As much as people like to hate on the Carabao Cup, the bottom line is that it offers fans and players alike an opportunity to lift a trophy up high. Cup runs are special no matter how many different ways you look at it, and that doesn’t just have to apply to the Champions League. Tonight, we saw two clubs giving it their all once again in their Round of 16 game as Fulham visited Manchester City – and in the end, it was the Premier League champions who wound up managing to progress with a 2-0 victory at the Etihad.
City now find themselves just three games away from a spot at Wembley in the final, and in many ways, that could serve as the beginning of something very special for them.
While winning four trophies (Carabao, UCL, FA, Premier) has always seemed like an unlikely prospect regardless of what club you are, if we can believe that anyone is capable of it, it’d be City. They’ve got a solid depth and some unbelievable players, and with Pep Guardiola at the helm, it truly does seem like they could do anything they put their minds to.
In terms of tonight, though, it was one of those evenings where we got to see a brand new face announcing himself to the world: and that face is Brahim Diaz. The teenage sensation put City, who had many changes in their starting XI, into the lead with a shot that deflected in off of Mitrovic. They went into half time with a 1-0 advantage, and just after, he was able to double City’s advantage after Jesus hit the post. That goal wound up killing off any kind of hope the Cottagers had, but to be perfectly honest it didn’t seem like they had much in the first place.
City will now progress to take on Leicester City or Southampton, whereas Fulham will go back to the drawing board in the Premier League. The relegation contenders need to get their act together and fast or they could easily be on a one way trip back to the Championship, and for Guardiola’s side, it’s just a case of seeing how far they can go. Hopefully, above all else, Kevin De Bruyne isn’t out for too long after he hobbled off with an injury.
Manchester City: Muric (6.5), Danilo (7), Stones (7), Kompany (6), Zinchenko (6.5) De Bruyne (6.5), Delph (6), Foden (6.5), Diaz (9), Jesus (7), Sane (7), Gomes (N/A), Mahrez (N/A)
Fulham: Rico (6), Fosu-Mensah (6.5), Odoi (6), Ream (6), Le Marchand (N/A), Sessegnon (6.5), Cairney (6), Anguissa (6), Seri (5.5), Vietto (6), Christie (N/A), Mitrovic (5.5), Schurrle (60), Ayite (N/A)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Goals: Diaz x2
Yellow Cards: Kompany
Red Cards: N/A
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