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Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Bristol City 2 Man City 3 (3-5 on agg): Pep Guardiola reaches first English final despite efforts of spirited Robins

The rest of English football finds itself trailing far behind Manchester City, and if this is to be a historic season for Pep Guardiola’s team at home and in Europe then Bristol City of the Championship will at least be able to say they gave this formidable 21st century football machine a contest. It will be Guardiola’s side that go to Wembley on Feb 25 for the League Cup final, his first final in English football, but they do so having beaten Bristol City by only a single goal in both legs of this semi-final. Manchester City dominated this game from start to finish but the question for any opponent is what spirit and organisation they show when deprived of the ball by Guardiola’s players, and Lee Johnson’s team had plenty of that. They even equalised in injury-time through defender Aden Flint, only for the away team to respond with an instant winner through the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, who played as if this was a Champions League semi-final rather than English football’s third favourite competition. Guardiola let loose the A-string at Ashton Gate, with the likes of Sergio Agüero, De Bruyne and David Silva up against a Bristol City side that had the energy to frustrate their famous opponents, if not the quality to score more.   The first goal from Leroy Sane took 43 minutes to arrive and Agüero scored soon after half-time, but Bristol City came back through goals from Marlon Pack and then Flint. Even so, with four victories over Premier League opposition before now it never looked on the cards that the side fifth in the Championship would repeat the trick against the best team in the country.     Although they have cut their way through the Premier League, this Manchester City team is just as diligent when disposing of lower league opposition, and were not about to make the same mistakes as Manchester United did in the previous round. Every trophy counts and they will face either Arsenal or Chelsea at Wembley, for the first final Guardiola has been involved in at that stadium since his Barcelona team took United apart in the Champions League final of 2011. Possession: Bristol City vs Man City “It's important for Manchester City since Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon [Al-Mubarak, chairman] took over the team and made a step forward,” Guardiola said. “With [Roberto] Mancini and [Manuel] Pellegrini they achieved titles. To grow you need titles. We are going to try to win [the final in February], we will be judged on the titles we win. [But] nobody can deny how happy we are in this last six months. We won a lot of games in the Premier League, reached a final. That belongs to us.” For Johnson, whose side have struggled for wins in the Championship since the victory over United in the previous round, this was the end of a remarkable cup run albeit with the endorsement from Guardiola that Bristol City’s Premier League quality was “already there”. In both games, Johnson pointed out, it required the Premier League leaders to score in injury-time in order to come out on top. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) “I’m proud of the team and the club,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic run and it has come to an end. We have shown our spirit and the players have seen what it takes at that level Manchester City play at – the speed of thought and touch and the detail that they put on a pass.” He was doubtless thinking of the way in which De Bruyne took the ball under his spell in the second half before hitting the pass from which Agüero scored the second goal - the game’s moment of true quality. Asked whether he was pleased that De Bruyne has committed his future to the club with a new contract, Guardiola replied that it had been a “terrific week” for the club.   Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal Guardiola’s side were given the opening for their first goal by a mistake from the Icelandic defender Hordur Magnusson, otherwise excellent, who tried to get the ball into touch when Bernardo Silva was ferreting away behind him, eventually scooping out possession to make space for the shot. He got the strike away in the end, past goalkeeper Luke Steele, in place of the injured Frankie Fielding, and Sane connected with a shot that went in off Flint. It had been Manchester City’s 15th shot amid 73 per cent of the possession in the first half, a kind of dominance that had sucked much of the life out of a raucous Cup tie. The home support watch in consternation as the game was concentrated around their team’s goal, with Aguero hitting the bar from the left early on and David Silva forcing a good save from Steele on 28 minutes. Credit: REUTERS The second goal for Guardiola’s team was delivered the other side of half-time, a quick break and then De Bruyne doing what he does best, a beguiling touch, a cross-field ball landed with pinhead precision, and Agüero struck his seventh goal in six games. It was over before the home team had even got themselves into shape and in those few moments the gulf in quality felt unbridgeable. Yet Johnson’s team fought back, having brought on the Senegalese striker Famara Diedhiou at half-time as well as Nathan Baker, the former Aston Villa defender, who passed a late fitness test with an injection in a damaged ankle. Manchester City are always going to be formidable but Johnson’s team had made their peace with that and committed players to the attack. Their reward came when John Stones was caught being careless on the edge of his own area and Jamie Paterson had the time to chip the perfect ball for Pack to head in. For a few brief moments, Flint’s goal put Bristol within one more of extra-time but Sane squared for De Bruyne to make sure they had their place at Wembley. 10:05PM Lee Johnson post-match "I think we gave it our best shot, we can be very proud they're probably the best side I've ever seen live. Sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. Not many teams have scored two goals against a team like that. "It was a poor goal to conceded, we didn't clear the ball and that's where we've been caught out. That was the difference today, the speed mentally. That's a lesson for the boys. Now we get to fully focus on the league. "It was about going attacking, it was a mistake but three or four players made a mistake before that! It was a tactical switch. We tried to go for it but obviously it's difficult. "We've got a young group here and this group will only get better. We'll improve on all fronts, we're trying to bring in new recruits and develop our young players. " 9:59PM Pep Guardiola post-match "We are so happy, to reach this final we play an amazing game. You know this kind of games never end until the very end, it will be a good lesson for next weekend against Cardiff. So happy for all of us." Were you relaxed after the first game? "No! Because we saw what happened. At the end two or three minutes left, 2-2 anything could happen. "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City. It's a club who want to reach another level that was in the past with Pellegrini, Mancini, they achieve that we try to reach that level. Important for me is to continue that.  "Of course all the teams will be judged for the titles they win but for six months we were so happy every game and nobody can take away what we have done." 9:42PM Flint asking for Guardiola's jacket I'm pretty sure Aden Flint was just on camera there asking Pep Guardiola if he can swap shirts, by way of giving him that black jacket he always wears. Nice try pal. 9:41PM FULL TIME That's it! A really enjoyable game, a great performance from Bristol City and a Wembley final for Pep Guardiola.  Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min)   9:40PM GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! .... to MAN CITY! Bristol City 2 - 3 Man City (Kevin De Bruyne, 90 + 6 min) Johnson asks how long is left, Flint is put up front, Brownhill can't keep a cross inside the line. Man City attack, have men over and Sane is played in down the left and squares it for De Bruyne, who cannot miss. Well taken goal and that'll be all! 9:38PM GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLL! OR IS IT ALL OVER?! Bristol City 2 - 2 Man City (Aden Flint, 90 + 4 min) Bristol City have pulled another one back! Danilo doesn't deal with a clearance properly, the ball is chipped over the Reid, who heads across the six yard box and it's put in by Flint! 9:35PM 90 mins +2 Five minutes added time! The crowd roars their team on and then realises that there's no way they're coming back... and start to simmer down.  Bernardo Silva pulls off another backward pass when in an advanced attacking position. One day he'll pass it forward. One day. 9:33PM 90 mins Man City have men over, Silva leads the charge, Danilo is wide right in space... and shoots wide. It's kind of a weird technique, like he's not used to taking shots. Out: Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Danilo, 89 min)   9:29PM 87 mins Walker comes off for Danilo and takes his time leaving the pitch.  Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal That's a fair amount of shots.  9:28PM 85 mins Credit: REUTERS And to think, if Pack had scored the winning goal the papers might have led with 'Packman something or other'. Which would have been great. Something about him eating the ghosts of his past, or being trapped in a maze.  9:26PM 83 mins Gundogan on for Aguero. Walker is fine to continue. Bernardo Silva keeps getting the ball wide, turning back onto his left foot and then passing backwards. I'm not sure I've ever seen him use his right foot. 9:23PM 81 mins Still no sign of the subs yet and Man City are keeping possession in Bristol City's half without really trying to do too much with it. 9:21PM 79 mins Danilo is set to come on and replace Walker, who is still down. He's sitting, rather than lying down, and you can't blame him after taking an elbow to the noggin. Ilkay Gundogan is also ready to join in. 9:20PM 77 mins Bristol City have a bit of wind behind their sails at the moment. Walker goes down after a collision with Diedhiou. 9:16PM 74 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Paterson is replaced by Ryan Kent for the final push. Bristol City just need two goals... to take it to extra-time.  9:14PM 72 mins Steele has to react quickly to prevent an own goal from one of his defenders, Man City getting closer to scoring a third.  Credit: PA   9:12PM 69 mins Silva can't pull the trigger quickly enough and a Man City counter-attack ends. And what a ball that is! It's scooped over the top for Reid who only has one defender to beat! He's quick but not fast enough to stop Man City getting back in position and then cutting out a pass on the right to win back possession. 9:10PM 67 mins Lee Johnson looks so normal and nice. Like he'd offer to buy a pint even though you've just met him.  