Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final was set up to be a New Year Cracker with both contesting sides in hot form coming into the game. An eagerly anticipated Manchester Derby with the winner booking themselves a place in April’s Wembley final.

Their only previous meeting this season came only a month ago in the form of a dismal scoreless draw, but a revitalised Manchester City side were keen change things and did so, reaching the final of the EFL Cup for a fourth consecutive year.

Two second half goals were the difference between the two Manchester clubs. A rejuvenated John Stones bagged his first goal since his brace at the World Cup in 2018, and Fernandinho’s 83rd minute strike sealed the tie for Guardiola’s City.

The semi-final defeat was no novelty for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players, who have lost four semi-final ties in the past 12 months.

Man of the Match John Stones was lucky, early in the first half when his strange own goal was saved by the offside flag, but the Englishman was back to his best after the incident and kept a vital clean sheet against tricky attacking opposition.

The victory came just a day after the news of the passing of Manchester City legend Colin Bell, and emotions ran high before kick-off when the Old Trafford fell silent to remember to pay tribute to one of Manchester’s greatest ever players. Man City boss, Guardiola dedicated the derby victory to the late midfielder.

A fourth consecutive League Cup final for Pep, and a fourth semi-final disappointment in a row, for Ole, as Manchester City see off Manchester Utd at Old Trafford to set up a thrilling final headliner in April against Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur.