MANCHESTER, England, (Reuters) – Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp header secured a 2-1 victory over Bristol City in their League Cup semi-final first leg yesterday after the second-tier side had frustrated the Premier League leaders.
City, who have dished out a string of maulings in a stellar league campaign, found the Championship side a tough nut to crack and had to wait until the 92nd minute to grab the winner when Argentine substitute Aguero darted in to head home.
The visitors had opened the scoring with a penalty just before halftime after central defender John Stones had fouled Bobby Reid, who dispatched the spot kick with aplomb.
Kevin De Bruyne’s equaliser soon after the break turned the tide and City then laid siege to their opponents’ defence in the closing stages before Aguero’s goal gave them a vital advantage ahead of the return leg in two weeks’ time.
“My players were fantastic because in football you can win, you can lose, but we try until the end. We win many games in the last minutes because we don’t give up,” City manager Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports.
With Manchester City unbeaten domestically all season and streaking clear in the Premier League it was hard to imagine them facing much of a test at home to Lee Johnson’s side, who are 14 points off the pace in the second division.
Yet the visitors had beaten four top flight sides en route to the semi-finals, including City’s arch rivals Manchester United in the last round, and were in no mood to lie down and wait for Guardiola’s City juggernaut to mow them over.
The hosts enjoyed the majority of early possession and came close to taking the lead when Bernardo Silva’s deflected effort rippled the side netting in the 15th minute, before De Bruyne forced visiting keeper Frank Fielding into a sharp save.