Manchester City made a spectacular start to their League Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion and looked like winning easily in the first half, but as it’s case in matches against Tony Pulis teams, City hard to work really hard in the second half to earn a 2-1 win and advance to the fourth round thanks to the brilliance of Leroy Sané.
City started very well, keeping possession for about two minutes before Raheem Sterling found Ilkay Gundogan with a wonderful cross, and German’s shot was stopped by Ben Foster but fell to Leroy Sané, who put the Blues ahead with a really nice finish. City continued to dominate the ball and created chances despite facing a West Brom back five, and if it wasn’t for Foster the score would be much bigger in the first 20 minutes.
The Baggies began to grow into the game and respond to City’s amazing start by pressing high up the pitch looking to force Claudio Bravo and the City backline into mistakes, but John Stones and Yaya Touré were amazing playing out from the back, and when the ball got to Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva in midfield, City continued to create opportunities.
They couldn’t add a second before halftime, though, so we had an open game at the interval. But City were on top, no doubt.
The second half didn’t start so well for the Blues, who suffered a fair bit of pressure from the Baggies and lost Ilkay Gundogan to another knee injury when the German was hacked by Claudio Yacob and had to leave the game in a lot of pain. West Brom had a strong start to the final period and nearly got their equalizer when James Morrison was alone in front of goal but couldn’t find the target as his shot went wide.
City really needed a second goal as West Brom’s pressure was beginning to overwhelm the Blues, but they couldn’t find it and were punished. After a corner from Kieran Gibbs, Yacob found himself unmarked inside the six-yard box and made it 1-1 with 20 minutes to go. Hal Robson-Kanu had a golden chance to put the hosts ahead a few moments later, but his shot went wide.
It really didn’t look like City were going to advance with the way they were playing after conceding, but the Blues found way thanks to their German wonderkid: after a great save by Bravo City went on the counter and Bernardo Silva played a great ball to Sané, who danced his way around Craig Dawson and found the top corner with a truly sensational finish to put the Blues ahead again.
The last few minutes featured about a billion long balls into the box by West Brom players, but City were able to hold on to their narrow lead and advance to the next round of the
Carabao League Cup. CAN WE PLEASE NOT GET A PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM AWAY AGAIN?
Man City: Bravo; Danilo, Stones, Mangala, Delph; Bernardo, Touré, Gundogan (Walker); Sané (Fernandinho), Sterling; Jesus
Goals: Sané (3’, 77’)
West Brom: Foster; Nyom, Dawson, McAuley (Phillips), Evans, Gibbs; Morrison, Yacob (McClean), Krychowiak; Rodriguez (Rondón), Robson-Kanu
Goal: Yacob (72’)