Manchester City defeated Leicester on penalties in the Carabao Cup quarter-final for the second-consecutive season after an entertaining game at the King Power Stadium.
City started quickly and were ahead after 14 minutes when Kevin De Bruyne, returning to the starting lineup for the first time since early November, skipped past Hamza Choudhury and planted a fine finish past Danny Ward at the near post from 20 yards.
It was a brilliant moment of individual quality; a reminder of what City have been missing in his absence.
Leicester, who came into the match yet to concede a goal in this season’s Carabao Cup, were visibly dejected, and it was City who were dominating the ball. Riyad Mahrez blasted one over the bar from close range after Brahim Diaz’s effort was blocked and the Algerian will feel he should have at least made the ‘keeper work.
On to the next one ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/VUhiiQZHGb
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) December 18, 2018
Early in the second half, Sergio Aguero, back after a groin problem, was put clean through by Mahrez, but the Argentine’s effort was well saved Ward, and Mahrez went closer soon after when his curling left-footed effort from the edge of the area flashed just over the bar.
But Leicester weren’t finished just yet, and with 73 minutes on the clock Ndidi played a fine ball over the top that took City’s defence out of the game, and Mark Albrighton equalised with an emphatic finish past Muric. Oleksandr Zinchenko will be disappointed he allowed Albrighton the chance to run off him.
Mahrez had another good chance moments later, but his effort went just wide, before substitute Gabriel Jesus had a penalty claim turned down after he was brought down by Choudhury and Foden spurned a chance when clean through after Ilkay Gundogan’s clever slide-rule pass.
City couldn’t find a winner, meaning penalties would again determine which of these sides would make it through to the semi-finals – and it was City who once again emerged victorious.
Christian Fuchs was the first to miss, before Muric saved from James Maddison and Caglar Soyunchu. Zinchenko’s fine top-corner effort made it 3-1 to the Blues in the shoot-out keep us on course to win our fourth EFL Cup in six seasons.