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Manchester City 4 Hull City 1: De Bruyne double books semi-final spot

Manchester City moved into the last four of the League Cup with a straightforward 4-1 quarter-final win over Hull City on Tuesday.

Wilfried Bony struck early in the first half at the Etihad Stadium and Manuel Pellegrini’s Premier League leaders rarely looked like surrendering their advantage before substitute Kelechi Iheanacho and Kevin De Bruyne clinched the victory with a flurry of late goals.

Championship high-fliers Hull battled well in front of a strong contingent of travelling fans but Willy Caballero was hardly troubled behind a strong City side featuring De Bruyne, David Silva, Fernandinho and the excellent Nicolas Otamendi from the start.

Andrew Robertson went some way to atoning for his error for City’s fourth with a well-taken late consolation, but 2014 League Cup winners ultimately booked their place in the semi-finals with little trouble.

City assumed total control from the off as Hull looked to sit deep and frustrate Pellegrini’s team, but they contributed to their own undoing with just 12 minutes played.

Chuba Akpom and Sone Aluko left a loose ball for each other, allowing De Bruyne to take up possession before rifling a left-footed shot off the base of the near post. The rebound fell kindly to Bony, who side-footed home into the unguarded net.

Akpom forced Caballero into a low save before Aluko curled a shot into his arms from distance, as the Championship side grew in confidence in the closing stages of the half.

As a result, City looked eager to kill of the contest sooner rather than later, De Bruyne forcing Eldin Jakupovic into a strong save with a well-struck shot from 25 yards just after the break.

Silva’s deep cross fell kindly to Jesus Navas and he rasped a left-footed shot just past the far post as Pellegrini’s side continued to push for a killer second goal.

Fabian Delph had a golden chance to secure the victory, drilling straight at Jakupovic after turning well from Silva’s pass, but City promptly killed off the tie with two goals in two minutes.

Substitute Raheem Sterling fizzed a dangerous cross in from the left and Iheanacho arrived to poke the ball in at the near post despite pressure from the home defence.

And Hull gifted City their third on 82 minutes when Robertson’s weak header back was pounced on by De Bruyne, who finished clinically past Jakupovic from close range.

City looked in the mood to add gloss to the scoreline and De Bruyne did just that with 87 minutes on the clock, firing a free-kick into the roof of the net from 20 yards, though Jakupovic will have been disappointed to concede given the ball was far from the top corner.

Robertson clipped a fine finish over the head of Caballero after a fine link-up with Abel Hernandez on the edge of the area but it was scant consolation for the Tigers.

Tue 1 Dec, 2015
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