Photo: John Stones celebrates with Ruben Dias after giving Manchester City the lead over Manchester United in the semifinals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. City won 2-0 to advance to their fourth straight final. (Getty Images)
Manchester City outclassed Manchester United to win 2-0 in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford to make their fourth final in a row on Wednesday. Second half goals from John Stone and Fernandinho ensured the win for City on their neighbours patch.
The three-time defending champions were never seriously troubled as the much talked about duel between Kevin DeBruyne and Bruno Fernandes failed to materialize with the City man bossing the midfield for much of the contest.
It was a one-off semifinal instead of the usual two legs due to a late start to the season and fixture congestion and City put in a performance of champions to set up a date with Tottenham Hotspurs in the April 25th final.
The ball was in the back of the net from as early as the second minute after it ricocheted into the goal off John Stone, but it was ruled out for offside on Marcus Rashford whose original shot was saved by Steffen.
Phil Foden’s left sided cross was then steered home by Gundagon from inside the six yard box in the 5th minute, but his celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee’s flag on the far side.
Steffen then produced a diving save high to his left to keep out a Fernandes shot that was destined for the top corner, as United sought the early advantage.
DeBruyne hit the right upright after a quick City move and a pass from Raheem Sterling with Dean Henderson nowhere near the ball with his dive.
Phil Foden then had a goal ruled out for offside after running almost half the field to score.
Ruben Dias came up with a brilliant block to deny a rasping effort from Rashford who had twisted and turned Zinchenko inside the box as the two teams hunted a breakthrough.
City was clearly the better side in possession in a scoreless first half and it did not take them long to make that advantage pay in the second.
A low free kick from Debruyne from the left in the 50th minute was steered home by Stones from close range to give the champions the lead and they kept up the pressure with Cancelo coming close with a shot from distance that went just over the crossbar two minutes later.
A quick City break down the left saw Foden centre the ball for Sterling whose header was palmed away by Henderson before United keeper was called into action again when he saved at the feet of Sterling after another slick City move.
The blue wave continued and Henderson came up with a fingertip save from a Mahrez screamer after City won back the ball easily in midfield.
Maguire then headed wide from a corner kick for a rare United effort in the second half.
A desperate attempt from Fernandes from deep which was easily saved by Steffen summed up the Portuguese’s evening.
With less than 20 minutes to play, Fernandes had his best opportunity of the match but steered the ball high and wide from just inside the box.
Fernandinho then sealed the win for Manchester City with a drive from distance into the corner of the goal from a Wan-Bessaka clearance to make it 2-0 in the 83rd minute as Pep Guardiola’s men deservedly booked their place in the Wembley showpiece.