Burton Albion

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Man City complete Burton battering, reach League Cup final

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As far as formalities go, Manchester City’s task of seeing a nine-goal advantage over the line against Burton Albion in Wednesday’s League Cup semifinal second leg might be best describe as overkill.

[ MORE: Gonzalo Higuain completes loan move to Chelsea ]

The defending Premier League champions completed their rout of the League One side, 1-0 on the day and 10-0 on aggregate, to reach what will be the club’s fourth League Cup final in six seasons on Feb. 24. They have lifted the Cup on each of their previous three trips to the final.

Man City will face the winner of the other semifinal, set to be decided on Thursday. Tottenham Hotspur’s slim 1-0 lead will be put to the test by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Despite his side’s 9-0 lead following an overwhelming demolition job in the first leg, Pep Guardiola named a handful of first-team regulars and fringe players in Wednesday’s team. Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Fabian Delph were picked for the starting lineup.

[ Transfer rumor roundup: James to Spurs, Martins to Newcastle ]

For 25 minutes, City enjoyed a three-quarters majority of the ball and did little more than roll it around Pirelli Stadium. While it took the PL giants longer to open the scoring on Wednesday than in the first leg (five minutes), it didn’t take too terribly long for Aguero to break the deadlock and threatened to reopen the floodgates in the 26th minute.

Burton came closest to a consolation goals in the 70th minute, when they won possession in the middle third of the field and quickly countered. Goalkeeper Arijanet Muric had been beaten, but 18-year-old defender Eric Garcia was perfectly positioned to clear the ball off the line.

FOLLOW LIVE: Man City hauls massive lead into 2nd leg

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The League Cup semifinal second leg between Manchester City and Burton Albion carries a hilarity amongst any bid for relevance.

Can the League One outfit overcome a 9-goal deficit against one of the best clubs in the world?

[ FOLLOW: Burton Albion-Man City ]

Nope, but Burton Albion will still take the pitch against City at Pirelli Stadium on Wednesday.

“We are sold out and we are just going to enjoy it,” said Burton boss Nigel Clough. “Our supporters will get to see some of the best players not just in the country but in the world. They might never get to see a game like this here again.”

Burton would need to win by 10 goals in order to advance, and even a hardly possible 9-0 win would force extra time.

Man City will be playing a significant amount of academy players.

League Cup Preview: Manchester City v Burton Albion

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Even with a 9-0 aggregate lead, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola plans to send out a strong squad for the second leg of the League Cup against Burton Albion.

[READ: USWNT picks up first win of 2019]

Players coming back from injury, such as Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy, along with some youngsters such as Phil Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko are likely to play big roles, and though some academy players will feature, Guardiola stated it would mostly be first-team regulars.

“The guys who have a lot of games in their legs are going to rest,” Guardiola said. “Players who need to play, who haven’t played lately, who are coming back from injury long-term are going to play.

Manchester City is looking for its sixth-straight win to open up 2019. Guardiola’s side has also only allowed one goal this year.

On the other side, Nigel Clough and Burton know that realistically the tie is over, but they’ll see if they can score against the defending Premier League champions on a big night at home.

“It will be about little milestones, and pride of course,” Clough said, via the BBC. “If one of our players could score against one of the best teams in Europe then that would be a milestone for us. Amd it would be a wonderful individual milestone for whoever got a goal.”

Burton sits 55 places behind Man City in the English football pyramid, so this tie was always likely out of reach. However, Wednesday is a chance for Burton to have a night none of their players or fans will ever forget.

Man City obliterates Burton Albion 9-0 in Carabao Cup

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Manchester City started a strong lineup in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal against League One side Burton Albion, and boy did it pay off.

Pep Guardiola‘s side put on an attacking clinic for the ages as they hammered Burton 9-0 as Gabriel Jesus picked up four goals, while five other blue shirts found the back of the net, including Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, and Riyad Mahrez.

A few Manchester City starters were rested, with Sergio Aguero not in the squad and Ederson, John Stones, and Raheem Sterling all on the bench, but de Bruyne, Walker, and Jesus all found the starting lineup as did David Silva and Ilkay Gundoguan, and the lower league minnows never had a chance.

De Bruyne scored just five minutes in to begin the onslaught, and Manchester City never looked back. Jesus opened his bursting account on the half-hour mark, and doubled his number four minutes later thanks to a great chip from Gundoguan.

Jesus had his hat-trick just before the hour mark, and bagged a fourth five minutes past it. Academy product Phil Foden also got in on the action in the 62nd minute as City scored four goals in a 13-minute second half span. Oleksandr Zinchenko also scored, and Mahrez’s messy effort trickled in with seven minutes remaining to complete the demolition.

After putting seven goals past Rotherham in early FA Cup action last time out, Manchester City becomes the first English club to record at least a combined 16 goals across two consecutive fixtures since they did it back in 1987 (source: Opta). Burton Albion had achieved much just to reach this point of the competition, having already defeated Premier League side Burnley back in the third round and taking down fellow Championship clubs Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, and Middlesbrough on its way to the semifinals.

Manchester City takes its incredible goalscoring form back to the Premier League where they face newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday followed by a Sunday meeting with Huddersfield Town, before the second leg against Burton Albion which will be little more than a formality.

LIVE, League Cup semifinal: Man City v. Burton Albion

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Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City host third-tier Burton Albion in the first leg of their League Cup semifinal Wednesday (kick off, 2:45 p.m. ET), with Pep Guardiola‘s men expected to put one foot in the final at Wembley on February 24.

They are of course also the reigning League Cup champs, and with either Chelsea or Tottenham awaiting the winner in the final, many expect a classic encounter with City involved.

[ LIVE: League Cup semifinal ]

City are the heavy favorites against Burton, who are managed by Nigel Clough and have caused plenty of upsets on their way to the final four of this competition for the first time in their history. The Brewers have beaten Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Burnley, but there’s no doubting their underdog status in this one. They will be hoping the tie is still somewhat in the balance when they host the second leg at their tiny Pirelli Stadium in two weeks time.

Click the link above to follow the action from the Etihad Stadium, while we wrap up the semifinal action right here at Pro Soccer Talk.

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