Friday, 21 September, 2018

Carabao Cup semi-final updates from the Etihad

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola            
    
              
     
     
           Show Grid Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola Show Grid
Cassandra Gardner | 10 January, 2018, 00:32

As well as challenging for promotion to the top flight, they have beaten four Premier League sides on their run to the last four - Watford, Stoke, Crystal Palace and famously United in the quarter-finals. It is a semi-final.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says that he is relishing the club's busy fixture schedule and hailed the increased opportunities to play as City continue to charge on four fronts.

"But after, of course, to give real value to what we have done so far, what we are going to do in the future, you have to lift the titles".

"It is a challenge". However, City should still have enough quality on the pitch to get the job done and put themselves in a commanding position ahead of the second leg at Ashton Gate.

A series of defensive errors resulted in Bristol City getting a penalty late into the first-half.

Manchester City haven't been beaten by an English side for almost 10 months and few have come closer than Championship side Bristol City managed on Tuesday.

Gundogan expects they might adopt a cautious approach in their first meeting - the return clash in Bristol is on January 23 - but knows Guardiola will be thorough and prepare for all eventualities.

"They showed they are able to break teams so we are aware of it". Last season, they went behind on 18 occasions, but came back to win only four times. That is what we all expect at the moment. We need his goals, but also his assists, crosses, how he defends backwards.

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Gundogan is still easing back after a nine-month lay-off following knee surgery in December 2016. "We need to be ready for every single case".

Bravo made another good save from Marlon Pack's long-range effort as the Championship side played their part in an open and entertaining game.

Quizzed on the competition's standing in his thoughts, Guardiola said: "So important - a win helps to win more". We all do our bit to continue with all these successful things.

Man City's performances in the Carabao Cup this season have underlined Guardiola's belief that he is short of an attacker; three previous rounds had brought just three goals over five-and-a-half hours and included a goalless draw at home to Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Yet talk of an unprecedented quadruple is rife in the dressing room.

City were quickly out of the blocks after the re-start but continued to squander chances with Leroy Sane and Sterling both guilty of missing the sort of chances they've been gobbling up all season.

On the other side, it is understood that Arsene Wenger is now willing to sanction a sale.

Arsenal are holding out for £35m, but City are hoping to sign him for less given his contract is up in the summer.

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