LONDON: Manchester City’s stellar season gathered yet more momentum as the runaway Premier League leaders kept alive their hopes of a quadruple after holding off a spirited challenge from Leicester City to reach the League Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola showcased the riches at his disposal by making nine changes as his team held their nerve to edge through 4-3 on spot-kicks after the two sides were locked at 1-1 following extra time.
Arsenal, one of the sides trying vainly to catch City in the league, also battled into the last four by beating London rivals West Ham United 1-0 with a Danny Welbeck goal at The Emirates.
In an ironic twist at the King Power Stadium Jamie Vardy — who had earlier scored a penalty deep into time added on to keep the tie alive — missed his spot kick in the shootout and Riyad Mahrez had his effort saved by City keeper Claudio Bravo.
“The way we had to react [after Leicester’s penalty] was not easy, we were tired, we had a lot of young players, Danilo was playing at centre-back for the first time in his life,” said Guardiola. “It’s not easy because Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were there.
“What I liked the most is how we reacted and overcame that situation. It’s a good indication for the future.”
The visitors looked to have booked a semi-final place with a first-half Bernardo Silva goal until Leicester were awarded a soft looking penalty seven minutes into stoppage time which Vardy converted to take it beyond 90 minutes.
City, already being hailed as one of the finest sides of the modern era, can still take a clean sweep of trophies this term with Guardiola’s side 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League and in the knockout stages of the Champions League.