Manchester City on Tuesday reached the League Cup final, shattering Bristol City’s hopes of a remarkable upset, as the Premier League leaders survived a late fightback to win 3-2 and clinch the tie 5-3 on aggregate.
Manchester City appeared to be cruising when goals from Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero either side of halftime put them three goals up overall after a 2-1 win in the first leg, before their plucky opponents dragged themselves back into the game.
Marlon Pack reduced the arrears for the hosts past the hour and Aden Flint scored deep into stoppage-time to make it 2-2, leaving them one goal short of forcing extra-time.
There was time for one more goal, but it was scored by the visitors’ Kevin de Bruyne, leaving Pep Guardiola’s side to face Arsenal or Chelsea in the final on Feb. 25.
Bristol City’s heroics two weeks ago at the Etihad Stadium, where they held on for dear life and only conceded the winner in stoppage-time, would have given fair warning about what to expect at Ashton Gate.
However, if there was a hint of complacency about Manchester City in the first leg, it seemed to have been drummed out of them by kickoff, as they tightened the screw from the first minute.
They barely gave the hosts a kick in the first half, with Sane giving them the lead, and Aguero doubling it four minutes after the break.
There appeared no way back for the hosts until Pack guided a superb header into the corner of the net in the 64th minute.
That lifted the crowd, but did little to change the momentum until three minutes into stoppage-time, when Flint finished from close range off Bobby Reid’s header.
However, the faint trace of hope was wiped out when Sane cut the ball back for De Bruyne to slam home.
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