himself to the floor inside the area. Referee Atkinson shakes his head as he suggests Shaw has just stood his ground and insists play goes on as opposed to awarding a penalty to the visitors.

35′ Fernandes’ wayward pass gets deflected into the path of Martial, who from 30 yards out fires a left-footed effort into the chest of Stones.

34′ Zinchenko aimlessly plays direct and unsurprisingly Mahrez is no match for United’s centre-backs in the air. The Red Devils then work it down the other end before McTominay wildly fires over from 25 yards out on his right foot.

32′ De Bruyne dances around both Fred and Fernandes before looking long for Sterling over the halfway line but Maguire and Shaw combine to intervene. Shaw then looks for Rashford over the top but, with just the goalkeeper to beat, Rashford’s touch lets him down and Steffen gratefully collects the loose ball.

30′ Sterling and De Bruyne exchange a one-two but Shaw does well to slide in and win possession back before the City forward can progress. Rashford then breaks down the other end before Martial’s deft touch does not fool Cancelo, who intercepts on the edge of the area.

28′ Maguire confidently brings the ball out from the back and fires into the feet of Martial, who carelessly gives away possession near the centre circle. Zinchenko then attempts to cross towards De Bruyne but Pogba is there to intercept and clear down the left-hand side.

26′ The hosts crowd around Steffen from their corner again and Maguire gets his head to Shaw’s left-footed inswinging corner. Despite making good contact, the English centre-back’s header travels just wide of the far post, where Martial was inches away from applying the finishing touch.

25′ BLOCK! Rashford eases past Zinchenko inside the area and blasts a right-footed effort towards the far post. The United forward’s drilled attempt looks destined for the bottom corner until Dias produces an excellent block to deflect it away for a corner to the hosts.

24′ For the third time in 24 minutes the ball is in the back of the net. This time, Foden is played in by Zinchenko before the English youngster slides a left-footed finish through the legs of Henderson. However, as with both the occasions before, the assistant rules out the goal for offside.

23′ De Bruyne is released down the right-hand side by Fernandinho and with Gundogan in the Belgian’s sights at the near post, Lindelof does well to get across and concede the visitors’ first corner of the game.

22′ United are unbeaten in their last three games against City in all competitions (W2 D1) without conceding a goal. They have not gone four without defeat against their rivals since February 2011.

20′ Maguire is happy to hook a clearance long as Foden and Mahrez closed in inside United’s area. Fred then fires a pass into the feet of Martial, who needlessly strays into an offside position between Dias and Stones, meaning the assistant has his flag up on the near side.

19′ Shaw takes an age to get the ball back in play from a throw-in, as the game settles down after a hectic opening 15 minutes or so. Fernandes then uncharacteristically gives it away, which allows the visitors a chance to break through Foden on the left-hand side.

17′ Wan-Bissaka gets caught in possession now and then clumsily fouls Foden. City then unsurprisingly opt to play backwards and retain possession as opposed to launching a cross into the box.

16′ Fernandes looks to slide in Rashford over the halfway line but Zinchenko recovers well to slide in and intercept. Dias then takes no chances as he launches a clearance high into the stands at Old Trafford.

15′ In what has been a fairly frantic opening 15 minutes, there has perhaps already been more action here than there was in the most recent Premier League match between these two sides. The visitors have dominated possession thus far, but Solskjaer’s side look a threat on the counter-attack as always.

13′ OFF THE POST! The hosts drop off and invite De Bruyne onto them, the Belgian obliges and steers a right-footed effort towards the top left corner from 20 yards out. Unfortunately for the Citizens, his effort beats Henderson but cannons into the left-hand post and back away from danger.

12′ There is a bit of miscommunication between Lindelof and Wan-Bissaka in the area, which nearly allows Gundogan the chance to shoot before the Swedish centre-back steps in. Fernandes is then brought down from behind by Fernandinho, much to the Portuguese midfielder’s frustrations, as he felt he had broken away from the City captain.

11′ Guardiola’s men have progressed from each of their last five EFL Cup semi-final ties, going on to win the trophy each time. The Citizens are looking to become just the second side to reach four consecutive League Cup finals, after Liverpool who did so between 1981 and 1984.

10′ Steffen is called upon from the corner, as United crowd the area for Shaw’s set-piece. The American goalkeeper punches the initial delivery, before punching a second clearance moments later to avert the danger.

9′ GREAT SAVE! McTominay shapes to shoot but instead feeds Fernandes, who from 20 yards out aims to curl one into the far corner. Steffen does well to move quickly, diving acrobatically to his left and tipping it over the bar to concede the first corner of the game.

7′ Cancelo is far too casual in possession and loses out to Pogba., who steers a left-footed cross towards the back post looking for Rashford, but the ball races out of play.

6′ Foden smashes a low left-footed cross across the face of goal, where Gundogan taps past Henderson from inside the six-yard area. However, just like moments ago down the other end, the assistant has his flag up for offside to deny Gundogan an opener. Once again, VAR has a quick check and confirms the German was in fact offside.

5′ Despite impressing through the middle against Chelsea, it seems Mahrez has been tasked with leading the line in this Manchester derby instead of De Bruyne, who occupies a deeper role in midfield so far.

3′ Martial releases Rashford, who unleashes a driven left-footed shot across goal, which Steffen saves. Dias then heads back towards his goalkeeper but the centre-back’s header ends up in his own net. Thankfully for Guardiola’s side, the assistant has his flag up for offside, before VAR confirms Rashford was indeed initially offside.

2′ The visitors, as expected, enjoy some early possession before Fernandinho’s pass towards De Bruyne is overhit and races out for a goal-kick.

1′ Referee Martin Atkinson blows his whistle to get this EFL Cup semi-final underway!

Both sets of players are wandering out the tunnel at Old Trafford and shortly kick-off will be upon us.

City have lost just two of their 23 EFL Cup matches under Guardiola (W17 D4), though both defeats have come versus the hosts (in 2016 and 2020). Guardiola has lost three of his six matches against Solskjaer (50%), his worst loss percentage against any manager he has faced at least five times.

Guardiola opts for two changes from last time out, with Mahrez and captain Fernandinho replacing Rodri and Silva. Ederson and Scott Carson remain out with Covid-19, so Steffen continues in goal, while 18-year-old goalkeeper Trafford fills in on the bench.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes two changes to his starting eleven that defeated Villa. De Gea is rotated out for cup goalkeeper Henderson and Lindelof comes in for Bailly to partner Maguire at the back.

SUBS: Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero, Rodri, Benjamin Mendy, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Felix Nmecha, James Trafford, Luke Mbete.

MANCHESTER CITY (4-2-3-1): Zack Steffen; Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan; Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden; Raheem Sterling.

SUBS: David de Gea, Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Donny van de Beek, Mason Greenwood, Nemanja Matic.

MANCHESTER UNITED (4–3-1-2): Dean Henderson; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Fred, Paul Pogba; Bruno Fernandes; Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.

The two Manchester sides meet in the EFL Cup semi-final for the second year in a row, however, this time it will only be a one-legged affair. To reach the semi-finals, the hosts overcame Everton, while Pep Guardiola’s men coasted past Arsenal. In the league, victories over Aston Villa and Chelsea respectively, have only increased the anticipation of a mouth-watering derby here.

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the EFL Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Manchester City.

Published at Wed, 06 Jan 2021 21:37:48 +0000

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