Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero celebrates.)
Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero celebrates.) Nick Potts

City end minnow's historic Cup run to reach final

FOOTBALL: Manchster City are on track to earn Pep Guardiola's first piece of silverware with the club, reaching the League Cup final after a win over Bristol City.

Guardiola's runaway English Premier League leaders, eyeing an unprecedented quadruple in the one season as they remain involved in both the FA Cup and Champions League as well, won 3-2 on the night for a 5-3 aggregate win over the Championship side.

They kicked off with a narrow advantage at Ashton Gate after a 2-1 first-leg win at the Etihad Stadium.

But goals either side of half-time from Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero effectively gave the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Guardiola's side a win over the two legs and saw them into a first final under the celebrated manager.

But Bristol City kept going, with Marlon Pack pulling a goal back in the 64th minute before Aden Flint scored deep into stoppage time.

epa06468904 Manchester Citys Kevin De Bruyne heads in their winning goal during the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg match Bristol City v Manchester City at Ashton Gate, Bristol, Britain, 23 January 2018.  EPA/NEIL MUNNS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Kevin De Bruyne heads in Manchester City's winning goal against Bristol City. NEIL MUNNS

However, there was still time for Kevin De Bruyne to round off the scoring for Manchester City.

Guardiola's men will now face the winners of Wednesday's Emirates Stadium semi-final between their Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley on February 25, with the two London clubs deadlocked at 0-0 after a first-leg stalemate.

It looked as if Bristol City would deny Manchester City a goal in the first half of Tuesday's match.

But three minutes before the break, Hordur Magnusson made the mistake of trying to shepherd the ball out of play rather than clearing and was dispossessed near the byline by Bernardo Silva.

Bristol City's Jamie Paterson, left, and Manchester City's Leroy Sane battle for the ball during the English League Cup semi final, second leg match at Ashton Gate, Bristol, England, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Manchester City's Leroy Sane (right) breaks away from Bristol City's Jamie Paterson. Nick Potts

His cross was fired in by Leroy Sane, the ball deflecting off a covering defender before finding the back of the net.

That left Bristol City, chasing promotion to the lucrative Premier League, with a mountain to climb at 3-1 down on aggregate.

And four minutes after the re-start Aguero, City's all-time leading goalscorer, all but put the overall result beyond doubt.

The Argentina striker, fresh from a hat-trick in a 3-1 league win at home to Newcastle United last weekend, received an excellent cross-field pass from De Bruyne.

Bristol City's Aden Flint, left, and Manchester City's David Silva battle for the ball during the English League Cup semi final, second leg match at Ashton Gate, Bristol, England, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Bristol City's Aden Flint (left) and Manchester City rival David Silva battle for the ball. Nick Potts

Aguero still had plenty to do but made light of a tight angle by letting fly with a shot into the top corner from 18 yards out.

It would have been easy for Bristol City to be overwhelmed from then on in but, to their credit, it was the southwest side who scored next, in the 64th minute.

John Stones made a mess of a clearance and when it came back into the box, Pack guided a well-directed header across Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and into the top corner.

Flint turned in a header late on to give Bristol City fans hope of extra time but, pressing for that goal, their side were wide-open to a counter-attack, with Sane cutting the ball back for De Bruyne to fire home.