Credit: GETTY IMAGES   9:08PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! THE COMEBACK IS ON! Bristol City 1 - 2 Man City (Marlon Pack, 64 min) Marlon Pack has pulled one back. It's a long ball over the top, Diedhiou heads it on and then another high cross to the back post is attacked by Pack. His header is powerful and hits the back of the net. That's woken the crowd up. 9:04PM 61 mins Reid has taken a whack and receives some treatment as play is stopped. He's OK. City are looking for a third and a block from a desperate defender stops Silva scoring it. Bristol City vs Man City shots on goal   9:02PM 58 mins Fernandinho is slack in possession and gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. Diedhiou gets on it and shoots left footed at goal but Bravo can save low. 8:59PM 56 mins Man City are in total control of this. They want more goals too and another quick attack is put over the bar by Sane.  Possession: Bristol City vs Man City   8:56PM 54 mins Man City are finding space to counter-attack here and look like scoring more. Bernardo Silva gets in the way of De Bruyne as he lines up a shot from 25 yards which the goalkeeper pushes behind.  8:54PM GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! What a goal this is. Bristol City 0 - 2 Man City (Sergio Agüero, 49 min) Absolutely brilliant one-touch football from Man City as they turn defence into attack. De Bruyne sprints past halfway, cuts back inside and finds Aguero with a pass out wide. Aguero takes a touch, lines up the shot and pulls the trigger. 8:52PM 49 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES   8:50PM 48 mins Man City attack but a floated ball to Sane is headed away just before he can get to it at the back post. Ole! What a little skill by Brownhill that was! He drags behind his standing foot to move away from a tackle but Man City have the ball soon after. 8:49PM KICK-OFF 2 Aguero is given the ball from kick-off and gets a shot away. Not the best start. 8:48PM Substitutions Baker and Diedhiou on, Magnusson (ooh err) and Walsh off. Bristol City going for it? 8:36PM City (Man) dominating possession Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Average touch positions (half time)   8:33PM HALF TIME That one mistake could be enough to settle this tie for Man City. They're clearly the better side by a mile or two, and haven't quite reached full speed, but there's something in this for Bristol City if they just believe. And if this is some sort of movie.  8:31PM 45 mins The commentator keeps calling Man City 'the best team in the land' and it makes this sound like he's talking about team from Middle Earth. Sir Aguero of Sergion. 8:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL! Ohhh Magnusson. What are you doing. Bristol City 0 - 1 Man City (Leroy Sané, 43 min) He tries to shield the ball for a goal kick, Bernardo wins it back, goes down (which could be a penalty...) and the ball lands at Sane's feet. His first time shot hits the back of the net. 8:29PM 42 mins Man City have Bristol City stuck in defend mode, work the ball around the area and keep trying a curling chipped pass from right to left, bu it's not working. I'm not sure Bernardo Silva has managed to go past anyone yet with his little dropped shoulder move. 8:25PM 40 mins Credit: GETTY IMAGES Sterling isn't taking things seriously. There he is, larking about with Mangala's mask on when his team are drawing 0-0. Has he no shame?! 8:24PM 39 mins Magnusson comes over to take a throw-in from the left and it's a catapult. He hurls the thing to the near post, it comes off a Man City head and for just a second, looks like it's about to drop over Bravo and into the net. He catches.   8:22PM 37 mins Man City are absolutely dominating possession but they aren't really creating anything. Bristol City are doing well here.   8:21PM 36 mins Fernandinho tries a shot from 25/30 yards but it rises way over the bar. Out: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Fernandinho, 35 min)   8:20PM 34 mins A long ball over the top to the left-back position draws Bravo out of his area. He boots it into touch but Bristol City manage to keep possession and keep it on the right wing, where Zinchenko is defending. Bravo leaps to collect a high cross into the box. 8:18PM 33 mins Suffice to say, Bristol City haven't had an awful lot of the ball in attack. Bristol City vs Man City   8:17PM 32 mins Credit: REUTERS Silva finds space in the middle of the pitch but drags his shot from 25 yards harmlessly wide.   8:14PM 29 mins Great save by Steele. Man City string passes together from back to front until Silva overlaps Sane and crosses low into the six yard box. The goalkeeper senses the danger and dives to tip it away from the path of Aguero at the back post. 8:13PM 27 mins  A quick, long counter-attack ends as Bravo sees the ball behind for a goal kick. Paterson was coming in at the back post and very close to making that a decent chance. 8:12PM 26 mins Bristol City fans are currently throwing the ball around in the crowd, cheering themselves for every pass made. Sane doesn't like it and waits for another ball to be given to him, at which point the crowd return the original one. This is from a corner, by the way. 8:10PM 24 mins Magnusson has just gotten away with one there. He takes way too long on the ball, is closed down and loses it. City have men over, the ball is fed into Aguero and then a second later the referee blows his whistle. Strange one. Credit: REUTERS   8:09PM 23 mins Bryan fires it in high and close to Bravo, who can't decide whether to come for the cross or not! Flint is inches away from getting a head on it... and Bravo gathers good effort. But now City are on the counter! Zinchenko shoots wide. Miss: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Oleksandr Zinchenko, 23 min)   8:07PM 22 mins Sexy skills by Bryan. He robs De Bruyne of the ball after a battle on the left, does a drag back and flicks it forward to get away from two chasing players. His pass out to the wing is poor and goes to nobody, which is a shame because the move was cool. That could be a confidence booster. Fernandinho is booked for a foul on Reid! He leans into the Brazilian, takes the ball down and chases then goes down under the slightest of touches. This is a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the right of the box. 8:04PM 19 mins Bristol City vs Man City Sane has a chance to shoot at the near post but slips and kicks thin air instead of the ball to the delight of the crowd. They then boo the referee as he fails to give Paterson a free-kick after flicking the ball over Fernandinho's head and then being taken out. 8:03PM 17 mins Bravo is almost caught out with a pass across his own box. Bristol City are chasing him whenever they get the chance. 8:00PM 15 mins Possession: Bristol City vs Man City Silva curls a free-kick from left into the six yard area but Stones can't get ahead of his man to head at goal. His effort is well wide but he had to put with tight marking denying him any sort of freedom. 7:59PM 13 mins Bristol City push Man City towards their own goal and take their turn to press high. Bravo is in trouble for a few seconds but gets some help from Stones... and De Bruyne has found space on a counter attack! He drives forward... plays in Silva, who flicks onto Aguero, who crosses... and hits the crossbar!  Pass: Bristol City 0 - 0 Man City (Bernardo Silva, 13 min)   7:57PM 11 mins Otamendi slides into a challenge and catches (I think) Walsh in the face with his studs. They're both on the floor - he hasn't gone in Cantona style. That looks like quite a sore one but Walsh is fine to continue. 7:54PM 9 mins Man City's pressing is too quick for Bristol City and any attempts to pass out from the back are too slow. They want to take two touches but Man City won't let them and are charging in to win tackles and intercept.  Look at Bravo's average position so far: Average touch positions (6 min)   7:53PM 7 mins Sky Sports have just done a name tag graphic on a 100 year old Bristol City fan and then a ballboy. How long until they have stats for 'matches watched' and 'balls provided' to go along with it? Not long enough I say. Walker has been heavily involved so far, De Bruyne too.  7:51PM 5 mins Man City are working hard to win the ball back quickly and I'm not sure Bristol City have made it out of their own half yet. This could be a long night. 7:49PM 3 mins Walker is played in on the right wing by De Bruyne, Bristol City defend it really well... but lose the ball quickly. Man City already stroking the ball around the final third, Bristol City are a 4-4-1-1 in defence and trying to play out from the back. 7:47PM 1 mins Aguero wins a corner after 15 seconds but Stones fouls at the near post and Bristol City win possession back. 7:46PM KICK-OFF Man City get us started as the Bristol City crowd make their voices heard.  7:42PM The crowd all have flags It looks great.   7:34PM Lee Johnson says crowd could be key Pep Guardiola "Always you have to play the result. If you think about what you have done you forget what you have to do." Lee Johnson "We'll give it a go, do everything we can to score and if we do score the atmosphere will be electric." 7:27PM Lee Johnson's pre-match words This is a great interview from Lee Johnson. This guy knows his stuff. �� #BristolCity head coach Lee Johnson discusses his team selection for #BRCvMCY with BCTV. pic.twitter.com/2J1fsuIEBf— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   7:15PM Bristol City starting XI ⚽️ #BristolCity v Man City: Steele, Wright, Flint, Magnusson, Brownhill, Pack, Smith, Walsh, Bryan, Paterson, Reid. Subs: Wollacott, Baker, Eliasson, Kent, Engvall, Taylor, Diédhiou. #BRCvMCY— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018   6:58PM Bristol City programme Credit: GETTY IMAGES   6:48PM Starting lineups Man City are taking this seriously and have named a full-strength starting XI (except Sterling and Ederson). Team News | How we line-up at Ashton Gate tonight! �� Presented by @HaysWorldwide#bcfcvcity#mancitypic.twitter.com/qK2wwkpIFz— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018   6:16PM Hello Good evening and welcome to our liveblog for this very exciting second leg of a semi-final. We're at the semi-final point of the season already! Lordy. Tonight should be really entertaining - Bristol City were superb at the Etihad and have clear ideas about how to approach this one, with Lee Jones making a real name for himself with some bold tactics. Bristol City have already knocked out Watford and Manchester United on their way to this point and were only beaten in the last game by a late, late goal from City. There is every chance the lower division club can get back into this one against Pep Guardiola's superstars. Credit: PA Speaking of those, we'll find out the teams soon and see just who Guardiola has decided to rest for this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have played almost every game this season and could well be rested along with David Silva. Sergio Aguero is still the only recognised striker available but Guardiola has been known to play nippy attacking midfielders as false nines in the past and Bernardo Silva can do just that.  Brahim Diaz could make a rare start, Oleksandr Zinchenko should play left-back and we might see changes everywhere. As I said, we'll find out soon. In order to get pumped up before then, I suggest you listen to this song on repeat:  

