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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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League Cup semi preview: Just how stunning an upset?

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We saw what Manchester City’s second unit is capable of doing to a Championship side when Pep Guardiola‘s men deconstructed Rotherham United to the tune of 7-0 in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Spurs 1-0 Chelsea ]

So what can City do to a mid-table side from League One? And how unthinkable an upset is a Burton Albion victory, especially since manager Nigel Clough was “staggered” by reaching the semi via a defeat of Middlesbrough?

Well, let’s think on it.

Burton Albion’s only defeat of a Premier League team this season is a 2-1 take down of visiting Burnley, and all five of their League Cup wins have come by single goals.

And while City may have lost to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup last season, that was not in a round on the precipice of a final.

Clough, no stranger to the upper reaches of competition, puts its plainly. From The Telegraph:

“It’s almost a bye to the final for City. I don’t think we can go into it thinking we’ve got a fighting chance of winning it,” he says, deadly serious. “If we beat them over two legs, it will be the biggest shock of all time. I don’t know what Pep’s thinking will be but I would imagine it will be to make the second leg irrelevant. But we’ve got to try and do the opposite to that and try to retain a glimmer of hope.”

What is Pep thinking, then (Let’s keep up the thinking theme)?

“Winning is important,” he said. “The Carabao Cup is the more local competition. Everybody is happy to win and nobody is sad if they go out in the competition. We are here in the semi-final and we want to win.”

Burton beating Man City over two legs would be on par with Leicester City winning the Premier League. Is that too bold to say?

League Cup semis: Spurs host Chelsea, Burton off to Man City

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There will be another London Derby in the League Cup semifinals, as Tottenham Hotspur drew Chelsea.

That means League One minnows Burton Albion draw a big first leg trip to face Premier League monsters Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

[ RECAPS: Chelsea-Bournemouth | Arsenal 0-2 Spurs ]

The two-legged semis will be held Jan. 7 and 21. Some important league dates to consider as the PL sides weigh up who may win the silverware.

  • Man City plays Liverpool on Jan. 3
  • Spurs host Man Utd on Jan. 13
  • Chelsea visits Arsenal on Jan. 19

Man City won the tournament last season, while Chelsea last won in 2015 and Spurs won in 2008.

Burton Albion making League Cup semi “absolutely staggering”

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Burton Albion has never finished higher than 20th in the Championship, so getting to the League Cup semifinals followed a 1-0 defeat of Middlesbrough is pretty darn sweet to manager Nigel Clough and his men.

The Brewers were relegated to League One last season, finishing 23rd in the 24-team Championship.

[ MORE: Leicester 1-1 (1-3 pens) Man City]

Now, manager Nigel Clough has the club within a win of the League Cup Final. It’s their best major cup performance in a 68-year history.

From BurtonAlbionFC.co.uk:

“The scale of the achievement is absolutely staggering – for Burton Albion to get to the semi-final of a major cup competition. It’s very difficult to describe the feeling at this point.”

Sure the luck of the draw is involved — Burton has only drawn one Premier League team, and it was Burnley — but winning five cup matches is winning five cup matches.

Clough, the son of legendary manager Brian Clough, also sung the praises of Southampton loanee Jake Hesketh. The 22-year-old won the match with the game’s loan goal.

“We got the goal through Jake Hesketh. The most impressive thing was to win the tackle on the edge of the box and he was one of the few players tonight not to hit his shot over the bar, We bang on in training about hitting the bottom corners and he did.”

Whether or not Burton can hang with Premier League opposition in the final, this is a pretty monumental moment for the Brewers. Sitting 15th in league play, it will likely be the most memorable moment of the season.