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Manchester City's exceptional EFL Cup record under Pep Guardiola

Sports Mole takes a look at Manchester City's exceptional EFL Cup record under the tutelage of Guardiola over the last five years.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be looking to claim his 25th victory in the EFL Cup, when his side travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United on Wednesday night.

The Citizens have dominated in this competition since the arrival of the Spaniard in 2016, lifting the trophy in each of the last four seasons, beating Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur respectively in the final.

Guardiola has managed 26 games to date in the EFL Cup, winning on 24 occasions and losing just twice; both of which were against rivals Manchester United in October 2016 and January 2020.

After their emphatic 6-1 victory against League One outfit Wycombe Wanderers last month, City are now aiming to continue their impressive run and clinch a record ninth EFL Cup trophy this campaign.

Ahead of Wednesday's encounter, Sports Mole takes a look at Man City's exceptional EFL Cup record under the tutelage of Guardiola over the last five years.

2016-17 – Eliminated in the Fourth Round

Manchester United's Juan Mata scores past Manchester City's Willy Caballero on October 26, 2016© Reuters

Guardiola's first EFL Cup game in charge of Man City was away against Swansea City in the third round back in September 2016.

Second-half strikes from Gael Clichy and Aleix Garcia helped the Citizens secure a 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium as well as setting up a fourth-round tie with crosstown rivals Manchester United.

An October clash at Old Trafford against Jose Mourinho's team saw the Portuguese boss come out on top, with Juan Mata scoring the only goal of the game to send the Sky Blues packing, a result which was incredibly the last time City were eliminated from the competition to date.

2017-18 – Winners

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff celebrate with the EFL Cup on February 25, 2018© Reuters

The following campaign was arguably City's most challenging in reaching the final, after winning two of their four matches by narrow one-goal margins, while the other two were decided by penalty shootouts.

A Leroy Sane brace was enough for Guardiola's side to claim a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion in the third round, before Claudio Bravo saved two penalties to help the Citizens progress into the quarter-finals 4-1 on penalties at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers, following a goalless draw after extra time.

Bravo continued his heroics between the sticks in the last eight against Leicester City, when he saved the final two spot kicks from Foxes duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy to ensure City edged through 4-3 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes.

Man City overcame Championship outfit Bristol City 5-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals, despite an early scare in the first leg which saw them trailing at half time. They then cruised to arguably their easiest victory in the 2017-18 competition, with a 3-0 win against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium – Guardiola's first EFL Cup triumph and one which began an era of dominance for his talented squad.

2018-19 – Winners

Manchester City players celebrate winning the EFL Cup final against Chelsea on February 24, 2019© Reuters

City enjoyed a more comfortable route to the final in 2018-19, winning all six matches by a combined scoreline of 16-1.

Guardiola has often used the EFL Cup to blood academy talents during his tenure, including starlets Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz who scored their first senior goals in 3-0 and 2-0 victories against Oxford United and Fulham respectively.

The Citizens then travelled to familiar territory when they locked horns once again with Leicester at the King Power Stadium, producing an almost carbon copy result of their encounter a year earlier, with Claudio Bravo the hero yet again for the Sky Blues. On this occasion, the Chilean saved three consecutive penalties to help Guardiola's men win 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes.

Another terrific night in the EFL Cup saw Man City record the competition's biggest aggregate victory, when they won 10-0 over two legs against football league minnows Burton Albion in the semi-finals, including a 9-0 demolition in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

The 2018-19 final between City and Chelsea – which finished goalless after 120 minutes – was then decided on penalties, with Raheem Sterling scoring the decisive spot kick to help Guardiola's side retain the trophy.

2019-20 – Winners

Manchester City players pose with the trophy as they celebrate winning the EFL Cup on March 1, 2020© Reuters

City began their 2019-20 EFL Cup campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Preston North End in the third round, before beating Southampton 3-1 on home soil in the round of 16, thanks to a brace from Sergio Aguero.

For the second time in successive years, the Citizens travelled to the Kassam Stadium, this time in the quarter-finals, with goals from Raheem Sterling (2) and Joao Cancelo sealing a 3-1 victory against Oxford and setting up a Manchester Derby in the semi-finals.

City raced into a 3-0 lead within the first 38 minutes at Old Trafford, thanks to strikes from Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal, before Marcus Rashford pulled one back in the 70th minute to give the Red Devils hope of a comeback in the second leg.

Guardiola's second ever defeat in the EFL Cup came on home soil against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United side, who clinched a slender 1-0 win. However, they were eventually eliminated 3-2 on aggregate by the Citizens, who booked their place into their third successive final against Aston Villa.

City were strong favourites to beat the Villains in the showpiece event and they lived up to their expectations, as a man-of-the-match performance from Phil Foden inspired them to a 2-1 triumph at Wembley.

2020-21 – Winners

Manchester City players celebrate with the trophy after winning the EFL Cup on April 25, 2021© Reuters

City kicked off last year's EFL Cup campaign with a 2-1 home win over Bournemouth, with academy graduates Liam Delap and Phil Foden getting their names on the scoresheet.

Guardiola then claimed his 20th victory in the competition when his side ran out 3-0 winners against Burnley at Turf Moor in the fourth round, before getting one over his former assistant Mikel Arteta when City beat Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates thanks to strikes from Gabriel Jesus, Mahrez, Foden and Aymeric Laporte.

Another eagerly-anticipated Manchester Derby then awaited the Citizens in the semi-finals. This encounter was contested over one leg rather than the traditional two due to the coronavirus pandemic, and City ran out 2-0 winners after second-half strikes from John Stones and Fernandinho.

Wembley were unable to host the final in front of a full 90,000 capacity, though just under 8,000 fans were lucky enough to get a ticket for what for many was their first football game in over a year. A closely-fought contest between City and Tottenham saw Laporte head home the only goal of the game eight minutes from time to seal the Sky Blues' fourth successive EFL Cup trophy.

The Citizens have now triumphed a record-equalling eight times, a feat which only Liverpool can match in the competition's 61-year history. Aston Villa, Chelsea and Man United all sit in joint-second place, having won five times.

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