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Thursday 24 January 2019

City keep quadruple dream alive

Leicester City 1 Man City 1 (City win 4-2 on pens)

Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko celebrates scoring the winning penalty during the League Cup quarter-final shoot-out
Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko celebrates scoring the winning penalty during the League Cup quarter-final shoot-out
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling reacts after missing a penalty as Leicester’s Danny Ward celebrates

Holders Manchester City remained in the hunt for a quadruple after beating Leicester on penalties in the League Cup.

Oleksandr Zincheko scored to win the shoot-out 3-1 after a 1-1 draw and send City into the last four.

Arijanet Muric saved from James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu while Christian Fuchs also missed for Leicester.

It spared Raheem Sterling's blushes after the forward chipped over in the shoot-out.

Kevin De Bruyne, on his first start for seven weeks after two knee injuries, had opened the scoring at the King Power Stadium. City were in command for long spells but Marc Albrighton's 73rd minute levelled sent the tie to penalties.

Leicester boss Claude Puel - who left Jamie Vardy out completely - ultimately suffered another missed opportunity against a second-string City.

Having lost on penalties in the quarter-final to Pep Guardiola's side last season the Foxes suffered a repeat with the same feeling of regret. Leicester travel to Chelsea on Saturday before welcoming the champions again on St Stephen's Day and defeats would heap heat on Puel, with just two wins from his last 10 Premier League games.

He watched on as the Foxes initially offered a listless first-half performance as the visitors dominated and it took just 15 minutes for De Bruyne's rocket to announce his return. The midfielder teased Hamza Choudhury on the edge of the area before unleashing a crisp low drive which left the diving Danny Ward with no chance.

The returning Riyad Mahrez hooked over from close range soon after as the Foxes looked likely to roll over. They had been passive participants prior to the goal but Demarai Gray did have a 20th minute effort turned wide by Muric.

It was as good as it got for the Foxes as the visitors comfortable without seriously threatening again before the break.

But within two minutes of the re-start Sergio Aguero forced Ward into a smart low save after De Bruyne had robbed Vicente Iborra.

Maddison was thrown on as Leicester searched for inspiration and the midfielder's introduction did at least raise the tempo. But it was Mahrez who nearly added a second when his curling effort from 18-yards whistled inches wide with 23 minutes left.

Leicester's threat had been slowly growing and they shocked City with the equaliser 17 minutes from time.

Wilfred Ndidi picked out Albrighton with a deep ball which the substitute controlled before rifling an excellent half volley in across Muric.

For the first time the holders were rattled but they regained enough composure to conjure a chance for Phil Foden but he fired wide. Choudhury escaped a penalty shout after Gabriel Jesus tumbled before the game had to be settled from the spot.

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