By Jack Wilkinson
Burton Albion 0-1 Manchester City (0-10 agg): Sergio Aguero scores as City ease into Carabao Cup fnal
Report and highlights as holders City earn chance to defend League Cup
Last Updated: 24/01/19 7:15am
Manchester City saw off Burton 1-0 at the Pirelli Stadium to reach the Carabao Cup final with a 10-0 aggregate victory.
Leading the 9-0 from the first leg, Sergio Aguero's 26th-minute strike proved enough as a much-changed City overcame a Burton side keen to avoid a repeat of their trip to the Etihad two weeks prior.
City's 10-goal winning margin was the biggest in League Cup semi-final history, but battling Burton and freezing conditions left the holders two goals shy of new record for the largest winning margin in the competition outright.
The victory means Pep Guardiola's side can become the first Manchester City team to defend a major honour when they take on either Chelsea or Tottenham at Wembley on February 24.
Burton: Collins (6), McFadzean (6), Turner (6), Akins (7), Templeton (6), McCrory (6), Harness (7), Miller (6), Wallace (6), Quinn (6), Boyce (7).
Subs: Fox (6), Hutchinson (6), Daniel (5).
Man City: Muric (6), Zinchenko (6), Sandler (7), Garcia (7), Danilo (6), Delph (6), Foden (7), De Bruyne (6), Poveda (6), Mahrez (7), Aguero (7).
Subs: Jesus (6), Mendy (6), F Nmecha (6).
Man of the Match: Riyad Mahrez
Trailing by nine goals from the first leg and needing to inflict a club-record defeat on City to progress, pride was all that was at stake for Burton. Their manager Nigel Clough urged his players to enjoy the occasion, but they did more than that in an encouraging start full of desire and endeavour.
City had all of the ball but a combination of Burton's battling defensive display and testing conditions limited the holders to few clear-cut chances, though Riyad Mahrez should have done better when he flashed wide after getting in behind Damien McCrory.
Burton were a fingertip away from reducing the deficit to eight when Liam Boyce won and then got on the end of a free-kick, but Arijanet Muric got down just in time to keep his near-post flick out.
City were soon back on the attack but Mahrez failed to find the target with another left-footed shot from distance but Burton's resistance was soon broken on 26 minutes.
Kevin de Bruyne showed great feet to get away from two players in midfield before releasing Mahrez down the right, from where the Algerian squared for Aguero to dispatch from 12 yards.
Burton looked for an immediate response as William Miller curled a shot a few yards wide of the City goal, and the League One side were almost gifted an equaliser when Arijanet Muric's mis-control sent a back pass towards his goal line, but the City goalkeeper cleared before Marcus Harness could close him down.
Burton made five changes from the first leg as McFadzean, McCrory, Templeton, Miller and Quinn started Pep Guardiola opted for a sprinkling of youngsters with experience as Aguero, De Bruyne, Mahrez and Delph started alongside Foden, Sandler, Garcia and Poveda.
Fabian Delph should have doubled City's lead with eight minutes of the restart, but his two scuffed efforts were kept out by Bradley Collins. Burton then went straight up the other end where they had an appeal for a penalty, but referee Kevin Friend was unmoved by David Templeton's coming together with Danilo.
Aguero submitted a contender for miss of the season on the hour when he sliced a shot wide after great work from Phil Foden presented the Argentine with a gilt-edged chance to double his and City's tally.
Gabriel Jesus was brought on as City looked for the two extra goals needed to set a new winning margin record in the competition, but the action came at the other end as Eric Garcia denied Burton what would have been a deserved goal, clearing Miller's attempted rebound off the line 20 minutes from time.
Jesus weaved his way into the area on 88 minutes only to see a shot blocked behind by Collins, before the Burton goalkeeper tipped a 25-yard Danilo free-kick over as the Brewers limited City to just the single goal.
- Manchester City have reached consecutive League Cup finals for the first time. The Citizens are looking to emulate Manchester rivals Man Utd who were the last team to both reach and win consecutive finals in the competition in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
- Man City's 10-0 aggregate victory over Burton Albion is the biggest semi-final aggregate win in League Cup history - overtaking their 9-0 aggregate win against West Ham in 2014.
- Manchester City's starting XI against Burton had a combined average age of just 23 years and 323 days - the club's youngest starting line-up in any competition since 29th October 2008 (23y 318d v Middlesbrough).
- Since conceding a goal to Liverpool's Roberto Firmino on 3rd January, Man City have gone 476 minutes without conceding while scoring 24 in reply.
- En route to the final, Manchester City have conceded just one goal - Leicester's Marc Albrighton scoring an equaliser in the quarter-finals.
- Manchester City have kept five successive clean sheets for just the second time in all competitions under Pep Guardiola - also doing so November 2018.
- Riyad Mahrez was directly involved in four of Man City's 10 goals against Burton - one goal and two assists in the first leg and an assist in the second leg.
- Manchester City's Sergio Aguero has scored in five of his last six League Cup semi-final appearances (5 goals).
Nigel Clough: "We were close two or three times but I'm very pleased with how we played. We got our pride back. We did everything we could. Being at home, the pressure was off as the tie was over but we put in a good performance against top players."
Pep Guardiola: "The game was a little bit dangerous because it was slippery, it was so dangerous. So no injuries is important. We have to enjoy this moment because we are in Wembley like last season, it's special. I am happy to be at Wembley again. Another final for the club is good."
Man of the Match - Riyad Mahrez
In terms of goal-mouth action, the second leg was of stark contrast to the first, but there was a key denominator in the majority of City's chances and that was Mahrez. The Algerian had two sights of the Burton goal before he set up Aguero for the winner, taking his assist tally to three in his last three appearances and nine so far in his debut season with City.
Burton host Bradford in Sky Bet League One and Manchester City entertain Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday at 3pm.