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September 26, 2012
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 28015
M. Balotelli 27'
A. Kolarov 64'
G. Barry 59' (own goal)
G. Agbonlahor 70', 113'
C. N'Zogbia 96'
Well, I think I need a lie down now. I've been Tom McKeown (and will probably continue to be); thank you for joining me this evening. See you all soon!
Villa, meanwhile, will be in buoyant mood when they host West Brom on Sunday and look to shrug off last week's 4-1 defeat at Southampton.
City will have to cast that result to one side straight away as they travel to Fulham on Saturday before facing Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League next week. Busy times for the champions.
Alex Fisher is getting his breath back after all that: "Full-time at the Etihad Stadium and Manchester City are out of the League Cup after Aston Villa twice came from behind before snatching it in extra time through Charles N'Zogbia and Gabriel Agbonlahor. There were boos at full time, but not too many, however the frustration amongst the locals of going out of the competition was evident to hear in the final moments of the game."
Well, how about that? A fantastic result for Paul Lambert's side, who have now won six of their last nine League Cup ties against Premier League opposition. City will be very disappointed with the result, especially after being in the lead twice.
FULL-TIME! Aston Villa have beaten Manchester City and are in the last 16 of the League Cup!
120' + 1'
There's one minute of added time, and Kolarov is penalised for a foul throw. Villa have possession and are trying to see out the final seconds.
Into the last minute at the Etihad Stadium, and it looks like the Premier League champions are heading out.
City have yet another corner, but Benteke manages to clear. It's worked back to Sinclair who plays in a cross, but Vlaar scrambles it away this time. Villa break forward and eventually Charles N'Zogbia is felled by Aleksandar Kolarov, who is the next player to go into Phil Dowd's book.
Yellow CardAleksandar Kolarov
Tevez fires a corner to the far post looking for Milner but it's cleared by Villa and they break with Albrighton. He rolls it in front of Benteke, who is clearly suffering with tiredness and is unable to latch on to the ball.
GOAL! Villa might just have won it here, and it's Agbonlahor who gets the goal. It's a very lucky one though, as the Villa forward's effort takes an awful deflection and loops over Pantilimon who is left with no chance.
Milner is forced out to the right, and lays back to Scott Sinclair. The substitute gives it back to Milner but he can't get a cross in. Villa doing well to frustrate the hosts and they eventually get hold of the ball once more.
It's a patient build-up from City as they look to find a gap in the Villa defence, but the visitors scramble clear. It comes out to Kolarov who tries an ambitious half-volley and it goes well off target.
Paul Lambert waves his players forward but they take their time, and N'Zogbia ends up putting it out of play. The visitors looking tired now.
Some lovely play from City there as Tevez looks to move into the area again, but Eric Lichaj does superbly to win the ball and slow things down.
Yellow CardKolo Toure
Tevez cuts into the area from the left, and Lowton forces him to pass back to Kolarov. The Serbian fires a dangerous ball into the area but Villa manage to clear.
City kick off the second period of extra time. They have to score in the next 15 minutes or their League Cup campaign is over.
HALF-TIME in extra time at the Etihad Stadium, and the visitors have the advantage. A few boos ring around the ground, with City struggling.
The City fans appeal for a foul after Vlaar makes a challenge on Dzeko, but Phil Dowd signals for a corner. The ball works out to Barry who looks to shoot, but Marc Albrighton does well to pressure the City midfielder into firing over.
Sinclair is looking to probe forward but can't make inroads. Balotelli eventually receives it and has a long-range effort, but it is blocked and Villa have the ball again.
Yellow CardCharles N'Zogbia
Vlaar goes up for it in the area but it is cleared off Razak and rolls out for a Villa throw. Dzeko commits another foul and the visitors are being allowed to keep possession comfortably here.
Villa move the ball around well, and every pass is cheered by the travelling faithful. Marc Albrighton is fouled in midfield and the visitors have a free-kick.
Kolarov swings in a corner for the hosts, and Balotelli is on the end of it, but the Italian's header clears the bar comfortably.
GOAL! Pantilimon makes a save, parrying an Agbonlahor effort with one hand, but Charles N'Zogbia is quickest to it and prods home to put Villa in front for the first time in the match.
Chance! Dzeko moves forward with the ball and finds Tevez, who takes a couple of touches and fires it just wide.
Balotelli makes a complete hash of controlling the ball, raising an ironic cheer from the visiting fans. It's quite a pedestrian pace here now, with tiredness bound to be having an effect.
