Pep Guardiola dreaming of Wembley win after Manchester City victory
Arsenal or Chelsea await in the Wembley final.
Pep Guardiola is dreaming of being a Wembley winner again after Manchester City booked their place in the Carabao Cup final.
City saw off Bristol City 3-2 at Ashton Gate, winning 5-3 on aggregate, to set up a Wembley final against either Arsenal or Chelsea on February 25.
And it means that Guardiola will be returning to a part of north London he knows well having won European football’s greatest prize there both as a player and as a manager.
Congrats on your 500th game in management, boss! 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/81BHyYRHGO— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 23, 2018
Guardiola played in Barcelona’s first European Cup success at the old Wembley in 1992, and also led the Catalan club to Champions League glory against Manchester United at the rebuilt stadium in 2011.
“We are so happy to be in the final, it is an achievement for everybody,” manager Guardiola said after goals from Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne booked City’s Wembley ticket.
“It is a special place for my career, as a football player I won in the old Wembley when Barcelona won the Champions League for the first time.
“I also won there as a manager, but it is not just special for me. It is special for all of us at Manchester City.
“We have won a lot of games, but we will be judged on the titles we are able to win.”
City’s night was slightly soured by an injury to England defender Kyle Walker, with Guardiola admitting he did not know whether his nose was “broken or not”.
They were almost denied victory on the night when Marlon Pack and Aden Flint scored second-half goals, but the impressive De Bruyne converted with the final kick of the match.
“I think we played amazing in the first half, but we lost control,” Guardiola said. “Maybe that will be good for the Champions League against Basle, it shows that 90 minutes is too long and anything can happen.
“Last season we were in the semi-final of FA Cup and I am delighted to be in the final. It is a competition which demands a lot and takes a lot of energy when you are playing Premier League and other matches.
“It is tough on your mentality, but once we arrive in the semi-final we have to try and get to the final. I am pleased to be there and hopefully we will arrive in a good condition.”
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson paid tribute to his players after a memorable cup run which saw his Sky Bet Championship side knock out four Premier League clubs.
Watford, Crystal Palace and Stoke were all beaten before the Robins overcame Manchester United 2-1 at the quarter-final stage.
“I’m very proud, not just of the team but of the club,” Johnson said.
“It’s been a fantastic run, which unfortunately has come to an end against a top side.
“The fact is it’s taken two injury-time goals in both legs to beat us.
“Although they had the lion’s share of the possession I thought we continued to show our spirit.
“I can’t say we have outplayed City, but we’ve shown spirit and guts and the players will learn a lot from the two games we’ve had against them.”