By 90Min
December 19, 2017

Manchester City progressed through to the semi-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday after beating Leicester City 4-3 on penalties at the King Power Stadium.

Bernardo Silva's poked finish in the first-half gave city the lead for much of the game, before a soft penalty was converted by Jamie Vardy in stoppage time to make it 1-1 and send the game to extra time.

Ilkay Gundogan and Eliaquim Mangala were the only survivors from Saturday's 4-1 mauling of Spurs in the Premier League, with promising academy products Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz and Tosin Adarabioyo all getting a taste of the first team.

Leicester rung the changes too - Ben Hamer started in net and the attacking trio of Riyad Mahrez, Vardy and Demarai Gray that have been performing so well in the league were all dropped for Marc Albrighton, Shinji Okazaki and most notably former City striker Kelechi Iheanacho.

City dominated the early possession as expected, and it took 12 minutes of keep ball until they had their first opportunity - Christian Fuchs misjudged a raking cross-field ball by Zinchenko, allowing Bernardo Silva to take it down beautifully and fire straight at Hamer.

Leicester were almost the cause of their own downfall two minutes later, when Hamer came rushing off his goal-line but spilled the ball, leaving Gundogan to shoot into an open net but for a great block from Harry Maguire. The rebound was then smashed wide by Silva.

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Gundogan will be chuffed to have played two games within the space of four days after such a long injury layoff, and his confidence beamed through as he almost beat Hamer with an audacious lob from 25 yards out which had to be tipped onto the crossbar. 

He was again involved in the opening goal in the 26th minute. The German midfielder picked the ball up in the centre circle and drove forward towards the edge of the box, before poking the ball through to Silva on his right-hand side who copied his supplier by poking the ball under Hamer.

The home side responded with an attack of their own. Iheanacho and Okazaki linked up well in the City box before the Nigerian forced a smart save out of Claudio Bravo. With five minutes of the first-half remaining, Iheanacho forced another good save out of his former teammate, this time from distance - much more like it from the hosts.

Puel threw on Mahrez, Vardy and later Gray in the second-half to help try grab an equaliser. Although there were few clear cut chances, Leicester were far more in the game than they ever were in the opening 45 minutes.

Leicester had their chance with eight minutes to go. Mahrez dazzled Zinchenko - who in-fact had a fantastic game playing out of position at left-back - with a few step overs before drilling in a low cross/shot. Vardy looked to get his studs on the ball but Bravo was able to smother the rebound.

A whopping eight minutes if added time was announced much to Pep Guardiola's bemusement, but this filled the King Power with belief and their encouragement paid off with three minutes to go - much to the annoyance of Manchester City.


Gray burst past City substitute Kyle Walker and went down in the box, for which Bobby Madley pointed to the spot. Replays showed there to be very little contact between the players and Walker potentially even getting a toe on the ball.

Unfazed by the pressure, Jamie Vardy stepped up and hammered the ball into the bottom left hand corner to take the game into extra time. City players were still arguing with the referee and Danilo was even cautioned for his dispute.

Bravo was almost left red faced approaching the interval as dawdled on the ball and before he knew it, Vardy was breathing down his neck. The Chilean stopper knew he had messed up and flicked the ball up onto the striker's knee, which luckily ricocheted out for a goal kick when it could have gone

After the restart, Zinchenko had a speculative left-footed effort from range that flew inches over the crossbar. Tiredness was certainly creeping in, and both sides appeared reluctantly happy to accept this one would be decided on penalties.

Fuchs stepped up first and emphatically fired home. Gundogan then equaled him with a more delicate finish. The ABBA system was in place, meaning it was then Toure's turn to send Hamer the wrong way. Harry Maguire drew the foxes level by putting the ball right into the corner to make it 2-2. Vincente Iborra then found the exact same spot.

It was then young substitute Lukas Nmecha's turn in somewhat of a baptism of fire, but he cooly found the bottom right hand corner before Jesus followed with an identical spot kick. Vardy then stepped up after scoring the goal to send it to extra time, but his shot clipped the side of the post.

Mahrez had to score to keep Leicester in it, but he went down the middle and Bravo acrobatically saved to send the Sky Blues through to the semi-finals of the League Cup.

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