Cape Town - Sergio
Aguero stepped off the bench to score a last-gasp winner as Manchester
City beat Bristol City 2-1 in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final
at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola's side were pushed all the way by their Championship
counterparts, who took a 1-0 lead into the break courtesy of Bobby
Reid's 44th-minute penalty.
City had plenty of chances to get on the score-sheet before Kevin De
Bruyne equalised early in the second half, and substitute Aguero
completed the comeback win at the death.
The visitors caused City numerous problems in an action-packed first
half, but Frank Fielding was required to make a save after just five
minutes when he dived at full stretch to keep out De Bruyne's cross-shot
from a short corner.
Lee Johnson's men would threaten six minutes later as the ball
dropped to Jamie Paterson inside the area, but his half-volley struck
John Stones in the face and the danger was cleared.
The Citizens then went close on the quarter-hour mark when Leroy Sane
picked out Bernardo Silva with a square pass on the left, but the
Portugal international's shot was deflected just over the crossbar by
the foot of Nathan Baker.
Claudio Bravo had to be alert to keep out Joe Bryan, who looked to
repeat his feat against Manchester United in the quarter-finals, only
to see his 20-yard strike take a deflection on its way to the keeper on
Silva was unable to steer the ball on target from Raheem Sterling's
square pass in the 21st minute, while Fielding pulled off another
outstanding save to deny De Bruyne five minutes later.
Bravo was called into action again on 34 minutes as he caught Marlon
Pack's drilled half-volley from 25 yards out, after Oleksandr Zinchenko
failed to deal with a cross from the left when the Robins broke up-field.
The hosts weren't far away from opening the scoring two minutes later
from another short corner, which saw Eliaquim Mangala divert Ilkay
Gundogan's shot just wide of the post from eight yards out, and Silva
should have done better soon afterwards when he fired wide of the target
in space 10 yards out.
Those missed chances quickly came back to bite them as Reid opened
the scoring from the penalty spot on 44 minutes, after a rash challenge
from Stones on the forward inside the box.
It was so nearly 1-1 at the break, but for the timely intervention of
Aden Flint, who headed the ball over the bar after Sterling had lobbed
the advancing Fielding as he attempted to cut out Silva's pass.
Both teams continued to attack in the second half, with Sane found in
space by De Bruyne on 51 minutes, but the German winger lashed his shot
wide of the target.
Flint wasted a good opportunity to double the Robins' lead two
minutes later from a corner when he missed the target with a header from
point-blank range, and a counter from City resulted in Sterling failing
to beat Fielding one-on-one.
But De Bruyne spared his blushes by restoring parity on 55 minutes.
Bravo started the move as he fed the Belgian midfielder, who surged
forward and picked out Sterling on the right before receiving the return
pass and hammering home from 12 yards out.
De Bruyne looked to turn provider on 69 minutes as he found Sterling
six yards out, but once again Fielding was on hand to make the save.
Late drama was to come, though, following chances at both ends. De
Bruyne beat two players before seeing his effort deflected narrowly wide
of goal on 86 minutes, while Liam Walsh could only find the
side-netting with an angled shot after the ball fell to him inside the
area two minutes later.
But just when Bristol City thought they had the job done on the
night, Aguero popped up in the second minute of stoppage time to head
Silva's cross from the right past Fielding to hand the Citizens a 2-1