Man City to trigger €65m clause as Laporte decides to leave Athletic

The Premier League leaders will now pay the Frenchman's release clause after he informed Athletic Club that he wants to leave in January

Man City to trigger €65m clause as Laporte decides to leave Athletic

The Premier League leaders will now pay the Frenchman's €65 million release clause after he informed Athletic Bilbao that he wants to leave

Arsenal in pole position to sign Jonny Evans and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75m

Arsenal are now in pole position to sign Jonny Evans as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75 million after Manchester City cooled their interest in the West Bromwich Albion defender and negotiations advanced yesterday with Borussia Dortmund. Evans had preferred a move to Manchester City but, with the Premier League leaders now reviving their interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, Arsenal are attempting to reach agreement on a fee of around £20m. West Brom have their own incentive to quickly complete the deal so that they have the funds to strengthen, with Alan Pardew keen to add attacking players this month and interested in Watford’s Troy Deeney. A delegation of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and lawyer Huss Fahmy are also in Germany attempting to finalise a potential club record deal for Aubameyang. An initial £44m bid was rejected but Arsenal have now indicated that they are prepared to increase their offer to around £50m, although Dortmund still value Aubameyang closer to £60m. Loaning France striker Olivier Giroud to Dortmund is also being discussed and, with the German club keen to get an immediate replacement as well as a big transfer fee, there is confidence that a compromise will be found. Arsenal are in pole position to sign Jonny Evans for £20m Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine Transfer negotiator Dick Law was at Arsenal’s training ground on Tuesday and is understood to be working on the Evans deal, with manager Arsène Wenger admitting earlier in the day that Arsenal were trying to sign at least two players.  “You never know how close,” said Wenger. “These are the kind of things that, at the moment, are one of the possible movements. We have other things in mind as well and we have plenty of opportunities in different positions. We are busy on all fronts. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad, we’ll take.” Arsenal are chasing the Borussia Dortmund striker this month Credit: afp With Alexis Sánchez having completed his move to Manchester United amid a noticeable lack of good wishes from his former team-mates, Arsenal have the chance to begin a new cycle in their League Cup semi-final tonight against  Chelsea. Victory would mean a 10th Wembley appearance next month in less than four years but, asked if it would turn the wider mood, Wenger simply gave an incredulous shake of the head. “We have been in a few finals - has it changed your mood?” he asked, rhetorically. “No. I have no illusions at all. The mood is decided by you. Out of 100, even if ten [fans] have a negative mood, the ten get your ear more than the 90. “You celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years and yet you kill us even though we have won the FA Cup three times in the last four years. We have to live with that.” The names of those supposed favoured clubs were not mentioned but, while 25 years might have been something of an exaggeration, we can speculate that Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur were not far from his thinking. Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are both still waiting for their first trophy in English football and Wenger remains confident that Arsenal can still overhaul a five point Premier League gap to Liverpool in fourth. Where does Henrikh Mkhitaryan fit into Arsenal's grand plans? Wenger chose to offer only praise for the departing Sánchez, but it was still very noticeable how all the messages of goodwill for Theo Walcott last week on the Twitter accounts of many Arsenal players have not yet been repeated for Sanchez. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has arrived from Manchester United to replace Sánchez and Wenger specifically stressed yesterday that he could play in a similar central midfield role to Santi Cazorla previously. He also admitted that he had previously met Mkhitaryan and been “close” to a deal before he eventually joined Manchester United in the summer of 2016. Mkhitaryan became peripheral at United under Jose Mourinho but, with Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah so excelling this season after a similar experience, Wenger is hopeful. “You are certain in our job of nothing but I believe he has the qualities,” said Wenger. “Our game is based on team attitude and movement and I think he can absorb the quantity of movement in our team. “Of course you worry about how much it has affected him. What you want in life is a new chance and I’m sure with his quality that he will take it. I see him first in a wide position, but I’m thinking about a possibility to play through the middle.”  Manchester City await in the League Cup final and their search for a centre-back is again focusing on Laporte, who they agreed to sign for £39.6 million in 2016 only for the French centre-half to pull out of a move at the eleventh hour. Laporte, 23, has a €65 million (about £57 million) release clause in his contract and Bilbao, which City are understood to be prepared to meet. Bilbao appear resigned to losing Laporte, who has indicated his willingness to join City and reports in Spain suggest a deal will go through. City are likely to sign two centre-backs this year, with Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martínez, who has a £28 million release clause, another option.  

Arsenal in pole position to sign Jonny Evans and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75m

Arsenal are now in pole position to sign Jonny Evans as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75 million after Manchester City cooled their interest in the West Bromwich Albion defender and negotiations advanced yesterday with Borussia Dortmund. Evans had preferred a move to Manchester City but, with the Premier League leaders now reviving their interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, Arsenal are attempting to reach agreement on a fee of around £20m. West Brom have their own incentive to quickly complete the deal so that they have the funds to strengthen, with Alan Pardew keen to add attacking players this month and interested in Watford’s Troy Deeney. A delegation of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and lawyer Huss Fahmy are also in Germany attempting to finalise a potential club record deal for Aubameyang. An initial £44m bid was rejected but Arsenal have now indicated that they are prepared to increase their offer to around £50m, although Dortmund still value Aubameyang closer to £60m. Loaning France striker Olivier Giroud to Dortmund is also being discussed and, with the German club keen to get an immediate replacement as well as a big transfer fee, there is confidence that a compromise will be found. Arsenal are in pole position to sign Jonny Evans for £20m Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine Transfer negotiator Dick Law was at Arsenal’s training ground on Tuesday and is understood to be working on the Evans deal, with manager Arsène Wenger admitting earlier in the day that Arsenal were trying to sign at least two players.  “You never know how close,” said Wenger. “These are the kind of things that, at the moment, are one of the possible movements. We have other things in mind as well and we have plenty of opportunities in different positions. We are busy on all fronts. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad, we’ll take.” Arsenal are chasing the Borussia Dortmund striker this month Credit: afp With Alexis Sánchez having completed his move to Manchester United amid a noticeable lack of good wishes from his former team-mates, Arsenal have the chance to begin a new cycle in their League Cup semi-final tonight against  Chelsea. Victory would mean a 10th Wembley appearance next month in less than four years but, asked if it would turn the wider mood, Wenger simply gave an incredulous shake of the head. “We have been in a few finals - has it changed your mood?” he asked, rhetorically. “No. I have no illusions at all. The mood is decided by you. Out of 100, even if ten [fans] have a negative mood, the ten get your ear more than the 90. “You celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years and yet you kill us even though we have won the FA Cup three times in the last four years. We have to live with that.” The names of those supposed favoured clubs were not mentioned but, while 25 years might have been something of an exaggeration, we can speculate that Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur were not far from his thinking. Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are both still waiting for their first trophy in English football and Wenger remains confident that Arsenal can still overhaul a five point Premier League gap to Liverpool in fourth. Where does Henrikh Mkhitaryan fit into Arsenal's grand plans? Wenger chose to offer only praise for the departing Sánchez, but it was still very noticeable how all the messages of goodwill for Theo Walcott last week on the Twitter accounts of many Arsenal players have not yet been repeated for Sanchez. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has arrived from Manchester United to replace Sánchez and Wenger specifically stressed yesterday that he could play in a similar central midfield role to Santi Cazorla previously. He also admitted that he had previously met Mkhitaryan and been “close” to a deal before he eventually joined Manchester United in the summer of 2016. Mkhitaryan became peripheral at United under Jose Mourinho but, with Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah so excelling this season after a similar experience, Wenger is hopeful. “You are certain in our job of nothing but I believe he has the qualities,” said Wenger. “Our game is based on team attitude and movement and I think he can absorb the quantity of movement in our team. “Of course you worry about how much it has affected him. What you want in life is a new chance and I’m sure with his quality that he will take it. I see him first in a wide position, but I’m thinking about a possibility to play through the middle.”  Manchester City await in the League Cup final and their search for a centre-back is again focusing on Laporte, who they agreed to sign for £39.6 million in 2016 only for the French centre-half to pull out of a move at the eleventh hour. Laporte, 23, has a €65 million (about £57 million) release clause in his contract and Bilbao, which City are understood to be prepared to meet. Bilbao appear resigned to losing Laporte, who has indicated his willingness to join City and reports in Spain suggest a deal will go through. City are likely to sign two centre-backs this year, with Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martínez, who has a £28 million release clause, another option.  

