Pep Guardiola.

Why City boss Pep Guardiola is wary of United

Manchester United’s proud history of staging great comebacks is on Pep Guardiola’s mind, ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

It’s fair to say the Blues are favourites to progress after winning 3-1 in this month’s first leg at Old Trafford, yet Guardiola states his team must not be complacent against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.  

United must win by three clear goals in order to reach the final, or secure a two-goal victory that would force a dramatic penalty shootout after 90 minutes.

Extra time is not in play in the Carabao Cup. 

Highlights: Man City 1 United 2Video

The Reds raced to a two-goal lead during December’s Premier League victory at City and, famously, last season’s comeback victory at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League required a two-goal turnaround. 

“It is Man United so they can do it, they have done it and they can do it,”
Guardiola said.
“They have to do almost a perfect game to go through from the semi-final. 

“These kind of games against these kind of teams, with this incredible history behind them, I know how difficult it will be to reach the final.”
Asked about the specific threats that United can pose to City on Wednesday night, the Blues manager said:
“We have to be careful about their skills, the counter-attack, with how they can play if we let them play.

“We have to defend well. They don't have anything to lose. They will attack. We know the best result is not to defend, we have to score goals.”

Highlights: United 1 Man City 3Video

In terms of team news, Guardiola has described Aymeric Laporte as a doubt, despite the France international recently playing for 78 minutes against Sheffield United on his return from a five-month-long injury lay-off.

Fellow defenders Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker are also still recovering from setbacks.

“We have some doubts,” the City boss told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “Tomorrow we have last tests and we will make a decision. The same doubts as before. Laporte is part of the doubts.”

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