League Cup Quarter Final
Tuesday 29 November, 20.00 KO
City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, K Toure, Savic, Onuoha, de Jong, Kolarov (Aguero 32), Hargreaves (Razak 80), A Johnson, Nasri, Dzeko
Unused: Taylor, Richards, Bridge, Rekik, Suarez
Goals: Aguero (83)
Referee: Lee Probert
Man of the Match: Edin Dzeko
The game got off to quite a slow start with both sides much changed and feeling each other out. Johnson had City’s opening gambit with an effort cutting in from the right wing – it had Fabianski scrambling across his goal, but it was just over. Pantilimon was soon in the thick of the action, pulling off a fine save to deny Park at the back post.
It took until midway through the first half until either side was able to fashion another shooting chance and it went to the hosts. Chamberlain took on the ball outside the City box and fired in a fierce attempt towards the top corner, but Pantilimon was equal to it, producing a fine one-handed save to tip it over the bar.
The second half quickly arrived and it was the blues who got into their stride the quicker. Dzeko turned smartly on the edge of the box to get a shot away, but it whizzed just wide of the post. But from there, the home side took control: Pantilimon first punched away a cross, before palming a shot away from goal and Zabaleta was needed to steal the ball away from Chamberlain as he closed in on goal.
And, with just under ten minutes to play – and with Arsenal appearing the more likely to score – the visitors took the lead. Dzeko won the race to the loose ball in the City half and played a delightful pass through the middle to almost set Johnson through. His touch back to Aguero was perfect and the Argentine stroked the ball into the net clinically. It was one of the best breakaway goals City have produced.
With the hosts desperate for an equaliser, Fabianski joined the attack. But it was almost detrimental to their cause as Pantilimon picked out Johnson breaking from defence and it took a good header from the Arsenal keeper to stop him finishing the game off. It wasn’t a classic match, but it saw City into the League Cup semi-finals.