Changes expected for Bristol clash as Guardiola targets League Cup triumph

Kristopher Nichols
January 10, 2018

Sergio Aguero scored an injury-time victor as Manchester City came from behind to beat Bristol City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Narrow advantage for Guardiola and Co.

Bristol City, who are fourth in the Sky Bet Championship, have beaten four top-flight sides en route to the last four, including last month's stunning victory over United at Ashton Gate.

Pep Guardiola's men created numerous chances in a strong response but, after Kevin De Bruyne's well-worked 55th-minute equaliser, they had to wait until substitute Aguero headed in a Bernardo Silva cross in injury time.

Guardiola did name a second-string side to face Leicester City in their quarter-final clash but this still included a number of quality players such as Danilo, Ilkay Gündogan, Yaya Touré, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus.

"We're going to try to win the game against Bristol City and take the best result there - that's the only way I know".

Reid stepped up and scored the spot-kick just before the break.

Sterling nearly equalised seconds later but Aden Flint showed his commitment to the cause by brilliantly clearing off his line.

Lee Johnson's Robins stunned Jose Mourinho's United in the last round, although City appears an altogether different proposition, having gone unbeaten in domestic competition so far this season.

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City have grabbed many headlines this season for their unbelievable record which has seen them win all but two of their matches in the top flight so far this campaign.

I'm afraid I don't give Bristol City any chance. Pep Guardiola's side last played Saturday, beating Burnley 4-1 in a FA Cup 3rd round match.

The England global switched with Silva but City still looked short of that central focus until Aguero was introduced with 20 minutes remaining.

"We think about this every single day and every training session", the Ukrainian said. If City and Arsenal are haggling over a price for Alexis Sanchez, this latest game may prompt them the purse strings to be loosened.

However, for now their attention will be on trying to cause another upset in the Carabao Cup at the Etihad. Around 7,000 made the seven-hour round trip and you would be hard-pressed to find one that did it in hope more than expectation.

The runaway Premier League leader - 15 points clear of Manchester United - takes on Bristol City on Tuesday in the first of a two-legged affair.

De Bruyne's dipping cross forced an early save from Frank Fielding and the Belgian sent a first-time pass into the path of Raheem Sterling that nearly breached the visitors' back line in a dominant opening from the Blues.

Johnson has his side extremely well-drilled; they got into shape quickly without the ball and broke down City's attacks with sheer weight of numbers, before getting forward quickly and with objective when the opportunities arrive.

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