Manchester City took a big step towards the Carabao Cup final with a 3-1 win over Manchester United in the first leg of their semi-final tonight.
Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez set City on their way at Old Trafford, before Andreas Pereira’s own goal put the back-to-back defending champions three up before the break.
Marcus Rashford pulled one back in the second half, but United face a massive uphill battle to get back into the tie at the Etihad Stadium in three weeks.
United were the last team to beat Pep Guardiola’s side in the Carabao Cup in 2016, but a repeat result looked unlikely from the moment Bernardo’s stunner put City 1-0 up after 17 minutes. Shown inside from the right onto his left foot, he unleashed an effort from 20 yards that rifled into the top corner. David de Gea was left completely helpless.
Bernardo then turned creator for City’s second after 33 minutes. It was a glorious pass from the midfielder to cut through the United defence, and Mahrez was there to run in behind, before taking a touch past De Gea and slotting the ball into an empty net.
The third after 39 minutes was a little fortunate but no less than City deserved for such a dominant first half. It came from a swift counter as the ball was worked to Kevin De Bruyne in the box. He beat Phil Jones with ease before seeing his shot saved by De Gea, but the rebound hit Pereira a few yards out and ran over the line.
United improved in the second half but lacked any real cohesion in attack, at least until the 70th minute when a loss of possession from Rodri allowed them to counter quickly. Mason Greenwood smartly played Rashford in, and he showed his new clinical edge to get away from Nicolas Otamendi and finish low into the bottom corner.
It was a goal that gave United hope of a comeback, but any potential rally will have to wait until the second leg, as they failed to break through City again.
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