Edin Dzeko is completely unmarked in the area but Shay Given comes out quickly and is able to avert danger for the visitors.
After a quick drink and call of nature, we're underway in extra time at the Etihad Stadium.
90' + 6'
FULL-TIME and it's still all square. We'll have 30 minutes of extra time and penalties if it's level at the end of that.
90' + 5'
Razak cleans out Fabian Delph and earns a yellow card. Moments away from the final whistle now.
90' + 4'
Yellow CardAbdul Razak
90' + 4'
City press forward again through Balotelli. It's running away from the Italy striker and he thinks he's kept it in play, but the flag goes up and Villa have a goal kick.
90' + 3'
Balotelli has it in midfield and tries to enter the area, but is forced to lay back to Gareth Barry. He loses control and ends up bundling Albrighton over, conceding a free-kick in the process.
90' + 1'
Four minutes of added time at the Etihad Stadium.
Alex Fisher suspects the inevitable: "Into the final minute of normal time at the Etihad and it's still level, the rain continues to pour down and it looks like we're set for another 30 minutes of action."
Yellow CardMarc Albrighton
So close! Tevez lifts the set-piece over the wall and it dips towards goal, but not quite enough and it skims Shay Given's crossbar.
Edin Dzeko brings the ball down on the edge of the area, and he is cleaned out by Albrighton. The Villa sub earns a booking and City have another dangerous free-kick, this time on the left-hand side of the penalty area...
City with another chance! It's a great move from the hosts and Scott Sinclair crosses to Balotelli, whose header forces a fine save from Shay Given and it goes for a corner.
Chance for Scott Sinclair! The ball comes into the box from Balotelli with a great cross, but Sinclair jumps for it from a standing position and can't direct it anywhere near the goal.
Tevez almost finds Dzeko but for a fine interception by Bennett. Tevez is involved again, and draws the foul after being bundled over. The hosts take a quick free-kick but Tevez wastes the opportunity from 30 yards out with a poor effort at goal which flies well off target.
Albrighton launches a hopeful ball forward but it goes straight through to Pantilimon. The City shot-stopper launches it forward and Tevez earns a throw in deep in the Villa half.
Benteke dispossesses Nastasic and it looks like the City defender pulls him back, but no free-kick is given and the hosts eventually get hold of the ball.
We could be in for an extra 30 minutes here at the Etihad Stadium. Chris Herd fires a woeful effort from range, and we're edging ever closer to full-time.
The visitors have it in the City half once again through Marc Albrighton, who has been lively since his introduction to the game. City are able to clear, and substitute Scott Sinclair almost finds Balotelli in the box but it's kept out by the Villa defence. The hosts still in possession though.
Villa have a corner but Toure flicks it away. Albrighton and Delph work hard to keep hold of it and Pantilimon has to parry a long-range N'Zogbia effort away.
Karim El Ahmadi
What a second half this is turning out to be! Alex Fisher is certainly enjoying it: "The game has burst into life at the Etihad and Villa are level again this time through Gabriel Agbonlahor. A neat build up from the visitors saw the ball break free and Agbonlahor raced onto it and calmly fired past Costel Pantilimon. Game on."
GOAL! City caught out in midfield once again. Agbonlahor picks up the ball, bursts into the penalty area and sweeps it past the on-rushing Pantilimon to level once more.
City break forward quickly through Tevez, but the striker picks the wrong pass, looking for Balotelli, but ends up giving it away to much derision from the home fans.
Well Villa were only level for five minutes, and Marc Albrighton makes his return to the side after suffering a broken metatarsal.
GOAL! Aleksandar Kolarov loves free-kicks in these positions. It's right of centre, and the Serbian steps up, bends it up and around the wall, and into the net past a helpless Shay Given. Lovely stuff.
Yellow CardRon Vlaar
Balotelli tries to burst through into the penalty area and is brought down by Ron Vlaar, who picks up a booking for his troubles. City have a free-kick not far outside the area...
Own GoalGareth Barry
GOAL! What a strange one this is. Villa rob it in midfield and Weimann plays a cross in. Pantilimon clears away but it hits Gareth Barry and comes off the former Villa skipper and into the back of the net. The visitors back on level terms.
Tevez spins away and plays it wide to Milner. He finds Tevez once more who plays a ball into the area, but Vlaar gets a touch to glance it away.
Still very quiet here at the Etihad Stadium. Paul Lambert is furious with an assistant for not giving Villa a throw, but referee Phil Dowd overturns the decision, much to the Scot's relief.
