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Eric Garcia catches the eye, Kevin De Bruyne tries new position as Man City see out second leg

 

BURTON, England -- Manchester City confirmed their place at Wembley for the Carabao Cup final with a 1-0 victory over League One's Burton Albion.

The tie was over after the 9-0 first-leg victory and they added to the size of the aggregate margin with a first-half goal from Sergio Aguero.

The trophy was Pep Guardiola's first in England and he will find out this season's opponent when Chelsea play Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.

Positives

Last season, City broke a huge amount of records and another one fell at Burton. The 10-0 margin of victory was the highest for an English two-legged semifinal beating their own 9-0 aggregate win over West Ham five years ago. City have now scored 23 times in their last five games without conceding.

Negatives

City survived last season without left-back Benjamin Mendy for much of it, with midfielders Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko filling in. But both have had a mixed time this season and their confidence in the unfamiliar position seems to have taken a hit. The good news is that Mendy's recovery from another knee injury saw him fit enough to play the final 30 minutes at Burton.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- A stand-in for Fernandinho is an issue for Pep Guardiola and the Catalan took the opportunity to experiment with Kevin De Bruyne in the deep midfield role. His other selections were all about building up match fitness to keep his squad sharp for what is unfolding to become a busy final three months of the season

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Aro Muric, 7 -- Alert to be quick off his line to any balls over the top just like his teammate Ederson and made one good save in the second half. Fourth clean sheet in his fifth appearance.

DF Danilo, 6 -- Back to his favoured right-back position and no major problems.

DF Eric Garcia, 8 -- Another elegant display from the Spanish teenager who is not afraid to bring the ball out of defence and made one important goal-line clearance here.

DF Philippe Sandler, 7 -- The Dutch defender was making his first start and came through well against the physical challenge from striker Liam Boyce. Made one slip in the second half that could have been costly.

DF Oleksandr Zinchenko, 5 -- Not an easy adjustment on a difficult pitch and got caught out on a couple of occasions.

Eighteen-year-old Eric Garcia again looked way beyond his age, comfortably playing out of the back for Man City.
Eighteen-year-old Eric Garcia again looked way beyond his age, comfortably playing out of the back for Man City.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 7 -- Playing in an unusually deeper role but it allowed him to dictate the play. Couple of stray passes but more than made up for it with others that sliced open the League One side.

MF Fabian Delph, 5 -- Back in the starting lineup for the first time since an unnecessary red card in the defeat at Leicester City six matches ago. Tried too hard to get himself back into the good books and got caught out a couple of times.

MF Phil Foden, 6 -- Another experience that will help his development. Burton tried to knock him out of stride with the odd robust challenge but he coped with it well.

FW Riyad Mahrez, 7 -- City liveliest threat going forward. Cut inside a couple of times and was slightly off-target before assisting Aguero's goal.

FW Sergio Aguero, 6 -- Surprising to see him start such a low-key game. Clinical finish when he got his opportunity in the first half, strangely off-target with an even better chance in the second.

FW Ian Carlo Poveda, 6 -- Making his first-team debut, the 18-year-old was discovered by the same scout that found former City starlet Jadon Sancho. Some neat touches and link-up play.

Substitutes

DF Benjamin Mendy, 6 -- His first appearance in nearly two months and he quickly got forward to try to add to his assists tally.

FW Gabriel Jesus, 5 -- Almost added to his four goals from the first leg after a nice turn but his shot was blocked.

MF Felix Nmecha, 5 -- Making his City debut, following in the footsteps of his brother Lukas last season, and settled down well.

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