Arsenal in pole position to sign Jonny Evans and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75m

Arsenal are now in pole position to sign Jonny Evans as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75 million after Manchester City cooled their interest in the West Bromwich Albion defender and negotiations advanced yesterday with Borussia Dortmund. Evans had preferred a move to Manchester City but, with the Premier League leaders now reviving their interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, Arsenal are attempting to reach agreement on a fee of around £20m. West Brom have their own incentive to quickly complete the deal so that they have the funds to strengthen, with Alan Pardew keen to add attacking players this month and interested in Watford’s Troy Deeney. A delegation of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and lawyer Huss Fahmy are also in Germany attempting to finalise a potential club record deal for Aubameyang. An initial £44m bid was rejected but Arsenal have now indicated that they are prepared to increase their offer to around £50m, although Dortmund still value Aubameyang closer to £60m. Loaning France striker Olivier Giroud to Dortmund is also being discussed and, with the German club keen to get an immediate replacement as well as a big transfer fee, there is confidence that a compromise will be found. Arsenal are in pole position to sign Jonny Evans for £20m Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine Transfer negotiator Dick Law was at Arsenal’s training ground on Tuesday and is understood to be working on the Evans deal, with manager Arsène Wenger admitting earlier in the day that Arsenal were trying to sign at least two players.  “You never know how close,” said Wenger. “These are the kind of things that, at the moment, are one of the possible movements. We have other things in mind as well and we have plenty of opportunities in different positions. We are busy on all fronts. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad, we’ll take.” Arsenal are chasing the Borussia Dortmund striker this month Credit: afp With Alexis Sánchez having completed his move to Manchester United amid a noticeable lack of good wishes from his former team-mates, Arsenal have the chance to begin a new cycle in their League Cup semi-final tonight against  Chelsea. Victory would mean a 10th Wembley appearance next month in less than four years but, asked if it would turn the wider mood, Wenger simply gave an incredulous shake of the head. “We have been in a few finals - has it changed your mood?” he asked, rhetorically. “No. I have no illusions at all. The mood is decided by you. Out of 100, even if ten [fans] have a negative mood, the ten get your ear more than the 90. “You celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years and yet you kill us even though we have won the FA Cup three times in the last four years. We have to live with that.” The names of those supposed favoured clubs were not mentioned but, while 25 years might have been something of an exaggeration, we can speculate that Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur were not far from his thinking. Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are both still waiting for their first trophy in English football and Wenger remains confident that Arsenal can still overhaul a five point Premier League gap to Liverpool in fourth. Where does Henrikh Mkhitaryan fit into Arsenal's grand plans? Wenger chose to offer only praise for the departing Sánchez, but it was still very noticeable how all the messages of goodwill for Theo Walcott last week on the Twitter accounts of many Arsenal players have not yet been repeated for Sanchez. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has arrived from Manchester United to replace Sánchez and Wenger specifically stressed yesterday that he could play in a similar central midfield role to Santi Cazorla previously. He also admitted that he had previously met Mkhitaryan and been “close” to a deal before he eventually joined Manchester United in the summer of 2016. Mkhitaryan became peripheral at United under Jose Mourinho but, with Kevin De Bruyne and Mo Salah so excelling this season after a similar experience, Wenger is hopeful. “You are certain in our job of nothing but I believe he has the qualities,” said Wenger. “Our game is based on team attitude and movement and I think he can absorb the quantity of movement in our team. “Of course you worry about how much it has affected him. What you want in life is a new chance and I’m sure with his quality that he will take it. I see him first in a wide position, but I’m thinking about a possibility to play through the middle.”  Manchester City await in the League Cup final and their search for a centre-back is again focusing on Laporte, who they agreed to sign for £39.6 million in 2016 only for the French centre-half to pull out of a move at the eleventh hour. Laporte, 23, has a €65 million (about £57 million) release clause in his contract and Bilbao, which City are understood to be prepared to meet. Bilbao appear resigned to losing Laporte, who has indicated his willingness to join City and reports in Spain suggest a deal will go through. City are likely to sign two centre-backs this year, with Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martínez, who has a £28 million release clause, another option.  

Paul Lambert lays down the law at Stoke for fight against relegation

Paul Lambert has introduced a strict code of conduct at Stoke City as he prepares to fight for Premier League survival. Lambert was appointed the club's manager last week and has already laid down a marker for his players with a number of rules which are punishable by fines if broken. These include: The banning of mobile phones inside Stoke’s Clayton Wood training ground All players must report to training no later than 9.15am, regardless of where they live Training will start no later than 10.30am and all players must eat together at lunchtime Lambert’s rules were agreed with the full support of the Stoke board, with sources claiming that discipline needed toughening up after the dismissal of Mark Hughes earlier this month.  Hughes, who was dismissed after 4½ years in charge, was a disciplinarian but is believed to have been happy letting his players police themselves.  Since Lambert’s arrival new guidelines are being redrafted - fines of more than £500 are understood to have been discussed for persistent lateness or mobile phone use. Stoke’s players have embraced the new approach, however, and training has been lively and enjoyable under the 48-year-old. Stoke are interested in bringing New York City's Jack Harrison back to his hometown club but have not yet agreed a fee Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine Lambert guided Stoke to their first win in six games with the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield on Saturday, taking the club out of the bottom three. Stoke are working on further January signings and New York City attacker Jack Harrison has emerged as a top target. Lambert has given Stoke officials the green light to pursue the England Under-21 striker, though negotiations have slowed down as the two club struggle to agree a fee. Stoke's latest proposal of £4m has been turned down, it is understood. Harrison, 21, was capped by Aidy Boothroyd for the U21s late last year and is open to the prospect of returning to England. A former Manchester United trainee, the 21-year-old was born in Stoke-on-Trent and has played in Major League Soccer since January 2016. Lambert said: “We will try to bring somebody in but I don’t just want to bring someone in to just be another body and fill a locker. We’ve got a big squad as it is.  “There are one or two we’re thinking of looking at, but January is not a nice month, It’s difficult, it really is.” Lambert has already signed Greece international Kostas Stafylidis on loan from Augsburg since his appointment last week.

