City crush Albion 9-0 in Carabao Cup

Jesus grabbed four goals for City on the night

Jesus grabbed four goals for City on the night

THREE days after sticking seven past Rotherham in the FA Cup, Manchester City killed off their Carabao Cup semi-final with Burton Albion on Wednesday night without the need for a second leg.

The holders head for Burton not so much to finish the job as go through a formality after another thoroughly ruthless display.

Full marks to Pep Guardiola’s side for going about their work so effectively, and in particular Gabriel Jesus who scored four goals. David Silva was excellent too, but how many times have we said that?

After the narrow margins that separated Tottenham and Chelsea in the other semi 24 hours earlier, City exposed the gulf in class on a night that turned out exactly how Burton’s fans must have feared.

Some of the 3,000 travelling contingent were still taking their seats as half-time approached due to traffic problems on the M6, and by then the League One underdogs were already four goals down.

Those fans might have wondered if it was all really worth the trouble as the Premier League champions went on to complete the widest ever margin of victory in an English cup semi-final, and the club’s biggest win since beating Huddersfield 10-1 more than 31 years ago.

A smattering of empty blue seats around the Etihad Stadium suggested that City fans also suspected this one was never likely to match the drama of their team’s seismic win over Liverpool here a week ago, even though their club remain on course to lift this trophy for the fourth time in six years.

At the final whistle, Nigel Clough got a sympathetic pat on the back from Guardiola and was able to raise a smile, but the Burton boss looked like he had been run over by a truck.

“City don’t just beat you, they annihilate you,” he acknowledged afterwards. ‘It hurts when you lose by that many. A lot of the players were wide-eyed when they came in at half-time.’

Clough has enjoyed some great occasions in this competition. He won it twice as a player under his father Brian, and reached the semi-final against the odds as manager of Derby County in 2009 and Sheffield United in 2015 – the last time a League One club made it to this stage of the competition.

But this was a tough night for him and his players who were still fighting at the end to stop an irresistible City hitting double figures.

Guardiola’s only real concession to the competition was to play his reserve goalkeeper Aro Muric and give defender Eric Garcia his second senior appearance on his 18th birthday.

The young Spaniard was not born until three years after Clough began his first stint as Burton boss in 1998 when he left City to become player-manager for the then non-league club.

Garcia was never likely to be overworked and it took just five minutes for City to go in front.

Silva picked out Kevin De Bruyne’s run with the simplest of crosses and the Belgian got in ahead of Reece Hutchinson to score his first headed goal in English football.

To the League One club’s credit, they did not fold at that point and could so easily have equalised seven minutes later when Marcus Myers-Harness fired over with only Muric to beat. – MailOnline

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