City reached the semi finals of the Capital One Cup tonight with a comfortable win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
Pellegrini named a stronger side than just about everyone expected, with Kompany, Silva and Zabaleta all starting despite playing in the 6-3 win over Arsenal.
There was also confusion when City named only 6 subs, with Jovetic and Guidetti among the absentees who it was thought could play a part. Jovetic fell ill an hour before the game and City had no one else present to put on the bench!
City took the lead after just 8 minutes and what a special goal it was as Kolarov launched a stunning free kick into the top corner from around 30 yards out.
Minutes later the risk of including big guns partially backfired with Zabaleta pulling up and clutching his hamstring. An angry Zabaleta punched the pitch then headed up the tunnel, leaving City without a natural right-back following Micah’s latest injury.
Boyata replaced Zabaleta and looked uneasy, getting a quick yellow card and struggling. He improved a lot as the game went on, but would be a risky choice in the position for some of the tougher upcoming games.
City dominated the first half and the second goal was much deserved when good work from Navas and Milner led to the again impressive Milner crossing for Dzeko to head home.
It was 0-2 to City at half-time but could have been more if not for some fine saves from City academy graduate Kasper Schmeichel, who had a good game.
Milner fed Dzeko again early in the second half, the Bosnian Diamond continuing his prolific goal scoring record away from home in what was a good follow-up performance from him after he led the line so well in Munich.
City’s performance levels dropped as the second half went on, understandable with the match practically won. Leicester pulled one back through Lloyd Dyer and tried for a second, but Joe Hart was never really threatened.
City are now a two-legged semi final from a return to Wembley. There are some potentially huge semi final clashes, including a two-legged Manchester derby like in early 2010 (we’d rather forget the second leg), and the draw takes place after the final two quarter finals tomorrow night.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Morgan, Miquel, Konchesky, Knockaert (James 45), Drinkwater, King, Dyer, Taylor-Fletcher (Vardy 45), Nugent (Schlupp 68)
Subs not used: De Laet, Hammond, Moore, Logan
Goal: Dyer 77
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta (Boyata 12), Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Javi Garcia, Rodwell, Jesus Navas, Silva (Nasri 69), Milner, Dzeko
Subs not used: Negredo, Fernandinho, Demichelis, Pantilimon
Goals: Kolarov 8, Dzeko 41 + 53
TKA Man of the Match: James Milner
Stats courtesy of WhoScored: