In the previous fixture, Manchester City completely outplayed United, who had taken a surprise 1-2 victory in their first fixture of the season. In that game City took dominance of the ball, but failed to utilize, giving United’s fast counter-attacks too much space. To the second issue, which City won 1-3 at Old Trafford, Pep Guardiola’s City had done their homework and allowed United no breaks, but kept the pressure throughout the game. The third issue between the teams was something of a mixed bag. City kept the possession, but couldn’t break through to scoring positions. United came in with defensive mentality, as expected and created very few chances overall. But, one is sometimes enough to win a game. Nemanja Matic finished off a loose ball from a free-kick and took the visitors ahead on 36th minute.
United got a boost from the goal and came into the second half believing they had a chance, while City seemed still only half awake. The visitors chase for second goal came to an abrupt end, with Matic turning from hero to zero after receiving a second yellow card and brining his team one man down. City could not be surprised for a second time and despite somewhat lackluster effort, Pep Guardiola will have a chance to lift another EFL Cup on 1st of March against Aston Villa.