Bristol City once again proved their worth and gave their best effort to try and slow down the best team in England, but Manchester City were once again too good on the night and won 3-2 at Ashton Gate to confirm their place in the League Cup Final with a 5-3 aggregate win. It was another great match from the Championship side, but the Premier League leaders are moving on.
The first half followed pretty much the same script from the first leg at the Etihad: Bristol were very well organized in defense, absorbed pressure and look to hurt City on the counter and set pieces. Unfortunately for the hosts, the Blues were much better in passing the ball and avoiding mistakes in this one, and Bristol City did not have any meaningful chances for the entire 45 minutes.
They did manage to keep the score at 0-0 for almost the entire half, until Hordur Magnússon made a really bad decision trying to shield a ball out of play and let Bernardo Silva take it from him; Bernardo then found Leroy Sané who smashed home the opener for City just before halftime.
At the half, a very tight contest had the Blues ahead and with one foot in the Final. They just needed to finish the job.
Bristol City needed two goals to send the game to extra time, which would obviously make them a little more vulnerable at the back. City took advantage of the extra space and put the tie away early in the second half, thanks to a beautiful counter attack that ended with a trademark assist from Kevin De Bruyne and a trademark goal from Sergio Agüero to double City’s lead.
Marlon Pack scored a great header to bring Bristol City back in the game with 25 minutes to go, but they still needed two goals to send the game to extra time. Pep Guardiola’s team knew that and simply killed any momentum Bristol could have had after the goal, but the Robins showed their strength and equalized through an Aden Flint goal. The hosts needed just one goal to reach extra time, but Kevin De Bruyne scored in the final play of the game to confirm City’s place in the Final.
Man City: Bravo; Walker (Danilo), Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Bernardo, Agüero (Gundogan), Sané
Goals: Sané (43’), Agüero (49’), De Bruyne (90’+6)
Bristol City: Steele; Smith, Flint, Wright, Magnusson (Baker); Brownhill, Pack, Walsh (Diedhiou), Bryan; Paterson (Kent), Reid
Goals: Pack (64’), Flint (90’+4)