Another English League Cup final for Manchester City. Another painful semifinal loss for Manchester United.
City beat fierce rival United 2-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday thanks to second-half goals by John Stones and Fernandinho, setting up a meeting with Tottenham in the League Cup final on April 25.
For City manager Pep Guardiola, that means another head-to-head with long-time coaching adversary Jose Mourinho, who is looking to end Tottenham’s 13-year trophy drought.
City has no such issues. It has a chance for a fourth straight title — and a sixth in eight seasons — in a competition which the team has virtually made its own.
An open, end-to-end match, which started with three goals getting disallowed for offside in the opening 24 minutes, was settled by goals from set-pieces.
Stones bundled the ball into the net off his waist from an inswinging free kick by Phil Foden in the 50th minute to put City ahead inside an empty stadium.
Fernandinho secured the win with a volley from the edge of the area that crept inside the post, following a weak headed clearance by United right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
City repeated its win over United in last season’s semifinals, which were played over two legs in contrast to this year’s one-match shootout.
That was one of three semifinal defeats for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, along with the FA Cup and Europa League.
City’s players wore retro No. 8 jerseys ahead of the game in honor of Colin Bell, the club’s former midfield great who died on Tuesday aged 74. There was a minute’s silence and both teams wore black armbands in a tribute to the former England international.
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