MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester City lost 1-0 to Manchester United on Wednesday but got stuck to reach the final of the league cup 2-3, meeting Aston Villa at Wembley.
Manchester United's Harry Maguire looks dejected after the action images game via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff
Nemanja Matic's goal in the 35th minute brought United victory at Etihad Stadium, but the midfielder was later dismissed. It wasn't enough to overcome the 3-1 deficit from the semi-final first leg at Old Trafford.
Matic fired a tough half volley from the post when City failed to clear Fred's free kick on United's first impending attack.
15 minutes before the end, the Serb was shown a red card for his second offense, and United was unable to score the second goal that would have resulted in the penalty shoot-out.
Matic's first goal in more than a year gave United a tempting chance to turn the draw after City contested the early race and forced two saves against goalkeeper David de Gea.
Raheem Sterling had the ball on the net six minutes after United's lead, but was offside and made a horrible mistake in the 13th minute of the second half when he tried to surround De Gea.
The goalkeeper has done enough to give him a shot so the defenders can fall behind. When Sterling found room to hit, he was out of balance and hit the ball over the crossbar.
There was another time-out for United when Harry Maguire took possession, but City swayed again, allowing the defense to block the chance.
Sergio Aguero had a good try after 6 minutes, following a clever ball pass by Joao Cancelo, but he was ruled offside.
After a Maguire foul outside the box, United had a rare opportunity to score the second goal after 88 minutes but Fred hit the wall.
It was the city's first game in 25 years without scoring.
"I don't really understand how we lost this game," said city midfielder Kevin de Bruyne.
“For me, United only had one chance today. In the front we were far too wasteful and we have to learn from it. But in the end it is good that we are going to the final. "
The finale will take place on March 1st, when City wants to win the title for the third time in a row and for the fourth time in five seasons.
The draw loss ended United's hopes of winning the title in a disappointing season, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was content enough after a second straight win at Etihad.
"I am so proud of these players. You defeated City twice on your floor. You have come this far, these players. They gave me absolutely everything, ”added the Norwegian.
“Although we didn't have too many clear chances, we pushed them back. It made me happy. "
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Edited by Ed Osmond