We warned everyone that Manchester City would not have an easy night in their League Cup semi-final first leg against Bristol City, and we were right! The Blues had a very tough 90 minutes against the Championship side and needed a late goal from Sergio Agüero to grab a 2-1 win that still leaves everything open ahead of the second leg in two weeks.
The word that describes the first half for City is frustrating. The Blues had a very good game in terms of passing and chance creation, but they just could not finish the plays to have a goal or at least a shot on target. It seemed like they were playing extremely well, but at the same time they were wasteful and poor. It was weird to watch.
Bristol, on the other hand, had a wonderful performance based on fantastic defensive organization and being bold with the ball. The Robins had good chances throughout the half and earned a golden opportunity when John Stones fouled Bobby Reid inside the box; Reid himself took the penalty and beat Claudio Bravo for the opener.
At halftime, a good performance from City was punished by sloppy play with and without the ball. City had Sergio Agüero on the bench, so there was a still a chance to come back and win this one.
City needed an early goal to calm things down and have more time to chase they win, and they got it 10 minutes into the final period when Claudio Bravo made a great pass to Kevin De Bruyne to start a counter attack, which ended with De Bruyne making a one-two with Raheem Sterling and firing home the equalizer.
The rest of the game was a siege: City put 10 players in the final third and began firing shots at goal looking for a winner, but they just could not find a breakthrough. Until the 92nd minute, when Bernardo Silva played a wonderful cross into the head of Sergio Agüero, who anticipated the keeper and won the game.
Man City: Bravo; Danilo, Stones, Mangala, Zinchenko (Walker); De Bruyne, Touré (Agüero), Gundogan; Bernardo, Sterling, Sané
Goals: De Bruyne (55’), Agüero (90’+2)
Bristol: Fielding; Wright, Flint, Baker, Magnusson (Walsh); Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Bryan; Paterson, Reid
Goal: Reid (44’)