Manchester City 3-2 Liverpool: Man City reach Carabao Cup quarter-finals

Nathan Ake celebrates his goal for Manchester City
Nathan Ake was one of 16 Manchester City players selected to represent their countries at the World Cup

Manchester City emerged victorious in a Carabao Cup thriller at the Etihad Stadium as Nathan Ake’s first goal since April eventually saw off holders Liverpool’s challenge.

City led three times and, in the first two times, they were pegged back. On the second occasion, it took Mohamed Salah just one minute to restore parity after Riyad Mahrez cut inside Rodri’s brilliant crossfield pass and found the bottom corner.

However, just as he did for Erling Haaland’s opener – and 24th goal of the season – Kevin de Bruyne delivered a superb far-post cross after 58 minutes, which fell just over Nat Phillips’ head and perfectly for Ake, who Nod home.

City deserved their win, keeping Pep Guardiola on track for his fifth triumph in the competition, which would make him the most successful manager in his history.

The reigning Premier League champions will visit Southampton in the last eight during the week of January 9, 2023.

However, Liverpool – for whom Fabio Carvalho scored a first-half equalizer midway through the first half – had their chances, with Darwin Nunez three times firing across goal and wide of the far post when he was positioned to do much better.

Nunez set up Salah for his goal when he completely outpaced Aymeric Laporte, but there was no third response from the visitors, whose defense of the trophy is at an end.

Holland back with a bang

The fear for City’s rivals in the build-up to the World Cup was that a fully rested Haaland – his country Norway did not qualify for the World Cup – could cause huge damage when the season resumed.

He could have scored within 20 seconds, but after his pace took him away from the Liverpool defence, the 22-year-old sent his effort sailing over both Caoimhín Keller and the visitors’ goal.

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Erling Haaland celebrates his goal for Manchester City
Erling Haaland got his 24th goal of the season to put Manchester City in front against Liverpool

But Haaland didn’t have to wait long to score. The surprise was, having put him in for the opener, that De Bruyne then chose to ignore the striker when City countered late in the opening period and instead teased Ilkay Gundogan, who failed to beat Kelleher when he really should have.

After a bit of chasing and aching for some reward after the interval, Guardiola replaced Haaland with Phil Foden 17 minutes before full-time.

In the build-up to the game, Guardiola said he thought the players who had been in Qatar – and City have more than any other Premier League club – would be in better shape than those who missed out because they had been training with intensity.

Guardiola’s view has merit, but as City look to get their Premier League campaign back on track over the holiday period, the suspicion would be that three games in a week will suit Haaland better than many of those who Have spent the last month trying. Win the World Cup.

Liverpool need to find form quickly

Respective chief executives Ferran Soriano and Billy Hogan sent letters to fans in the build-up to the game urging calm after the flashpoints that have scarred matches between the North-West heavyweights in recent years.

One pair of supporters did not heed the message as they engaged in a furious row after one took exception to the other standing up in a corporate area to cheer Liverpool’s first equalizer through Carvalho.

Like Liverpool as a whole, Carvalho’s season never really got going before the World Cup and his half-time exit does not indicate an immediate upturn in fortunes for the former Fulham man, who scored for the first time since August.

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His replacement, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, has had another injury-ravaged campaign, but the midfielder was pivotal in creating the space that Nunez exploited for Salah’s goal.

The interesting thing now will be how Jurgen Klopp pieces his team together, as they have slipped seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League, they really need to find form quickly.


Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 18Ortega
  • 82Louis
  • 25Akanjisubstituted forStonesAt 61′minute
  • 14Laporte
  • 6Ake
  • 17The brown
  • 16RhodriBooked in 79 minutes
  • 8Gundogansubstituted forBernardo SilvaAt 88′minute
  • 26Mahrez
  • 9Hollandsubstituted forFodenAt 73′minute
  • 80Palmersubstituted forTerribleAt 73′minute


  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 7Cancello
  • 10Terrible
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 21Gómez
  • 33Carson
  • 47Foden
  • 93Robertson


Formation 4-3-3

  • 62Kelleher
  • 7Milnersubstituted forPhillipsAt 38′minute
  • 32Matip
  • 2Gomez
  • 26Robertson
  • 6Thiago Alcántarasubstituted forKeïtaAt 70′minuteBooked in 83 minutes
  • 43budgetBooked in 35 minutessubstituted forFabinhoAt 45′minuteBooked in 79 minutes
  • 19Eliotsubstituted forHendersonAt 57′minute
  • 11Salah
  • 27Núñez
  • 28Carvalhosubstituted forOxlade-ChamberlainAt 45′minute


  • 3Fabinho
  • 8Keïta
  • 13Adrián
  • 14Henderson
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 22Ramsay
  • 47Phillips
  • 50Doak

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