Antonio Conte: Chelsea cannot spend money like Manchester United and Manchester City

Antonio Conte has claimed Wednesday night's Carabao Cup semi-finalists, Chelsea and Arsenal, cannot compete with the two Manchester clubs, and are in a fight to be the best of the rest. Manchester United this week signed Alexis Sanchez in a deal worth £180 million. His shadow will hover over the Emirates as the club who could not afford to keep him take on the club who could not afford him, for a place in the Carabao Cup final. Manchester City pulled out of the race to sign Sanchez, but Chelsea head coach Conte believes the  Premier League leaders and United are leaving the chasing pack behind with their spending power. “I think, for sure, in this moment there are two teams in this league who are ‘top’. They stay there,” said Conte. “The others have to fight. To fight for a place in the Champions League. It’s not only here in England. “These two big clubs can  become seriously dangerous for other teams in the world. These two teams are very strong already and want to invest. Alexis Sanchez, only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary. What might have been: Alexis Sanchez with  Antonio Conte Credit: Action Images via Reuters “We never were in this race [for Sanchez]. Ever. Especially because, I repeat, one of the reasons was this amount of salary.” Asked which clubs around the world could pay the kind of money United have invested in Sanchez, Conte added: “I don’t know, but, for sure, United. They have paid it. But I don’t know the other teams.” Conte described last season’s Premier League title success as “a little miracle” and dismissed the notion that Chelsea needed to win the Carabao Cup or another trophy to make his second campaign a good one. “For me, this is already a good season because we are doing 120 per cent. I’m doing a fantastic job, the same my players,” said Conte. “It’s not important if you reach the final or win a trophy or win the league. The most important thing is to see if the coach and players are working hard and very well. This, for me, is a successful season. Last season, I think we did a fantastic job and did a little miracle.” Big purchase: Alvaro Morata Credit: Getty Chelsea broke their transfer  record to sign Alvaro Morata, who is out of tonight’s match with a back  injury, but Conte said: “Last season, we won the league and reached the FA Cup final, and we finished with a profit of £50 million in the transfer market. This had never happened before. "For this reason, the situation changed. When the situation changes, you have to fight to try to give all of yourself for Chelsea. Now, for sure, United and City stay there. We have to try to build something important to create a basis and then make success with our work. Not with money, with work. "I trust in my work and I think that, if I stay here, for this reason, it’ll be because the club trusts in my work and not only the money. How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? “You can do two types of football: only with money and you pay a lot of money and take the best players; the other way is to try and put a bit of money in and then hard work. We are in the middle.” Having signed Ross Barkley for £15 million, Chelsea have been negotiating with Roma over a double deal for left-back Emerson Palmieri and forward Edin Dzeko worth around £44 million. Solution? Edin Dzeko of Roma Credit: Action Plus via Getty They would have to break their own transfer policy over fees and wages for players aged 30 and over to sign 31-year-old Dzeko, and Conte, who confirmed that Michy Batshuayi would leave on loan if a striker was signed, admitted the club were no longer in the market for the top players. “If you want the best, you have to spend a lot of money,” said Conte. “Otherwise, you have to go in the middle and spend £20-£30 million. If you want to reach the best targets, you must be prepared to spend a lot of money. “This is the market. if you want to buy Neymar, you must be ready to give him £25 million. If you want to buy Messi, Ronaldo, now Sanchez the same, you must be ready to pay his salary. If you have money you can spend it and have the best players. Otherwise you find other ways to fight.”

Paul Lambert lays down the law at Stoke for fight against relegation

Paul Lambert has introduced a strict code of conduct at Stoke City as he prepares to fight for Premier League survival. Lambert was appointed the club's manager last week and has already laid down a marker for his players with a number of rules which are punishable by fines if broken. These include: The banning of mobile phones inside Stoke’s Clayton Wood training ground All players must report to training no later than 9.15am, regardless of where they live Training will start no later than 10.30am and all players must eat together at lunchtime Lambert’s rules were agreed with the full support of the Stoke board, with sources claiming that discipline needed toughening up after the dismissal of Mark Hughes earlier this month.  Hughes, who was dismissed after 4½ years in charge, was a disciplinarian but is believed to have been happy letting his players police themselves.  Since Lambert’s arrival new guidelines are being redrafted - fines of more than £500 are understood to have been discussed for persistent lateness or mobile phone use. Stoke’s players have embraced the new approach, however, and training has been lively and enjoyable under the 48-year-old. Stoke are interested in bringing New York City's Jack Harrison back to his hometown club but have not yet agreed a fee Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine Lambert guided Stoke to their first win in six games with the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield on Saturday, taking the club out of the bottom three. Stoke are working on further January signings and New York City attacker Jack Harrison has emerged as a top target. Lambert has given Stoke officials the green light to pursue the England Under-21 striker, though negotiations have slowed down as the two club struggle to agree a fee. Stoke's latest proposal of £4m has been turned down, it is understood. Harrison, 21, was capped by Aidy Boothroyd for the U21s late last year and is open to the prospect of returning to England. A former Manchester United trainee, the 21-year-old was born in Stoke-on-Trent and has played in Major League Soccer since January 2016. Lambert said: “We will try to bring somebody in but I don’t just want to bring someone in to just be another body and fill a locker. We’ve got a big squad as it is.  “There are one or two we’re thinking of looking at, but January is not a nice month, It’s difficult, it really is.” Lambert has already signed Greece international Kostas Stafylidis on loan from Augsburg since his appointment last week.

Antonio Conte: Chelsea cannot spend money like Manchester United and Manchester City

Antonio Conte has claimed Wednesday night's Carabao Cup semi-finalists, Chelsea and Arsenal, cannot compete with the two Manchester clubs, and are in a fight to be the best of the rest. Manchester United this week signed Alexis Sanchez in a deal worth £180 million. His shadow will hover over the Emirates as the club who could not afford to keep him take on the club who could not afford him, for a place in the Carabao Cup final. Manchester City pulled out of the race to sign Sanchez, but Chelsea head coach Conte believes the  Premier League leaders and United are leaving the chasing pack behind with their spending power. “I think, for sure, in this moment there are two teams in this league who are ‘top’. They stay there,” said Conte. “The others have to fight. To fight for a place in the Champions League. It’s not only here in England. “These two big clubs can  become seriously dangerous for other teams in the world. These two teams are very strong already and want to invest. Alexis Sanchez, only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary. What might have been: Alexis Sanchez with  Antonio Conte Credit: Action Images via Reuters “We never were in this race [for Sanchez]. Ever. Especially because, I repeat, one of the reasons was this amount of salary.” Asked which clubs around the world could pay the kind of money United have invested in Sanchez, Conte added: “I don’t know, but, for sure, United. They have paid it. But I don’t know the other teams.” Conte described last season’s Premier League title success as “a little miracle” and dismissed the notion that Chelsea needed to win the Carabao Cup or another trophy to make his second campaign a good one. “For me, this is already a good season because we are doing 120 per cent. I’m doing a fantastic job, the same my players,” said Conte. “It’s not important if you reach the final or win a trophy or win the league. The most important thing is to see if the coach and players are working hard and very well. This, for me, is a successful season. Last season, I think we did a fantastic job and did a little miracle.” Big purchase: Alvaro Morata Credit: Getty Chelsea broke their transfer  record to sign Alvaro Morata, who is out of tonight’s match with a back  injury, but Conte said: “Last season, we won the league and reached the FA Cup final, and we finished with a profit of £50 million in the transfer market. This had never happened before. "For this reason, the situation changed. When the situation changes, you have to fight to try to give all of yourself for Chelsea. Now, for sure, United and City stay there. We have to try to build something important to create a basis and then make success with our work. Not with money, with work. "I trust in my work and I think that, if I stay here, for this reason, it’ll be because the club trusts in my work and not only the money. How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? “You can do two types of football: only with money and you pay a lot of money and take the best players; the other way is to try and put a bit of money in and then hard work. We are in the middle.” Having signed Ross Barkley for £15 million, Chelsea have been negotiating with Roma over a double deal for left-back Emerson Palmieri and forward Edin Dzeko worth around £44 million. Solution? Edin Dzeko of Roma Credit: Action Plus via Getty They would have to break their own transfer policy over fees and wages for players aged 30 and over to sign 31-year-old Dzeko, and Conte, who confirmed that Michy Batshuayi would leave on loan if a striker was signed, admitted the club were no longer in the market for the top players. “If you want the best, you have to spend a lot of money,” said Conte. “Otherwise, you have to go in the middle and spend £20-£30 million. If you want to reach the best targets, you must be prepared to spend a lot of money. “This is the market. if you want to buy Neymar, you must be ready to give him £25 million. If you want to buy Messi, Ronaldo, now Sanchez the same, you must be ready to pay his salary. If you have money you can spend it and have the best players. Otherwise you find other ways to fight.”

