First-half substitute leaves it late to book a place in the last four as Roberto Mancini's men continue to be in the running for the quadruple after this win in a brilliant gameManchester City progressed to the semifinals of the League Cup with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal in an end to-end enthralling encounter at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Sergio Aguero had the game's only goal in the 84th minute.
Both sides had chances to open the scoring within the first 10 minutes. First it was the visitors who went close, with midfielder Adam Johnson cutting in from the right-hand side before unleashing a left foot dipping strike. A foot lower and goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski would have been left stranded.
The hosts in response went even closer to opening the scoring, Park Chu-Young’s shot from close range producing a glorious save from Costel Pantilimon. Stefan Savic made sure it wasn’t going to trickle in by hacking it away to safety.
Pablo Zabaleta shot wide from distance as City looked to try and exert its dominance in the game but his attempt sailed wide of the post.
England Under-21 star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain caused mischief throughout the match and had most of the players he took on backpedalling.
The first was Nigel De Jong who didn’t know which way the teenager was going to go. He stood off him allowing the youngster to have a pop from 25-yards which again produced a stunning save from Pantilimon.
Samir Nasri looked to struggle on his return to the Emirates as the Gunners faithful made sure he had an unwelcome return back as everytime he touched the ball. They booed him.
City made a substitution in the first half, bringing on striker Sergio Aguero for fullback Alexandar Kolarov who didn’t seem happy that he was being replaced on half an hour into his night.
And Aguero too looked to struggle as Arsenal soaked up the visitors' pressure before trying to beat them on the counter.
The second half opened with the same pace as the first, striker Edin Dzeko making goalkeeper Fabianski scramble across his line with a curled effort that didn’t have enough finesse on the shot.
Oxlade-Chamberlain produced another fine drive from range, this time it was the turn of Zabaleta to stand off him. He cut in from the right-hand side before stinging Pantilimon’s hands as he punched clear with both hands.
Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves tried to score from outside the box but he shot high into the crowd behind the goal before Chamakh had an attempt at the other end went as wide as Hargreaves’ went high.
Oxlade-Chamberlain tried for a third time to beat Pantilimon but again shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Aguero finally opened the scoring with seven minutes remaining, with the move taken directly out of the Arsenal textbook.
The hosts were dispossessed from a corner and the ball was taken out wide by Edin Dzeko. He ran down the touchline and into the middle of the park before cutting the defense open with a through ball to Adam Johnson. His pivot set up Aguero who slotted past Fabianski to take the visitors into the semifinals.