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

Nathan Ayke 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 won a Carabao Cup thriller at the Etihad Stadium as Nathan Ayke’s first goal since April saw off Liverpool’s challenge.

City took the lead three times and were pegged back on the first two occasions. In the second, Mohamed Salah needed just one minute to restore parity after Riyad Mahrez clipped Rodri’s brilliant pass to find the bottom corner.

But Kevin de Bruyne produced a brilliant long cross after 58 minutes which fell just over the head of Nat Phillips and was perfectly placed for Eike to nod home.

City deserved their victory, keeping Pep Guardiola on course for a fifth triumph in the competition, which would make him the most successful manager in its history.

The reigning Premier League champions will visit Southampton during the week commencing 9 January 2023.

However, Liverpool, for whom Fabio Carvalho had equalized midway through the first half, had chances of their own with Darwin Nunes firing three times over the bar and wide of the far post when in a much better position.

Nunes set Sala up for his own goal when he completely outpaced Aymeric Laporte, but there was no third response from the visitors as the defense of the trophy ended.

Haaland came back with a bang

City’s rivals feared in the build-up to the World Cup that a fully rested Haaland – his country Norway did not qualify for the World Cup – could wreak havoc when the season resumes.

He could have scored within 20 seconds, but after his pace took him out of the Liverpool defence, the 22-year-old fired an effort past Caimhin Kelleher and into the visitors’ goal.

Erling Haaland celebrates his goal for Manchester City
Erling Haaland scored his 24th goal of the season to give Manchester City the lead against Liverpool

But Haaland didn’t have to wait long to score. The surprise was that De Bruyne chose to ignore the striker when City countered late in the opening period and instead brought on Ilkay Gundogan, who couldn’t beat Kelleher when he really needed to.

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Chasing quite a bit after the break and looking for some small reward, 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 to Qatar – and City had more than any other Premier League club – would be in better shape than those who missed the game because of intense training.

Guardiola believes there is merit, but with City looking to get their Premier League campaign back on track over the holidays, it is suspected that three games a week will suit Haaland better than many who have spent the last month chasing the World Cup.

Liverpool need to find form quickly

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

One pair of supporters did not heed the message, engaging in a furious row after one exceptionally stood up in the corporate zone to cheer Liverpool’s first equalizer with Carvalho.

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

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

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It will now be interesting to see how Jurgen Klopp constructs his squad as, seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League, they need to find form really quickly.


City of people

Formation 4-3-3

  • 18Ortega
  • 82Lewis
  • 25AkanjiReplaced byRocksat 61′minutes
  • 14Laporte
  • 6Ake
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 16RodriBooked in 79 minutes
  • 8GundoganReplaced byBernardo Silvaat eighty eight’minutes
  • 26Mahrez
  • 9HaalandReplaced byFodenat 73′minutes
  • 80PalmerReplaced byGrealishat 73′minutes


  • 2Walker
  • 5Rocks
  • 7Cancel
  • 10Grealish
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 21Gómez
  • 33Carson
  • 47Foden
  • 93Robertson


Formation 4-3-3

  • 62Kelleher
  • 7MilnerReplaced byPhilipat 38′minutes
  • 32Matip
  • 2Gomez
  • 26Robertson
  • 6Thiago AlcantaraReplaced byKeithat 70′minutesBooked in 83 minutes
  • 43BajceticBooked in 35 minutesReplaced byFabinhoat 45′minutesBooked in 79 minutes
  • 19EliotReplaced byHendersonat 57′minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 27Núñez
  • 28CarnivalReplaced byOxlade-Chamberlainat 45′minutes


  • 3Fabinho
  • 8Keith
  • 13Adrian
  • 14Henderson
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 22Ramsay
  • 47Philip
  • 50Doak

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