Manchester City suffered a shocking exit from the Carabao Cup League Cup as striving Southampton brushed them off to a 2-0 victory in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
Pep Guardiola’s City paid the price for a woeful display as they failed to recover after two first-half goals from Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenepo at St Mary’s ended their race in the EFL.
Manchester City sits second in the Premier League table, while Southampton is 26 points below Guardiola’s side at the bottom of the table.
However, the huge gap wasn’t noticeable on Wednesday night on the south coast as Guardiola was left in great awe.
Southampton punished Guardiola’s sloppy squad rotation as the host preyed upon several City players who seldom start in the Premier League but were deployed by Guardiola in the name of squad rotation.
City’s right-back Sergio Gomez gave away possession to incite the piece of play that allows Lyanco to deliver a fine pass to Sekou Mara’s opening goal in the 23rd minute.
In just five minutes after Mara’s opener, Southampton preyed on Goalkeeper Stefan Ortega’s poor positioning as Moussa Djenepo looped the Saints’ second goal over his head from distance.
The City boss, in an unproductive attempt to ignite a turnaround, Guardiola brought on veterans Kevin De Bruyne, Nathan Ake, and Manuel Akanji at half-time, and then introduced Erling Haaland and Rodri deeper into the match.
However, that was not enough to overcome the dreadful start and redeem the unprecedented loss as the Saints made away with the victory.
For the first time in 16 domestic cup quarter-finals, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had finished as a loser and he could have no resentments about the result.
However, Guardiola blamed his sides for the shocking exit from the EFL cup at the expense of an inferior team.
The City boss claimed Manchester City do not have a chance in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United if they repeat the despicable performance that saw them bow out of the Carabao Cup at Southampton yesterday.
Manchester City failed to register a single shot on target for the first time in a match since April 2018, against Liverpool.
Guardiola asserted that his team was nowhere near their best form and were second best against the Premier League’s bottom club Southampton.
He said: ”The best team won. They were better. We didn’t play well. We had a bad start and we didn’t perform well.”
Teams left in the Carabao Cup.
On Wednesday, Southampton stunned Manchester City with a 2-0 defeat and Nottingham Forest knocked out Wolves via penalties.
Erik Ten Hag’s side is arguably the strongest contender for the Carabao Cup following Manchester City’s shocking elimination.
The Red Devils beat Charlton 3-0 on Tuesday with Marcus Rashford twice getting on the scoresheet against their League One opponent at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils are the only team currently in four competitions this season.
United is still on the hunt for the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and vehemently doing well in the Europa League.
And United boss Erik Ten Hag is confident that his team will surely get their hands on trophies this season which seems conceivable base on their sturdy form so far since the season began.
Manchester United will play Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup semi-final with Ten Hag in search of his first piece of silverware as United boss.
While Newcastle will take on Southampton in the other semi-final.
The Carabao Cup semi-finals are played over two legs, with Forest hosting Manchester United in the first tie before their trip to Old Trafford.
On the other hand, Southampton will play host to their first match against Newcastle, before heading to St James’ Park to complete the tie.
The first legs of the semi-finals are set to be played on January 24, with the return fixtures taking place just seven days later.