Viewed within the context of the pathetic recent history of City in the League Cup, this year’s run and especially tonight’s victory are remarkable. Also from a squad building perspective this was an important match. Tonight saw Roque Santa Cruz open his Manchester City account, Sylvinhio get a run out, Vladimir Weiss play a key role late, and Benjani return to the pitch after months of injury.
While many in the media have stated that City has a deep side, I have begged to differ. But today we saw Mark Hughes try and work some new players into the fold, something that will serve City well as the weather gets colder and the football more intense in the upcoming weeks and months.
For now, advancement in the League Cup is a significant accomplishment for a side that last won a major trophy in 1976. City’s last Cup run in the 2007 FA Cup was largely based on beating Championship sides (Southampton, Preston, etc) before being taken apart by Hughes’ Blackburn team in the Quarterfinals. Let’s hope Hughes change of venue marks a change of fortunes for City against bigger sides in the deep stages of a cup competition.
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