Alex Fisher has more musings from the stands: "Scrappy start to the second half here at the Etihad, neither side have dominated since the break although City have looked more likely to threaten through Tevez."
Milner flicks the ball forward to Tevez, who tries to find some space but Ciaran Clark comes across and puts it behind for a corner. City definitely more lively in this half.
Balotelli and Kolarov link up on the left, and Kolarov tries to put the ball in the area but Vlaar clears for a corner. Bennett heads the resulting cross away for a throw and the visitors survive.
Shouts for a penalty after Tevez goes down in the box under a Ron Vlaar challenge, but the appeals are very half-hearted. The Argentinian showed some fine skill as he ran into the box, but the angle was tightening and Vlaar came across to shut the door.
Balotelli works the ball out wide to Milner, who is able to fire in an excellent cross, but Balotelli and Tevez are both just the wrong side of it and the ball runs away.
No changes at half-time, and City get us underway.
Quick half-time stat-attack for you: Villa had 58 per cent of the possession in that first period, but only managed to muster up one shot on target. Paul Lambert will want to see his side making more of their time on the ball.
So City, who have reached the League Cup semi-finals twice in the last three years, lead 1-0, which was the same scoreline they beat Villa by in their last League Cup meeting in November 2000. But the visitors still have 45 minutes to change that.
HALF-TIME here at the Etihad Stadium. A very low-key affair so far. Villa will be encouraged by the amount of possession they had, but City look solid and haven't been too troubled by the visitors, apart from a couple of decent chances for Christian Benteke.
45' + 1'
Yellow CardCarlos Tévez
45' + 1'
Yellow CardFabian Delph
45' + 1'
Kolarov has another free-kick on the right, swinging it into the near post, but it eludes everyone and goes through to Shay Given.
Kolarov and Tevez exchange passes well before working it wide to Milner. The midfielder's cross is cleared back towards him and he lets it roll out for a throw as we enter stoppage time.
More from the stands, as Alex Fisher thinks City will feel comfortable at the break: "As we approach half time at the Etihad Manchester City are in complete control of the game without dominating possession. They have been able to keep Villa at arms length with a solid performance from their back three, and the visitors don't seem to have a game plan to break through."
El Ahmadi fires a free-kick forward and Clark is there, but Kolarov comes in with a firm challenge and it goes for a corner. Benteke meets the cross and has a great chance from eight yards, but it hits the wrong part of his head and flies well away from goal.
Andreas Weimann tries to get behind the City defence but Pantilimon is quick off the mark, and the big goalkeeper collects the ball.
The rain is still driving down in Manchester, and the pace of the game is still fairly slow. Hardly a classic cup tie so far but City will be pleased with the scoreline at the moment.
Villa manage to get hold of the ball and string some passes together, but City look rigid and Razak is able to pick it up in midfield. The home side look to set Tevez away and it's a race with Ciaran Clark, but the Argentina international leans in and the assistant flags for a foul.
Razak plays wide to Toure, who lofts it forward to Tevez. Suarez then picks it up but is caught in possession and Villa clear quickly.
City much more comfortable now they've taken the lead. It was exactly the wake-up call Roberto Mancini's side needed after they had somewhat lost their way in the match.
Alex Fisher gives us his thoughts on that opening goal: "City are ahead here at the Etihad but there is a suspicion of offside around Mario Balotelli for that goal. Carlos Tevez played a magnificent cross field pass to James Milner, he came in on his left and chipped a ball into the unmarked Balotelli who made no mistake from six yards. If the Italian wasn't offside it was dreadful defending by Villa, you can't leave him alone inside the six yard area!"
Bennett plays it to El Ahmadi in midfield, who then looks to play it down the left but overhits the pass and it skips away of the wet surface.
GOAL! The hosts take the lead agains the run of play. Milner picks up the ball out wide, and cuts inside to find Mario Balotelli, who takes a couple of touches to get it out of his feet and fire home.
Villa clear a Suarez ball in and the home fans show their frustration in berating the assistant for giving the visitors a throw in, even though it clearly came off Razak.
Oops! Kolarov drives in a free-kick from the right but it's cleared, and the Serbian tries to get hold of it again but clashes with team-mate Abdul Razak and it rolls out for a throw.
After a strong opening for City, it's the visitors who look more threatening and have plenty of options out wide. Roberto Mancini won't be happy for the game to carry on like this for too much longer.