Antonio Conte: Chelsea cannot spend money like Manchester United and Manchester City

Antonio Conte has claimed Wednesday night's Carabao Cup semi-finalists, Chelsea and Arsenal, cannot compete with the two Manchester clubs, and are in a fight to be the best of the rest. Manchester United this week signed Alexis Sanchez in a deal worth £180 million. His shadow will hover over the Emirates as the club who could not afford to keep him take on the club who could not afford him, for a place in the Carabao Cup final. Manchester City pulled out of the race to sign Sanchez, but Chelsea head coach Conte believes the  Premier League leaders and United are leaving the chasing pack behind with their spending power. “I think, for sure, in this moment there are two teams in this league who are ‘top’. They stay there,” said Conte. “The others have to fight. To fight for a place in the Champions League. It’s not only here in England. “These two big clubs can  become seriously dangerous for other teams in the world. These two teams are very strong already and want to invest. Alexis Sanchez, only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary. What might have been: Alexis Sanchez with  Antonio Conte Credit: Action Images via Reuters “We never were in this race [for Sanchez]. Ever. Especially because, I repeat, one of the reasons was this amount of salary.” Asked which clubs around the world could pay the kind of money United have invested in Sanchez, Conte added: “I don’t know, but, for sure, United. They have paid it. But I don’t know the other teams.” Conte described last season’s Premier League title success as “a little miracle” and dismissed the notion that Chelsea needed to win the Carabao Cup or another trophy to make his second campaign a good one. “For me, this is already a good season because we are doing 120 per cent. I’m doing a fantastic job, the same my players,” said Conte. “It’s not important if you reach the final or win a trophy or win the league. The most important thing is to see if the coach and players are working hard and very well. This, for me, is a successful season. Last season, I think we did a fantastic job and did a little miracle.” Big purchase: Alvaro Morata Credit: Getty Chelsea broke their transfer  record to sign Alvaro Morata, who is out of tonight’s match with a back  injury, but Conte said: “Last season, we won the league and reached the FA Cup final, and we finished with a profit of £50 million in the transfer market. This had never happened before. "For this reason, the situation changed. When the situation changes, you have to fight to try to give all of yourself for Chelsea. Now, for sure, United and City stay there. We have to try to build something important to create a basis and then make success with our work. Not with money, with work. "I trust in my work and I think that, if I stay here, for this reason, it’ll be because the club trusts in my work and not only the money. How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? “You can do two types of football: only with money and you pay a lot of money and take the best players; the other way is to try and put a bit of money in and then hard work. We are in the middle.” Having signed Ross Barkley for £15 million, Chelsea have been negotiating with Roma over a double deal for left-back Emerson Palmieri and forward Edin Dzeko worth around £44 million. Solution? Edin Dzeko of Roma Credit: Action Plus via Getty They would have to break their own transfer policy over fees and wages for players aged 30 and over to sign 31-year-old Dzeko, and Conte, who confirmed that Michy Batshuayi would leave on loan if a striker was signed, admitted the club were no longer in the market for the top players. “If you want the best, you have to spend a lot of money,” said Conte. “Otherwise, you have to go in the middle and spend £20-£30 million. If you want to reach the best targets, you must be prepared to spend a lot of money. “This is the market. if you want to buy Neymar, you must be ready to give him £25 million. If you want to buy Messi, Ronaldo, now Sanchez the same, you must be ready to pay his salary. If you have money you can spend it and have the best players. Otherwise you find other ways to fight.”

Antonio Conte: Chelsea cannot spend money like Manchester United and Manchester City

Antonio Conte has claimed Wednesday night's Carabao Cup semi-finalists, Chelsea and Arsenal, cannot compete with the two Manchester clubs, and are in a fight to be the best of the rest. Manchester United this week signed Alexis Sanchez in a deal worth £180 million. His shadow will hover over the Emirates as the club who could not afford to keep him take on the club who could not afford him, for a place in the Carabao Cup final. Manchester City pulled out of the race to sign Sanchez, but Chelsea head coach Conte believes the  Premier League leaders and United are leaving the chasing pack behind with their spending power. “I think, for sure, in this moment there are two teams in this league who are ‘top’. They stay there,” said Conte. “The others have to fight. To fight for a place in the Champions League. It’s not only here in England. “These two big clubs can  become seriously dangerous for other teams in the world. These two teams are very strong already and want to invest. Alexis Sanchez, only one or two clubs can pay this type of salary. What might have been: Alexis Sanchez with  Antonio Conte Credit: Action Images via Reuters “We never were in this race [for Sanchez]. Ever. Especially because, I repeat, one of the reasons was this amount of salary.” Asked which clubs around the world could pay the kind of money United have invested in Sanchez, Conte added: “I don’t know, but, for sure, United. They have paid it. But I don’t know the other teams.” Conte described last season’s Premier League title success as “a little miracle” and dismissed the notion that Chelsea needed to win the Carabao Cup or another trophy to make his second campaign a good one. “For me, this is already a good season because we are doing 120 per cent. I’m doing a fantastic job, the same my players,” said Conte. “It’s not important if you reach the final or win a trophy or win the league. The most important thing is to see if the coach and players are working hard and very well. This, for me, is a successful season. Last season, I think we did a fantastic job and did a little miracle.” Big purchase: Alvaro Morata Credit: Getty Chelsea broke their transfer  record to sign Alvaro Morata, who is out of tonight’s match with a back  injury, but Conte said: “Last season, we won the league and reached the FA Cup final, and we finished with a profit of £50 million in the transfer market. This had never happened before. "For this reason, the situation changed. When the situation changes, you have to fight to try to give all of yourself for Chelsea. Now, for sure, United and City stay there. We have to try to build something important to create a basis and then make success with our work. Not with money, with work. "I trust in my work and I think that, if I stay here, for this reason, it’ll be because the club trusts in my work and not only the money. How would Alexis Sanchez fit in at Manchester United? “You can do two types of football: only with money and you pay a lot of money and take the best players; the other way is to try and put a bit of money in and then hard work. We are in the middle.” Having signed Ross Barkley for £15 million, Chelsea have been negotiating with Roma over a double deal for left-back Emerson Palmieri and forward Edin Dzeko worth around £44 million. Solution? Edin Dzeko of Roma Credit: Action Plus via Getty They would have to break their own transfer policy over fees and wages for players aged 30 and over to sign 31-year-old Dzeko, and Conte, who confirmed that Michy Batshuayi would leave on loan if a striker was signed, admitted the club were no longer in the market for the top players. “If you want the best, you have to spend a lot of money,” said Conte. “Otherwise, you have to go in the middle and spend £20-£30 million. If you want to reach the best targets, you must be prepared to spend a lot of money. “This is the market. if you want to buy Neymar, you must be ready to give him £25 million. If you want to buy Messi, Ronaldo, now Sanchez the same, you must be ready to pay his salary. If you have money you can spend it and have the best players. Otherwise you find other ways to fight.”

City aumenta os planos de transferência e espera contratar Fred e Laporte em janeiro

Os líderes da Premier League querem contratar ambos neste mês, após perder Alexis Sanchez para o United

City aumenta os planos de transferência e espera contratar Fred e Laporte em janeiro

Os líderes da Premier League querem contratar ambos neste mês, após perder Alexis Sanchez para o United

City aumenta os planos de transferência e espera contratar Fred e Laporte em janeiro

Os líderes da Premier League querem contratar ambos neste mês, após perder Alexis Sanchez para o United

City aumenta os planos de transferência e espera contratar Fred e Laporte em janeiro

Os líderes da Premier League querem contratar ambos neste mês, após perder Alexis Sanchez para o United

City aumenta os planos de transferência e espera contratar Fred e Laporte em janeiro

Os líderes da Premier League querem contratar ambos neste mês, após perder Alexis Sanchez para o United

City aumenta os planos de transferência e espera contratar Fred e Laporte em janeiro

Os líderes da Premier League querem contratar ambos neste mês, após perder Alexis Sanchez para o United

City aumenta os planos de transferência e espera contratar Fred e Laporte em janeiro

Os líderes da Premier League querem contratar ambos neste mês, após perder Alexis Sanchez para o United

Bristol City may have lost to Manchester City, but they are a proper football club going places

