Manchester City took firm control of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie with Man United, running out convincing 3-1 winners over their city rivals at Old Trafford tonight.
The reigning Premier League champions were simply too good for Manchester United during an impressive first-half showing, Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva opening the scoring after 17 minutes with a sublime long-range effort.
Silva would then turn provider slipping in Riyad Mahrez, who calmly rounded David De Gea to put his side two goals up and the game seemed dead and buried seven minutes before the break when the unfortunate Andreas Pereira diverted the ball into his own net after a Kevin De Bruyne shot was parried straight at him.
In all honesty, Pep Guardiola’s side could have easily gone in at half-time five or six up such was their dominance and the ease at which they were cutting through an off the pace United backline.
However, United would emerge in the second period and regain at least some form of pride, Marcus Rashford finishing well on 70 minutes to give the Red Devils slender hope of pulling off an unlikely comeback in the second leg.
Despite seeing his Man City side completely outclass their bitter rivals for the vast majority of tonight’s game, Guardiola insisted he is still wary of United fighting back in the second leg.
“The last game (a 2-1 loss in December) we could not control when we lost the ball and tonight we did it better,” Guardiola told BBC Five Live.
Man Utd 1-2 Man City
Man Utd 0-2 Man City
Man Utd 1-3 Man City
Pep Guardiola has won three consecutive games at Old Trafford across all competitions. pic.twitter.com/0HNvd7xHCG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 7, 2020
“We lost the ball in a position which is so dangerous (for the United goal). We cannot forget which team we play. Tonight we can be more than satisfied to come here to Old Trafford and win.
“It is not over. We have one more game and we’ll see what happens.
“Of course Manchester United can come back. Last year here they lost to PSG and they qualify (in the Champions League). They have the shirt which means history and pride.”
When asked if his side had put on a ‘masterclass’ at Old Trafford tonight, Guardiola once again seemed more concerned with talking up the threats caused by Solskjaer’s team.
“Why is it a masterclass?” Guardiola snapped back.
“I would like to know what people say at the beginning when we play without Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. We win and we’re a genius but if we don’t win I know what will happen.
”We try to control the counter attacks because they’re a wonderful team.”
Both sides will have to wait a while for the second leg, with the tie set to take place on January 29.