Belfast Telegraph

Pelle hails Wembley wonders but Martinez is feeling blue

By Robert Jones

Manuel Pellegrini said his Manchester City heroes deserve their glory shot at Wembley.

City controversially came from behind to overturn a first-leg deficit and reach the Capital One Cup final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Everton.

An early Ross Barkley goal at the Etihad Stadium put Everton in sight of a Wembley date with rivals Liverpool but City replied through Fernandinho.

Controversy then erupted as Raheem Sterling then appeared to take the ball out of play before teeing up substitute Kevin De Bruyne to level the tie, but Sergio Aguero completed City's fightback.

City boss Pellegrini said: "I am very happy, to play a final at Wembley, it is very important.

"We deserved to be in the final, we had just one defeat - that was against Everton with a clear penalty.

"They scored at 1-0 and it was a clear foul. If you think because of that ball (Sterling to de Bruyne), that is not why we won.

"We won because we scored three goals and Everton had just one chance.

"We have one month to think about the final.

"It will be a tough game and we are optimistic we will win the cup. It is important for the team to win a cup in February, it gives you a lot of trust.

"Wembley is a special stadium."

The major downside for title-chasing City was the loss of the influential De Bruyne through injury late on, with the Belgian carried off after appearing to get his studs caught in the turf.

That took the shine off City's achievement and when asked about the injury, Pellegrini added: "It is difficult to know. He is with the doctor, it could be the medial ligament. Tomorrow we will have more news but it is not a nice injury."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez felt De Bruyne's goal should not have stood.

"Everyone that has seen the replay can clearly see the ball is out of play," said the Spaniard.

"It was a good game of football, we scored the first goal, got in a great position. It was a big call for their second goal, heartbreaking, when you watch the replay it is incredible you don't get the decision right.

"It is impossible how you describe when you saw a decision once more, so clear and so big, it is heartbreaking, I don't think anyone in the stadium would disagree that goal is the major, major change in the tie.

"In the replay it doesn't leave you with any doubt, the ball is clearly out and should never be allowed to carry on.

"We should take this as an inspiration to do something special because that call cost us. We played with an incredible swagger and character.

"City are a very good side. If they score three goals in the right way then you accept it. The first goal was a deflected shot, but the second goal the ball was clearly out before it was crossed in.

"We have a very good group of young players.

"I hope we take this display as inspiration."

Belfast Telegraph

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