They may have been beaten, may have seen their hopes disappear of seizing a fifth Premier League scalp as their magnificent Carabao Cup run came to a shuddering end. But, after this, nobody can doubt that Lee Johnson’s Bristol City are an operation on the march. In this Alamo defeat their spirit, application and determination was indication of a proper football club. The proof of their character came in their response to going two goals down. When Sergio Aguero expertly speared home Manchester City’s second goal before an hour had elapsed, effectively sealing the league leaders' progress to Wembley, a lesser team might have caved in. Many a Premier League side already has this season. But Bristol are no lesser team. They poured forward, full of bullish application scoring not once but twice, wobbling the mighty opponents, rattling the light blue nerves, making Pep Guardiola pull out whatever hairs he might have lurking on his pate. In like Flint: Bristol City's Aden Flint scores their second goal Credit: Action Images via Reuters Ultimately, as City scored a third at the death, it may have been no more than a consolation. But as a statement of intent it spoke volumes. Guardiola had arrived in Bristol still on course to win everything. Well not quite everything. As the Bristol City fans insisted to the travelling support: “Johnson’s Paint Trophy, you’ll never win that.” But as the first of four trophies he is targeting this season reached its business end, he was not about to field his youth team. The Manchester City manager had seen enough of Bristol in the first leg of this semi-final to show them the respect of selecting his first choice picks. His bench gave hint to his intention. With Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan, Ederson and Yaya Toure ready if required, it was more fully stocked than Nigella Lawson’s larder. Tearing his hair out: Pep Guardiola soon knew his side were in a contest Credit: PA But then Bristol are not a side to take lightly. It is not just the soaring architecture hereabouts that demonstrates their upward mobility. This is a club determined to reach higher things. A club which, with its rugby interests, already models itself on the Manchester operation’s growing global sporting business. And the intention was there, bouncing in the stands. “Let’s get the Gate rocking again as we look to make history,” the manager Gary Johnson had written in the matchday programme. He had asked for a noise, believing atmosphere was a legitimate weapon, sensing that his illustrious visitors might be knocked off course by momentum pouring down from the stadium superstructure. And how he got a response. The home supporters were in full voice long before kick off, chanting above the insistent rustle of the tin foil flags placed on every seat. Masked ballers: Manchester City's subs included the likes of Raheem Sterling and Eliaquim Mangala Credit: Getty Their enthusiasm was understandable. Joe Bryan’s slide tackle, chasing down Kyle Walker soon after the kick off, going to ground, snaffling the ball from the City full back, then rising up and charging forward, epitomised the Johnson way. This is a team worth shouting about. What soon became obvious was that Bristol’s problem appeared more comfortable spoiling than in possession. And Manchester City are not opponents against whom it is wise to dawdle in possession. Just as Bristol’s players could snap and snarl into the tackle, so could Guardiola’s. And the principle difference between the two sides was, when Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or David Silva stole the ball they invariably did something purposeful with it. GOAL: #BristolCity 1-2 Manchester City, Pack 64. #BRCvMCYpic.twitter.com/D3QZOGHCkB— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018 What Johnson must ensure now is that the energy expended here does not now have an adverse effect on his league chances. When they hosted and beat Manchester United in the previous round they were third in the Championship table. After beating more Premier League teams in just four matches than West Bromwich Albion had managed in 24 this season, they looked unassailable. A subsequent slump, which has seen them lose three league games on the trot, slipping to fifth position, suggested they celebrated that victory a little too enthusiastically, beginning to believe their publicity. Another slide like that could sabotage their carefully constructed ambition. Which would be a crying shame. “CITY ‘TIL I DIE!” Bristol City fans at full time �� ��: @libbyt_pic.twitter.com/MWxXK0NbmZ— COPA90 (@COPA90) January 23, 2018 Because of this there can now be no doubt: Bristol have shown during this run that they are good enough to take the step up, that they can match the residents of the top flight, that they are Premier League ready. Their problem in this game was that, never mind the Premier League, Manchester City are on another level altogether.  

Bristol City may have lost to Manchester City, but they are a proper football club going places

They may have been beaten, may have seen their hopes disappear of seizing a fifth Premier League scalp as their magnificent Carabao Cup run came to a shuddering end. But, after this, nobody can doubt that Lee Johnson’s Bristol City are an operation on the march. In this Alamo defeat their spirit, application and determination was indication of a proper football club. The proof of their character came in their response to going two goals down. When Sergio Aguero expertly speared home Manchester City’s second goal before an hour had elapsed, effectively sealing the league leaders' progress to Wembley, a lesser team might have caved in. Many a Premier League side already has this season. But Bristol are no lesser team. They poured forward, full of bullish application scoring not once but twice, wobbling the mighty opponents, rattling the light blue nerves, making Pep Guardiola pull out whatever hairs he might have lurking on his pate. In like Flint: Bristol City's Aden Flint scores their second goal Credit: Action Images via Reuters Ultimately, as City scored a third at the death, it may have been no more than a consolation. But as a statement of intent it spoke volumes. Guardiola had arrived in Bristol still on course to win everything. Well not quite everything. As the Bristol City fans insisted to the travelling support: “Johnson’s Paint Trophy, you’ll never win that.” But as the first of four trophies he is targeting this season reached its business end, he was not about to field his youth team. The Manchester City manager had seen enough of Bristol in the first leg of this semi-final to show them the respect of selecting his first choice picks. His bench gave hint to his intention. With Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan, Ederson and Yaya Toure ready if required, it was more fully stocked than Nigella Lawson’s larder. Tearing his hair out: Pep Guardiola soon knew his side were in a contest Credit: PA But then Bristol are not a side to take lightly. It is not just the soaring architecture hereabouts that demonstrates their upward mobility. This is a club determined to reach higher things. A club which, with its rugby interests, already models itself on the Manchester operation’s growing global sporting business. And the intention was there, bouncing in the stands. “Let’s get the Gate rocking again as we look to make history,” the manager Gary Johnson had written in the matchday programme. He had asked for a noise, believing atmosphere was a legitimate weapon, sensing that his illustrious visitors might be knocked off course by momentum pouring down from the stadium superstructure. And how he got a response. The home supporters were in full voice long before kick off, chanting above the insistent rustle of the tin foil flags placed on every seat. Masked ballers: Manchester City's subs included the likes of Raheem Sterling and Eliaquim Mangala Credit: Getty Their enthusiasm was understandable. Joe Bryan’s slide tackle, chasing down Kyle Walker soon after the kick off, going to ground, snaffling the ball from the City full back, then rising up and charging forward, epitomised the Johnson way. This is a team worth shouting about. What soon became obvious was that Bristol’s problem appeared more comfortable spoiling than in possession. And Manchester City are not opponents against whom it is wise to dawdle in possession. Just as Bristol’s players could snap and snarl into the tackle, so could Guardiola’s. And the principle difference between the two sides was, when Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or David Silva stole the ball they invariably did something purposeful with it. GOAL: #BristolCity 1-2 Manchester City, Pack 64. #BRCvMCYpic.twitter.com/D3QZOGHCkB— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018 What Johnson must ensure now is that the energy expended here does not now have an adverse effect on his league chances. When they hosted and beat Manchester United in the previous round they were third in the Championship table. After beating more Premier League teams in just four matches than West Bromwich Albion had managed in 24 this season, they looked unassailable. A subsequent slump, which has seen them lose three league games on the trot, slipping to fifth position, suggested they celebrated that victory a little too enthusiastically, beginning to believe their publicity. Another slide like that could sabotage their carefully constructed ambition. Which would be a crying shame. “CITY ‘TIL I DIE!” Bristol City fans at full time �� ��: @libbyt_pic.twitter.com/MWxXK0NbmZ— COPA90 (@COPA90) January 23, 2018 Because of this there can now be no doubt: Bristol have shown during this run that they are good enough to take the step up, that they can match the residents of the top flight, that they are Premier League ready. Their problem in this game was that, never mind the Premier League, Manchester City are on another level altogether.  

Bristol City may have lost to Manchester City, but they are a proper football club going places