Milner is dispossessed by Joe Bennett, and the Villa man finds Agbonlahor who tries to knock it past Kolo Toure and win a pace race, but the City defender is able to match him and sweeps up the danger.
Villa have a free-kick on the right but it evades N'Zogbia and runs all the way through to Pantilimon. It's moved forward towards Tevez who looks for Kolarov but Lowton defends well and clears away.
The visitors push forward again with Agbonlahor. He has Joe Bennett in support but elects to find El Ahmadi, who ends up blasting miles over the bar.
Villa have a quick free-kick but the home side put the pressure on and they are forced to go all the way back to Shay Given. Encouraging signs for the visitors in the last few minutes though.
Another mix up in the City defence as N'Zogbia gets a cross in which Lescott fails to deal with. Agbonlahor mishits and Benteke has another chance to shoot, but it flies well over the bar.
Here are Alex Fisher's thoughts on the opening exchanges: "Manchester City have started the game the brighter here at the Etihad but the best chance of the first 10 minutes has just gone to Villa and it really should have been 1-0 to the visitors. Gabriel Agbonlahor saw a long range shot pushed away by Costel Pantimilion, but the loose ball dropped to Andreas Weimann who rolled it into the unmarked Christian Benteke. The Belgian striker slid in to turn the ball home but poked the ball wide."
Balotelli picks up the ball from deep and tries to find Tevez but it's cut out. Villa burst up the other end and Pantilimon parries a shot from Gabriel Agbonlahor. Andreas Weimann has a chance to shoot but looks for Benteke, who ends up firing wide. Let-off for the City defence there.
Suarez and Kolarov link up on the left, but when the Serbia international goes to receive the return pass he is caught offside.
It's a very subdued atmosphere here tonight, and the play is reflecting that. Both sides contending with the teeming rain and not much of note happening so far.
Tevez and Milner try to link up out wide but the Villa defence hold firm and clear. Fairly even start here.
Charles N'Zogbia does well to keep hold of the ball and Villa try to put on some early pressure, but former Villa man James Milner manages to tidy up and clear.
In a change to their named starting line-up Joleon Lescott starts for City tonight, there's no Jack Rodwell.
We're underway at the Etihad Stadium.
Alex Fisher has his eye on one of City's players tonight: "It will be interesting to see how Denis Suarez does tonight, having watched him in the Next Gen Series against Fenerbahce recently where he drifted in and out of the game this is a big chance for the youngster to impress."
Five minutes from kick-off here at the Etihad Stadium. Can City's second string do the job tonight? Should be an intriguing encounter.
More meteorological news from Alex Fisher: "A sparse crowd inside the Etihad at the moment; can't say I'm surprised, everyone is probably in the concourses keeping as dry as possible!"
Villa are League Cup pros though, so discount them at your peril. They've won the competition five times, which puts them second on the all-time list behind Liverpool, who have done so eight times.
This is the first time these two sides have met in the League Cup since November 2000, in a game which saw City take the spoils 1-0. Roberto Mancini would happily take that result now I'm sure.
Mr Fisher isn't letting the rain dampen his spirits, and he has more to say: "The League Cup presents an opportunity for silverware for Aston Villa too, and Paul Lambert will be keen to use these games to blend his squad and continue the changes he wants to make at the club since joining in the summer. Charles N'Zogbia returns having been on the bench for the past two games, and new signing Christian Benteke starts again."
Our man Alex Fisher is in the stands this evening. Here are is pre-match thoughts: "Welcome to the Etihad Stadium where the rain continues to come down like it has been for the past two days in Manchester, tonight is definitely a night for the long studs in order for the players to stay upright. Roberto Mancini has insisted in his programme notes that the League Cup is important to the club but admits with playing a game every three days changes are inevitable. There are 11 changes but the City line-up remains very strong which speaks volumes for the squad the Italian has put together."
ASTON VILLA: Given; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett; El Ahmadi, Delph, N’Zogbia; Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann. Subs: Bent, Albrighton, Guzan, Bannan, Lichaj, Herd, Baker
MANCHESTER CITY: Pantilimon; Kolo Toure, Nastasic, Kolarov; Milner, Barry, Rodwell, Razak; Suarez, Tevez, Balotelli. Subs: Lescott, Dzeko, Sinclair, Wright, Scapuzzi, Helan, Evans
Tonight's teams have been revealed, so here we go...
Good evening and welcome to our play-by-play coverage of League Cup action from the Etihad Stadium, where Manchester City take on Aston Villa. I'm Tom McKeown and I'll be taking you through tonight's midweek action.
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