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Can Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City keep their Exceptional form in the Carabao Cup Intact?

Bertrand Traore

Can Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City keep their Exceptional form in the EFL Cup Intact? Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is looking to claim his 25th Victory in the Carabao(EFL)Cup. The Defending Carabao Cup Champions will travel to the London Stadium to lock horns against West Ham United.

Manchester City has won the EFL Cup for a record 4 times in the last 5 Seasons. The Citizens have dominated the Competition since the arrival of Pep Guardiola in 2016. City defeated Clubs like Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspurs respectively in the Finals of the EFL Cup.

The Spanish Manager will be in charge of his 26th Carabao Cup fixture. His team has won 24 and lost 2 matches out of the 26 games that he has managed so far. City hammered League One side Wycombe Wanderers by 6-1, in their previous EFL Cup fixture and are looking to continue their form on Wednesday night against West Ham.

Before Wednesday’s clash between West Ham United and Manchester City, Football Express will have a detailed analysis of City’s last 5 Carabao Cup Campaigns.

2016-17 – Eliminated in the Fourth Round

An October clash at Old Trafford against Jose Mourinho’s team saw the Portuguese boss come out on top. Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game to send the Sky Blues packing. A result that was incredibly the last time City were eliminated from the competition to date.

2017-18 – Winners

The 2017-18 campaign was arguably City’s most challenging in reaching the final. After winning two of their four matches by narrow one-goal margins. The other two were decided by penalty shootouts.

A Leroy Sane brace was enough for Guardiola’s side to claim a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion in the third round. Claudio Bravo saved two penalties to help the Citizens progress into the quarter-finals 4-1 on penalties at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Bravo continued his heroics between the sticks in the Quarter Final against Leicester City. He saved the final two spot-kicks from Foxes duo Riyadh Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.

Manchester City overcame Championship outfit Bristol City 5-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals. despite an early scare in the first leg which saw them trailing at halftime. They then cruised to arguably their easiest victory in the 2017-18 competition, with a 3-0 win against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. It was Guardiola’s first EFL Cup triumph and one which began an era of dominance for his talented squad.

2018-19 – Winners

City enjoyed a more comfortable route to the final in 2018-19, winning all six matches by a combined scoreline of 16-1. Guardiola has often used the EFL Cup to blood academy talents during his tenure. He included Youngsters like Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz in City’s Main team. The duo scored their first senior goals in 3-0 and 2-0 victories against Oxford United and Fulham respectively.

The Citizens then travelled to familiar territory when they locked horns once again with Leicester at the King Power Stadium. City produced an almost carbon copy result of their encounter a year earlier. Claudio Bravo became the hero yet again for the Sky Blues. On this occasion, the Chilean saved three consecutive penalties to help Guardiola’s men win 3-1 on penalties. Another terrific night in the EFL Cup saw Manchester City record the competition’s biggest aggregate victory. They won 10-0 over two legs against football league minnows Burton Albion in the semi-finals.

The 2018-19 final between City and Chelsea finished goalless after 120 minutes. The Match was then decided on penalties, with Raheem Sterling scoring the decisive spot-kick to help Guardiola’s side retain the trophy.

2019-20 – Winners

The city began their 2019-20 EFL Cup campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Preston North End. They defeated Southampton 3-1 on home soil in the round of 16, thanks to a brace from Sergio Aguero…

For the second time in successive years, the Citizens travelled to the Kassam Stadium, this time in the quarter-finals. Goals from Raheem Sterling and Joao Cancelo scored in a 3-1 victory against Oxford. They were against their Crosstown Rivals in the Semi-Final.

City raced into a 3-0 lead within the first 38 minutes at Old Trafford. Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez scored for City and Andreas Pereira scored an own goal to make it 3-0. Marcus Rashford pulled one back in the 70th minute to give the Red Devils hope of a comeback in the second leg.

Guardiola’s second-ever defeats in the EFL Cup came on home soil against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United. However, they were eventually eliminated 3-2 on aggregate by the Citizens. Pep Guardiola’s side booked their place into their third successive final against Aston Villa.

City were strong favourites to beat the Villains in the showpiece event and they lived up to their expectations. A man-of-the-match performance from Phil Foden inspired them to a 2-1 triumph at Wembley.

2020-21 – Winners

Manchester City kicked off last year’s Carabao Cup campaign with a 2-1 home win over Bournemouth. Academy graduates Liam Delap and Phil Foden got their names on the scoresheet.

Guardiola then claimed his 20th victory in the competition when his side defeated Burnley by 3-0 in the fourth round. Pep Guardiola got one over his former assistant Mikel Arteta when City beat Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates. Thanks to strikes from Gabriel Jesus, Riyadh Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte.

Another eagerly-anticipated Manchester Derby then awaited the Citizens in the semi-finals. This encounter was contested over one leg rather than the traditional two due to the coronavirus pandemic. City ran out 2-0 winners after second-half strikes from John Stones and Fernandinho.

Wembley was unable to host the final in front of a full 90,000 capacity. Though just under 8,000 fans were lucky enough to get a ticket for their first football game in over a year. A closely-fought contest between City and Tottenham saw Laporte head home the only goal of the game eight minutes from time to seal the Sky Blues’ fourth successive EFL Cup trophy.

The Citizens have now triumphed a record-equalling eight times, a feat which only Liverpool can match in the competition’s 61-year history. Aston Villa, Chelsea and Man United all sit in joint-second place, having won five times.

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