Manchester United at Manchester City
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 2:45 PM (Etihad Stadium)
Cross-city rivals Man City and Man Utd face off again on Wednesday as the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie takes place at the Etihad Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team are left with a mountain to climb in order to reach the final after Man City claimed a convincing 3-1 win in the first leg.
Pep Guardiola’s side completely dominated Man Utd in the first leg. Man City silenced Old Trafford with three first-half goals, and the away team could’ve scored many more.
Bernardo Silva opened the scoring with an outstanding curling strike before Riyad Mahrez made it 2-0. It wasn’t long before Guardiola’s men added a third. Kevin De Bruyne’s shot deflected off David de Gea and ended up in the back of the net after rebounding off United midfielder Andreas Pereira.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side showed some resolve in the second half. City understandably sat back with their three-goal advantage, enabling Marcus Rashford to score a late consolation goal. But Man City’s overwhelming superiority in the first leg cannot be overstated.
The Cityzens are unbeaten in their four games since the first leg. They began by thrashing Aston Villa 6-1 before being held to a 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace. City then claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win against Sheffield United before hammering Championship side Fulham 4-0 in the FA Cup.
On the other hand, Man Utd have been pretty inconsistent since the first leg. Solskjaer’s side secured a comfortable 4-0 win over EPL strugglers Norwich City before edging Wolves in an FA Cup replay. However, consecutive 2-0 defeats to Liverpool and Burnley halted United’s promising run and their hopes of finishing in the top four were dealt a big blow.
Man Utd now sit fifth in the Premier League – six points behind fourth-place Chelsea. A 6-0 win against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup saw United return to winning ways last time out. But with Tranmere battling to avoid relegation in League One at the moment, that sort of scoreline was expected.
United’s current team is very weak, and without their top scorer, I don’t think they stand a chance of getting anything from the second leg. Rashford has been by far their best player this season, so he’ll be sorely missed as he sits out due to injury.
City have claimed four of the previous six EFL Cup trophies, and the club are now aiming to win three in a row under Guardiola. I think Man City will beat their rivals once again to reach yet another Carabao Cup final.