Liverpool and Manchester City go head to head this weekend looking to emerge from the Wembley duel as League Cup winner. Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how both sides made it through to the London showdown.
THIRD ROUND – SEPTEMBER 23, LIVERPOOL 1-1 CARLISLE (AET) (LIVERPOOL WIN 3-2 ON PENALTIES)
Brendan Rodgers‘ troubled start to the season continued as they scraped through on penalties against League Two opposition.
THIRD ROUND – SEPTEMBER 22, SUNDERLAND 1-4 MANCHESTER CITY
Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling tore the Black Cats apart, demonstrating a brutal efficiency in front of a largely horrified crowd of 21,644.
Sergio Aguero started the ball rolling from the penalty spot, before De Bruyne, Vito Mannone’s own goal and Sterling made it 4-0 by the break.
Ola Toivonen’s late header was scant consolation for the hosts.
FOURTH ROUND – OCTOBER 28, LIVERPOOL 1-0 BOURNEMOUTH (H) 1-0
Jurgen Klopp‘s first victory as Liverpool manager was secured via the unlikeliest of sources.
Nathaniel Clyne, playing in an unfamiliar left-back position, netted his first goal for the club he joined in the summer to book a quarter-final place.
FOURTH ROUND – OCTOBER 28, MANCHESTER CITY 5-1 CRYSTAL PALACE (H)
Wilfried Bony and Kelechi Iheanacho were among the goalscorers as City coasted to victory without the injured Aguero.
The former started the rout, with Iheanacho getting in on the act after Kevin De Bruyne netted.
Yaya Toure added a fourth from the penalty spot and substitute Manu Garcia rounded off a good night’s work with a fifth in stoppage time after a Damien Delaney consolation.
QUARTER-FINAL – DECEMBER 2, SOUTHAMPTON 1-6 LIVERPOOL
Fit-again Daniel Sturridge inspired a stunning victory, hitting two elegant goals to put his team in control after Sadio Mane headed Southampton into a first-minute lead.
QUARTER-FINAL – DECEMBER 1, MANCHESTER CITY 4-1 HULL
The scoreline somewhat flattered City against Championship visitors Hull.
An early goal from Bony should have been the platform for a comfortable win, but it was not until a strike from teenage substitute Iheanacho and a De Bruyne brace in the last 10 minutes that the match was wrapped up.
Hull left-back Andrew Robertson scored an even later consolation.
SEMI-FINAL, FIRST LEG – JANUARY 5, STOKE 0-1 LIVERPOOL
Ibe’s first-half winner saw Klopp’s men draw first blood.
The win came at a cost, though, as the Reds lost Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren to hamstring injuries inside 35 minutes, while their only fit centre-back, Kolo Toure, gingerly limped off at full-time holding the back of his thigh.
SEMI-FINAL, FIRST LEG – JANUARY 6, EVERTON 2-1 MANCHESTER CITY
In-form Romelu Lukaku’s 12th goal in as many matches gave Everton a deserved first-leg victory.
Ramiro Funes Mori had given the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time, before substitute Jesus Navas’ first goal since September 2014 levelled things up with 14 minutes to go.
However, they were only level for two minutes as Lukaku netted.
SEMI-FINAL, SECOND LEG – JANUARY 26 LIVERPOOL 0-1 STOKE (LIVERPOOL WIN 6-5 ON PENALTIES AFTER TIE FINISHES 1-1 ON AGGREGATE)
Joe Allen was the penalty shoot-out hero as his spot-kick sent Liverpool to Wembley after a tense second leg.
Marko Arnautovic’s controversial offside goal took the match into extra time and eventually penalties, where Allen slotted home after much-maligned goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had saved Stoke defender Marc Muniesa’s effort in sudden death.
SEMI-FINAL, SECOND LEG – JANUARY 27, MANCHESTER CITY 3-1 EVERTON (MANCHESTER CITY WIN 4-3 ON AGGREGATE)
City controversially came from behind on the night to overturn a first-leg deficit and reach the League Cup final.
Ross Barkley’s early goal put Everton in sight of a Wembley date with rivals Liverpool, only for City to reply through Fernandinho.
Controversy then erupted as Sterling then appeared to take the ball out of play before teeing up substitute De Bruyne to level the tie, with Aguero completing City’s fightback.
The major downside for the hosts was the loss of the influential De Bruyne through injury.
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