Lost in the fact that Lee Johnson is an up-and-coming manager who’s engineered the most memorable upset of this season’s League Cup is how much Bristol City means to the 36-year-old.
Johnson’s father Gary was a well-regarded manager of the Robins. Lee Johnson made 197 appearances as the club moved from League One into the Championship, and led the club to safety in his first season as manager.
This season, he’s led the club into contention for promotion to the Premier League, but few expected them to knock off Manchester United (which of course they did on Wednesday). And now they’ve earned a pair of dates with Manchester City (which of course Johnson didn’t know when he was gleefully swinging a young fan around the touch line in a remarkably touching moment in sport). From the BBC:
“It’s an overwhelming feeling of pride, to beat Manchester United is incredible. They are a special group. It has been a long time since we had a result like that at Ashton Gate.
“The lads didn’t want to go into extra time and the scenes that winner set off were unbelievable. My dad always says he’s the most successful Bristol City manager so I have maybe pushed him close tonight.”
Fans charged the pitch after the game and players were taking selfies all night. It’s the perfect advertisement for Cup football, something we rarely receive these days.