Belfast Telegraph

McAuley returns but City show class to set up Wolves test

West Brom 1 Man City 2

By Nick Mashter

Leroy Sane booked Manchester City's place in the Carabao Cup fourth round after they survived a scare at West Brom. The winger's brace kept Pep Guardiola's side on track in the competition as they clinched a deserved 2-1 win.

Claudio Yacob's second-half equaliser briefly threatened to take the tie into extra-time and make a mockery of City's dominance after they almost ran riot in the first half.

There was good news on the injury front for Northern Ireland as West Brom centre-back Gareth McAuley made his return to the side after recovering from a thigh injury.

McAuley missed the World Cup qualifiers against Czech Republic and San Marino but is back in action ahead of NI's double-header against Germany and Norway.

Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Eliaquim Mangala almost put the game out of sight before the break but were let down by bad finishing or thwarted by the excellent Ben Foster.

Albion made it more of a contest in the second half and Hal Robson-Kanu hit the post in injury time.

But City's night was tarnished after Ilkay Gundogan limped off on his first start since December following a serious knee injury.

He was forced off following a tackle from Yacob which left boss Guardiola upset on the touchline.

City will now entertain Championship side Wolves in the fourth round.

Afterwards, Guardiola said he was hopeful that Gundogan's injury was not serious.

"Tomorrow we will have a test. The physio and doctor told me it's not a big issue," he said.

"I'll have to review (Yacob's tackle). It's from behind but I don't know if he touched the ball or not. I didn't see the images.

"Fortunately, Gundogan should be coming back soon. I feel for him. He was on the grass and at that moment you think the worst of the situation. You can't imagine, for eight months, to be fighting every day alone."

Guardiola added of Sane: "He played so well, not just in terms of goals - his second was fantastic - but how he kept the ball.

"He had a really good performance, not just the goals but in other issues he was outstanding.

"Congratulations to the team, I saw many good things."

Albion's Robson-Kanu should have taken the tie to extra-time but hit the post in injury time with just Claudio Bravo to beat.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis said: "Every centre forward will miss chances, even the best ones, from that position. I'm not going to be critical.

"He's had a couple of great chances that on another day he'll put away. We were creating opportunities against one of the top teams in Europe.

"They made a few changes but when you look at the changes it's laughable really. I'm disappointed we didn't win the game. I thought we played really well in the second half."

West Brom: Foster, Nyom, Dawson, Evans, McAuley (Phillips, 62 mins), Gibbs, Yacob (McClean, 80 mins), Morrison, Krychowiak, Rodriguez (Rondon, 67 mins), Robson-Kanu. Unused subs: Myhill, Barry, Hegazi, Field.

Man City: Bravo, Danilo, Stones, Mangala, Delph, Toure, Gundogan (Walker, 59 mins), Sterling, B Silva, Sane (Fernandinho, 79 mins), Jesus. Unused subs: Adarabioyo, Ederson, Zinchenko, Foden, Diaz.

Man of the match: Leroy Sane

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Mike Jones

Belfast Telegraph

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