MANCHESTER UNITED will host neighbours City in the Carabao Cup last four as a tough reward for beating Everton – with Tottenham drawn against first-time semi-finalists Brentford in another derby.
Edinson Cavani struck late and majestically to spark United’s 2-0 Goodison triumph, before Anthony Martial hit the clincher.
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take on City counterpart Pep Guardiola in the Carabao Cup semi-finals[/caption]
Gareth Bale and Harry Kane both scored as Spurs set up a semi-final derby with Brentford by winning 3-1 at Stoke City[/caption]
That followed Spurs winning 3-1 at Stoke earlier on Wednesday night, as Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Harry Kane netted to confirm their superiority.
It leaves Jose Mourinho‘s men two wins away from ending their 12-year trophy drought.
And it means another memorable night coming up for Championship promotion hopefuls Brentford, whose 131-year history will finally include the semis of a major tournament.
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But the spotlight clash is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s United landing a direct opportunity to show they are finally beginning to revolve the power balance in Manchester.
United already sit third in the Premier League, three points above Pep Guardiola’s City, but lost to their neighbours at the same stage in last year’s competition.
But after moving possibly 180 minutes from silverware, Solskjaer said: “I’ve just seen that we drew City again, after we played them in the semis last year. Very interesting!
“We lost three semi-finals last year, and that is a step not far enough for this club, so we want to do better this year.
“We have a big squad, and every win boots our morale and self-belief.”
EFL CUP S/F DRAW
Manchester United v Man City Tottenham v Brentford
But the Norwegian added: “A semi-final is sometimes worse than the final because it’s the worst possible time to lose a game and go out of the competition.”
He was, though, delighted with United’s winning momentum.
And of overcoming Everton he said: “We know that when we defend well we have players to win us the game.
“Spirit in camp is good, winning gives energy and gives you a boost so we head into Boxing Day positive.”
The most romantic feature of the semi-finals, however, is surely Brentford’s run.
Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Newcastle gave them four Prem scalps in the EFL Cup this term.
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And boss Thomas Frank hailed said: “It’s a big step for the club and shows how far we have progressed.. (We’ve) created a new chapter.”
The semi-finals are single-leg ties instead of the traditional double-headers in order to ease fixture congestion caused by the delayed start to the season.
They will be played on the week commencing 4 January 2021.