Manchester City all but clinched their place in the Carabao Cup final with a devastating victory over League One side Burton Albion.
Manchester City 9 – 0 Burton Albion
Gabriel Jesus scored four as the defending champions essentially secured a spot at Wembley against Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur.
The Whole Nine Goals.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 10, 2019
Long before the end, it was difficult not to feel a certain amount of sympathy for the players of Burton Albion. They had desperately wanted to cherish the memories of their first semi-final and maybe, in time, they will. Not here, though. Not with Manchester City swatting them aside as if dismissing a bothersome fly.
Maybe, amid this crushing demolition job, there was even a touch of empathy from the people responsible for overseeing the VAR arrangements.
City might, after all, have finished with double figures but for the officials surveying the video and deciding, inexplicably, that Ben Turner did not foul Gabriel Jesus. It was, in fact, a clear penalty.
Yet City were already leading 4-0 at the time and Jesus was denied the chance to score a first-half hat-trick.
"I have never scored four before in my career, I am so happy for this."
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 9, 2019
The margin of victory is the biggest ever achieved in a semi-final of a cup competition in England and the same margin as the record score achieved by City (10-1 against Huddersfield in 1987 and against Swindon in 1930).
They were 8-0 up with 20 minutes to go and desperately sought to get their 10th goal in the dying minutes, pinning Burton back. Should they have shown mercy? No, it was not as if they were humiliating their opponents with unnecessary step-overs and tricks.
This was about going to the end, so that Guardiola could declare “we are in the final” and strike out the second leg as a formality in which he can field as many kids as he can find.
— Bernardo Silva (@BernardoCSilva) January 9, 2019
Will City show no mercy in the second leg too? We’ll just have to wait and see…
Pep Guardiola’s men face Wolverhampton on Monday as they try to hold on to their second place position in the league table. The Wolves came out to shock the Premier League leaders Liverpool last Monday as they won 2-1 which could well push Nuno’s men on a winning streak.