Carabao Cup: Southampton stun Manchester City to reach semi-finals

Southampton 2 Manchester City 0

Manchester City crashed out of the Carabao Cup after substitutes Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne failed to inspire a fightback in a shock 2-0 quarter-final defeat to Premier League strugglers Southampton.

First-half goals from Saints pair Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenepo stunned the eight-time winners on an extraordinary evening at St Mary’s.

Southampton will play Newcastle in the semi-finals.

Pep Guardiola began with Haaland and De Bruyne on the bench for the second successive game ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

But, unlike on Sunday when the influential pair were not required in a thumping 4-0 FA Cup victory over Chelsea, the decision backfired as they were unable to prevent City suffering elimination after coming off the bench in the second period.

Battling underdogs Southampton fully merited victory and will face Manchester United, Newcastle or Nottingham Forest in their first League Cup semi-final since going on to finish runners-up in 2017.

A remarkable result on the south coast was Saints’ first home success over Premier League opposition since they beat Chelsea in August and only a sixth since the start of 2022.

Southampton overcame League One clubs Cambridge, Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln to reach this stage but the vast number of empty seats suggested many home fans did not envisage further progression.

Yet Nathan Jones’ bottom-of-the-table side set aside their dire league campaign and dismal home form as an aggressive start prevented City slipping into their formidable rhythm and paved the way for a monumental upset.

Lyanco epitomised Saints’ steel with his robust early treatment of Jack Grealish and he was instrumental in the 23rd-minute opener.

After cutting out Sergio Gomez’s pass to Grealish, the Brazilian defender raced forward and delivered a low cross which Mara emphatically swept past Stefan Ortega to claim his first goal for the club.

City’s sold-out away end were briefly silenced by the surprise breakthrough and they had serious cause for concern only five minutes later as Djenepo doubled the lead.

The Mali international collected the ball just inside opposition territory and accelerated towards goal before unleashing a speculative curling effort from 30 yards which sailed over the head of stranded goalkeeper Ortega.

City’s best chance of an alarming first half fell to captain Ilkay Gundogan, who fired wide inside six minutes, and Guardiola responded by bringing on De Bruyne, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji for the second period.

De Bruyne almost made an immediate impact but, after his through ball cut open Saints’ defence, Julian Alvarez flashed wide.

The ineffectual Grealish then escaped punishment for a needless, off-the-ball barge on Djenepo before being promptly replaced by Haaland.

Top scorer Haaland, seeking to add to his 27 goals this term, hooked over before Che Adams had an effort ruled out for offside at the other end.

Southampton have kept only one league clean sheet all season but protected their two-goal lead with relative ease.

World Cup winner Alvarez threatened to halve the deficit with 12 minutes to go, while Haaland went close with a flicked header on an evening to forget for the Premier League champions.

Nottingham Forest 1 Wolves 1 (Forest win 4-3 on penalties)

Dean Henderson was the hero for Nottingham Forest as he saved two penalties in a shoot-out against Wolves to send his side through to the Carabao Cup semi-final.

The on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper kept out spot-kicks from Ruben Neves and Joe Hodge as Forest emerged 4-3 winners after it had ended 1-1 in normal time.

Nottingham Forest will play Manchester United in the semi-finals

Willy Boly scored against his old club to put Forest ahead but Raul Jimenez levelled after the break in a bad-blooded encounter that saw a mass brawl on the pitch at the end of the penalty shootout, which is sure to land both clubs in hot water.

Forest are in the last four of a competition that they have special memories in, having won it four times, and now a return to Wembley looks a real possibility as they will play one of Manchester United, Newcastle or Southampton in the two-legged last-four tie.

Steve Cooper reverted to their strongest XI, having made 10 changes for the FA Cup defeat at Blackpool on Saturday, and their intent to try and progress was clear from the off.

They made a vibrant start with Morgan Gibbs-White cutting back for Gustavo Scarpa, but the Brazilian could not get his shot right and Wolves survived.

Forest took a deserved lead in the 18th minute as the goal was made and finished by two Molineux old boys.

Gibbs-White whipped in a dangerous corner to the near post, which was deflected on to the crossbar and Boly was on hand to poke home from close range.

Boly showed his respect for the club he played for almost 150 times in a five-year spell by refusing to celebrate, but the rest of the City Ground made up for it.

Henderson had been a spectator for the opening 35 minutes but the on-loan goalkeeper proved his worth with two saves in as many minutes to keep his side at bay.

First, he got down well to keep out Jonny’s low effort and then produced a brilliant stop as he stayed big to beat away Jimenez’s effort from 12 yards after Wolves had cut Forest open.

An even better save came four minutes later as Wolves began to threaten regularly.

They broke down the right and Jimenez sent in an inviting cross for Hee-Chan Hwang, but the South Korean’s first-time effort was pawed away by Henderson.

Having weathered the storm before the break, Forest regained the ascendency after the restart and had chances to extend their lead.

Gibbs-White picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and forced Jose Sa into a low save and then, after the former Wolves man jinked into the area, his ball back was met by Serge Aurier, whose shot was blocked.

Forest were made to regret not taking one of those chances as Wolves levelled out of the blue in the 64th minute.

They worked the ball out to the right and Matheus Cunha, who had only been on for six minutes, put a ball across goal that Jimenez could not miss.

Forest regrouped and were within inches of going back in front as an attempted pass inside the area ricocheted off Nelson Semedo and on to the post.

Wolves thought they should have had a penalty late on as Emmanuel Dennis tangled with Cunha, but referee Graham Scott waved away protests, which sparked a melee between both sides and earned visiting boss Julen Lopetegui a booking.

That meant the game ended up being decided from the spot as it went to a shoot-out.

Penalty specialist Henderson came to the fore as he made saves from Neves and Hodge to send his side through, before ugly scenes on the full-time whistle.


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