Manchester City into first final of Guardiola era
Bristol (United Kingdom): Pep Guardiola saw his Manchester City side pushed hard before defeating second-tier Bristol City in an entertaining League Cup semi-final on Tuesday to leave him one game away from winning his first major trophy in English football.
Guardiola's runaway Premier League leaders, eyeing an unprecedented season quadruple given they also remain involved in both the FA Cup and Champions League, won 3-2 on the night for a 5-3 aggregate win over the Championship side.
They kicked off with a narrow advantage at Ashton Gate after a 2-1 first-leg win at the Etihad Stadium.
But goals either side of half-time from Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero effectively saw Manchester City to a win on Tuesday and success over the two legs as they reached their first final under former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Guardiola.
Bristol City were undaunted, however, with Marlon Pack pulling a goal back in the 64th minute before Aden Flint scored deep into stoppage time.
However, there was still time for Kevin De Bruyne to round off the scoring for Manchester City.
Guardiola's men will now face the winners of Wednesday's Emirates Stadium semi-final between their Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley on February 25, with the two London clubs deadlocked at 0-0 after a first-leg stalemate.
"We are so happy to be there, to reach this final," Guardiola, whose debut season as City boss last term saw him end a campaign without a trophy for the first time in his managerial career, told Sky Sports.
"We played an amazing game until 2-0 and then we lost control, these type of games never end until the end.
"This is a lesson for next weekend in Cardiff in the FA Cup and especially for the Champions League," the Spaniard warned.
"At 2-0 we knew it would be easier because they needed three or four goals but with one minute left it was 2-2 and anything could happen."
Guardiola played down the personal importance of reaching a Wembley final, saying: "It's not for me, it's for Manchester City, a club who are trying to reach another level.
"I know that we will be judged by trophies we win but we are so happy," he insisted. "Nobody can take away what we have done, but Chelsea or Arsenal are strong teams."
Meanwhile Pack summed up the mood of the home side by saying: "I'm proud of the boys and proud to be part of this team. Hopefully we can take this into the league now and keep it going."