City hit nine past Bur­ton in cruise to League Cup fi­nal

The Phnom Penh Post - - SPORT -

HOLD­ERS Manch­ester City can look for ward to de­fend­ing the League Cup in next month’s fi­nal at Wem­b­ley as Gabriel Je­sus struck four goals in a 9-0 t hrash­ing of Bur­ton Al­bion in t heir semi-fi­nal, first leg on Wednesday.

Kevin de Bruyne, Olek­sandr Zinchenko, Phil Fo­den, Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez were also on tar­get against Nigel Clough’s League One side as Cit y en­sured t heir v isit to t he Pirelli Sta­dium on Jan­uar y 23 is a mere for­malit y.

“Of course we are a lready in the fi­nal. We have to play sec­ond leg and we will ta ke it se­ri­ously. Happy to be in t he fi­nal again,” said Cit y boss Pep Guardiola.

“It’s not easy to play t his k ind of game. We spoke (be­fore the game) to ta ke it se­ri­ously, we sta rted well.”

Af­ter a lso thrash­ing Rother­ham 7-0 in the FA Cup on Sun­day with a much-changed side, Guardiola was able to again hand a rest to a num­ber of his key play­ers but named a strong side with De Bruyne con­tin­u­ing his come­back from in­jur y.

And the Bel­gian set the tone for the evening by head­ing Cit y into a fifth­minute lead as he timed his run into the box per­fectly to head home Dav id Si lva’s cross.

Clough ad­mit­ted be­fore the game it would ta ke a “mir­a­cle” for Bur­ton to blunt the Premier League cham­pi­ons’ might over t wo legs.

“We didn’t ex­pect any thing less given t he gulf in class bet ween t he teams, we ac­tua lly feared it could be more,” said Clough, a t wo-time League Cup win­ner as a player un­der his fa­ther Brian Clough at Not­ting­ham For­est.

“We’ve made his­tor y with t he club get­ting to t he last four of a Cup com­pe­ti­tion. Once we saw the three teams (in t he semi-fi­nals) it was a lways go­ing to be trou­ble.”

So it proved, but t he v isi­tors missed a glorious chance to get st ra ight back on level terms when Mar­cus Har­ness blasted over Lu­cas Akins’s cross when com­pletely un­marked in­side t he penalt y box.

It took Cit y un­til the half hour mark to dou­ble their ad­van­tage, but a glut of three goals in seven min­utes fol­lowed to put t he tie to bed be­fore t he brea k.

Je­sus headed home his first from close range af­ter Bradley Collins had de­nied Leroy Sane be­fore the Bra zil­ian slot­ted home Silva’s cush­ioned pass v ia t he in­side of t he post.

Com­pe­ti­tion for places

“Play­ers like me want to play more, to help the team, and we went out t here to win,” said Je­sus.

Cit y didn’t need any luck, but still got some when Zinchenko’s in­tended cross then looped over Collins to make it 4-0.

Other sides may have slacked off in the sec­ond pe­riod, but with com­pe­ti­tion for places so fierce among Guardiola’s side, t he hosts were r ut hless to match t he Cata­lan’s big­gest ever win as a coach.

Je­sus pow­ered home a header to com­plete his sec­ond hat-trick of t he sea­son.

De Bruyne was then re­placed by home favourite Fo­den, who was sur­pris­ingly lef t out t he stat ing XI, just be­fore the hour mark.

It took just four min­utes for t he 18-year-old to score his t hird Cit y goal as he prof­ited from the re­bound af ter Collins did well to parr y Je­sus’s first ef for t.

Je­sus did soon have his fourth with a del­i­cate fin­ish f rom Sane’s cross and City’s dom­i­nance was summed up when right-back Kyle Walker strode for ward to fire home his side’s eight h of t he evening.

Mahrez made it nine seven min­utes from time and those Cit y fans st ill in t he Eti­had cried for a his­toric 10t h.

But that was the only thing City fell short of on the night with a fi­nal meet­ing against Tot­ten­ham or Chelsea on Fe­bru­ary 24 guar­an­teed.

Manch­ester City’s Brazil­ian striker Gabriel Je­sus heads the ball to score his third goal and City’s fifth dur­ing the League Cup first leg semi-fi­nal agianst Bur­ton Al­bion at the Eti­had sta­dium in Manch­ester on Wednesday.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cambodia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.