They may have been beaten, may have seen their hopes disappear of seizing a fifth Premier League scalp as their magnificent Carabao Cup run came to a shuddering end. But, after this, nobody can doubt that Lee Johnson’s Bristol City are an operation on the march. In this Alamo defeat their spirit, application and determination was indication of a proper football club. The proof of their character came in their response to going two goals down. When Sergio Aguero expertly speared home Manchester City’s second goal before an hour had elapsed, effectively sealing the league leaders' progress to Wembley, a lesser team might have caved in. Many a Premier League side already has this season. But Bristol are no lesser team. They poured forward, full of bullish application scoring not once but twice, wobbling the mighty opponents, rattling the light blue nerves, making Pep Guardiola pull out whatever hairs he might have lurking on his pate. In like Flint: Bristol City's Aden Flint scores their second goal Credit: Action Images via Reuters Ultimately, as City scored a third at the death, it may have been no more than a consolation. But as a statement of intent it spoke volumes. Guardiola had arrived in Bristol still on course to win everything. Well not quite everything. As the Bristol City fans insisted to the travelling support: “Johnson’s Paint Trophy, you’ll never win that.” But as the first of four trophies he is targeting this season reached its business end, he was not about to field his youth team. The Manchester City manager had seen enough of Bristol in the first leg of this semi-final to show them the respect of selecting his first choice picks. His bench gave hint to his intention. With Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan, Ederson and Yaya Toure ready if required, it was more fully stocked than Nigella Lawson’s larder. Tearing his hair out: Pep Guardiola soon knew his side were in a contest Credit: PA But then Bristol are not a side to take lightly. It is not just the soaring architecture hereabouts that demonstrates their upward mobility. This is a club determined to reach higher things. A club which, with its rugby interests, already models itself on the Manchester operation’s growing global sporting business. And the intention was there, bouncing in the stands. “Let’s get the Gate rocking again as we look to make history,” the manager Gary Johnson had written in the matchday programme. He had asked for a noise, believing atmosphere was a legitimate weapon, sensing that his illustrious visitors might be knocked off course by momentum pouring down from the stadium superstructure. And how he got a response. The home supporters were in full voice long before kick off, chanting above the insistent rustle of the tin foil flags placed on every seat. Masked ballers: Manchester City's subs included the likes of Raheem Sterling and Eliaquim Mangala Credit: Getty Their enthusiasm was understandable. Joe Bryan’s slide tackle, chasing down Kyle Walker soon after the kick off, going to ground, snaffling the ball from the City full back, then rising up and charging forward, epitomised the Johnson way. This is a team worth shouting about. What soon became obvious was that Bristol’s problem appeared more comfortable spoiling than in possession. And Manchester City are not opponents against whom it is wise to dawdle in possession. Just as Bristol’s players could snap and snarl into the tackle, so could Guardiola’s. And the principle difference between the two sides was, when Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or David Silva stole the ball they invariably did something purposeful with it. GOAL: #BristolCity 1-2 Manchester City, Pack 64. #BRCvMCYpic.twitter.com/D3QZOGHCkB— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018 What Johnson must ensure now is that the energy expended here does not now have an adverse effect on his league chances. When they hosted and beat Manchester United in the previous round they were third in the Championship table. After beating more Premier League teams in just four matches than West Bromwich Albion had managed in 24 this season, they looked unassailable. A subsequent slump, which has seen them lose three league games on the trot, slipping to fifth position, suggested they celebrated that victory a little too enthusiastically, beginning to believe their publicity. Another slide like that could sabotage their carefully constructed ambition. Which would be a crying shame. “CITY ‘TIL I DIE!” Bristol City fans at full time �� ��: @libbyt_pic.twitter.com/MWxXK0NbmZ— COPA90 (@COPA90) January 23, 2018 Because of this there can now be no doubt: Bristol have shown during this run that they are good enough to take the step up, that they can match the residents of the top flight, that they are Premier League ready. Their problem in this game was that, never mind the Premier League, Manchester City are on another level altogether.  

Bristol City may have lost to Manchester City, but they are a proper football club going places

They may have been beaten, may have seen their hopes disappear of seizing a fifth Premier League scalp as their magnificent Carabao Cup run came to a shuddering end. But, after this, nobody can doubt that Lee Johnson’s Bristol City are an operation on the march. In this Alamo defeat their spirit, application and determination was indication of a proper football club. The proof of their character came in their response to going two goals down. When Sergio Aguero expertly speared home Manchester City’s second goal before an hour had elapsed, effectively sealing the league leaders' progress to Wembley, a lesser team might have caved in. Many a Premier League side already has this season. But Bristol are no lesser team. They poured forward, full of bullish application scoring not once but twice, wobbling the mighty opponents, rattling the light blue nerves, making Pep Guardiola pull out whatever hairs he might have lurking on his pate. In like Flint: Bristol City's Aden Flint scores their second goal Credit: Action Images via Reuters Ultimately, as City scored a third at the death, it may have been no more than a consolation. But as a statement of intent it spoke volumes. Guardiola had arrived in Bristol still on course to win everything. Well not quite everything. As the Bristol City fans insisted to the travelling support: “Johnson’s Paint Trophy, you’ll never win that.” But as the first of four trophies he is targeting this season reached its business end, he was not about to field his youth team. The Manchester City manager had seen enough of Bristol in the first leg of this semi-final to show them the respect of selecting his first choice picks. His bench gave hint to his intention. With Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan, Ederson and Yaya Toure ready if required, it was more fully stocked than Nigella Lawson’s larder. Tearing his hair out: Pep Guardiola soon knew his side were in a contest Credit: PA But then Bristol are not a side to take lightly. It is not just the soaring architecture hereabouts that demonstrates their upward mobility. This is a club determined to reach higher things. A club which, with its rugby interests, already models itself on the Manchester operation’s growing global sporting business. And the intention was there, bouncing in the stands. “Let’s get the Gate rocking again as we look to make history,” the manager Gary Johnson had written in the matchday programme. He had asked for a noise, believing atmosphere was a legitimate weapon, sensing that his illustrious visitors might be knocked off course by momentum pouring down from the stadium superstructure. And how he got a response. The home supporters were in full voice long before kick off, chanting above the insistent rustle of the tin foil flags placed on every seat. Masked ballers: Manchester City's subs included the likes of Raheem Sterling and Eliaquim Mangala Credit: Getty Their enthusiasm was understandable. Joe Bryan’s slide tackle, chasing down Kyle Walker soon after the kick off, going to ground, snaffling the ball from the City full back, then rising up and charging forward, epitomised the Johnson way. This is a team worth shouting about. What soon became obvious was that Bristol’s problem appeared more comfortable spoiling than in possession. And Manchester City are not opponents against whom it is wise to dawdle in possession. Just as Bristol’s players could snap and snarl into the tackle, so could Guardiola’s. And the principle difference between the two sides was, when Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or David Silva stole the ball they invariably did something purposeful with it. GOAL: #BristolCity 1-2 Manchester City, Pack 64. #BRCvMCYpic.twitter.com/D3QZOGHCkB— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 23, 2018 What Johnson must ensure now is that the energy expended here does not now have an adverse effect on his league chances. When they hosted and beat Manchester United in the previous round they were third in the Championship table. After beating more Premier League teams in just four matches than West Bromwich Albion had managed in 24 this season, they looked unassailable. A subsequent slump, which has seen them lose three league games on the trot, slipping to fifth position, suggested they celebrated that victory a little too enthusiastically, beginning to believe their publicity. Another slide like that could sabotage their carefully constructed ambition. Which would be a crying shame. “CITY ‘TIL I DIE!” Bristol City fans at full time �� ��: @libbyt_pic.twitter.com/MWxXK0NbmZ— COPA90 (@COPA90) January 23, 2018 Because of this there can now be no doubt: Bristol have shown during this run that they are good enough to take the step up, that they can match the residents of the top flight, that they are Premier League ready. Their problem in this game was that, never mind the Premier League, Manchester City are on another level altogether.  

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Leroy Sane celebrates with Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City after winning the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester City at John Smith's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Leroy Sane celebrates with Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City after winning the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester City at John Smith's Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal in pole position to sign Jonny Evans and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75m

Arsenal are now in pole position to sign Jonny Evans as well as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a combined £75 million after Manchester City cooled their interest in the West Bromwich Albion defender and negotiations advanced yesterday with Borussia Dortmund. Evans had preferred a move to Manchester City but, with the Premier League leaders now reviving their interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, Arsenal are attempting to reach agreement on a fee of around £20m. West Brom have their own incentive to quickly complete the deal so that they have the funds to strengthen, with Alan Pardew keen to add attacking players this month and interested in Watford’s Troy Deeney. A delegation of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and lawyer Huss Fahmy are also in Germany attempting to finalise a potential club record deal for Aubameyang. An initial £44m bid was rejected but Arsenal have now indicated that they are prepared to increase their offer to around £50m, although Dortmund still value Aubameyang closer to £60m. Loaning France striker Olivier Giroud to Dortmund is also being discussed and, with the German club keen to get an immediate replacement as well as a big transfer fee, there is confidence that a compromise will be found. Arsenal are in pole position to sign Jonny Evans for £20m Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine Transfer negotiator Dick Law was at Arsenal’s training ground on Tuesday and is understood to be working on the Evans deal, with manager Arsène Wenger admitting earlier in the day that Arsenal were trying to sign at least two players.  “You never know how close,” said Wenger. “These are the kind of things that, at the moment, are one of the possible movements. We have other things in mind as well and we have plenty of opportunities in different positions. We are busy on all fronts. Every opportunity we have to strengthen our squad, we’ll take.”    

FILE - A Saturday, April 20, 2013 file photo showing Everton's Phil Neville, during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England. Phil Neville has been hired as manager of England’s women’s team. Since retiring from playing in 2013, Neville has had brief spells as an assistant coach with the England Under-21 men’s team, United and Valencia. He has also managed Salford City _ the semi-professional team he co-owns with other former United players _ for one game. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

Dyche signs bumper new Burnley contract

The former Watford boss is set to earn a reported £3.5 million-per-year after establishing the Clarets in the Premier League

Man City ramp up transfer plans & hope to sign Fred & Laporte in January

The Premier League leaders want to sign both men this month as they react to losing out on Alexis Sanchez, the latest top target to escape their grasp

Man City ramp up transfer plans & hope to sign Fred & Laporte in January

The Premier League leaders want to sign both men this month as they react to losing out on Alexis Sanchez, the latest top target to escape their grasp

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