Leroy Sane’s brace, Ilkay Gundogan’s bad luck and the Carabao Cup fourth round draw take up most of Thursday morning’s media headlines.
The Blues made it six away wins in a row at The Hawthorns and the nation’s press were of the opinion it was deserved, if a little nervy at times.
ESPN pick up the moment the hosts levelled, then spurned the chance to take the lead as they write: “Suddenly the Baggies had the initiative and Robson-Kanu miscued horribly when he shot wide, then Bravo palmed away Morrison’s drive — before City immediately broke to win the tie with 13 minutes left.
“Bernardo Silva led the charge to find Sane and the Germany international curled a superb effort into the top corner from 17 yards.
“Rondon nearly levelled instantly when his header flew wide and Robson-Kanu wasted a glorious chance deep in injury time.
“He was left free in the area with only Bravo to beat when the ball deflected into his path but somehow hit the outside of the post to allow City to progress.”
The Independent continue a similar theme as Steve Madeley writes: “Leroy Sane’s classy double strike fired a dominant Manchester City into round four of the Carabao Cup but only after Pep Guardiola’s men had survived a big scare at The Hawthorns.
“There was no denying the Premier League leaders deserved to progress for an utterly dominant first-half display that brought the opening goal from Sane after less than three minutes.
“Yet their failure to kill off Tony Pulis’ men looked set to land them with extra-time when Claudio Yacob equalised with 18 minutes to go and Albion even missed chances to sneak ahead.
“Sane finally took charge on 77 minutes with an expertly-taken winner, only for West Brom to rattle the woodwork again in the dying seconds.”
The Telegraph’s Jason Burt focuses on Gundogan’s exit around the hour-mark, expanding on Pep Guardiola’s post-match comments.
He writes: “llkay Gundogan will undergo a scan tomorrow after a knee injury scare in his first start for Manchester City almost nine months after he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. The midfielder beat the turf in frustration after Claudio Yacob launched into him, with his manager Pep Guardiola berating the fourth official, Lee Mason.
‘I suffer for Gundogan,’ Guardiola said after this bone-jarring Carabao Cup third round victory over West Bromwich Albion. ‘At that moment, you think the worst, the wrong situation. You cannot imagine eight months fighting every day alone and then to get injured. At that moment, it’s so tough. Fortunately, it is not serious.”
“It does, indeed, not appear to be serious although Gundogan was helped off following the second-half incident and it was decided he could not continue. He reported pain in his knee but it is his left knee, not the right in which he suffered the rupture. Still, given the German international’s injury history there will be concern. ‘I spoke with him, he has a little pain in his knee,’ Guardiola said. ‘Tomorrow the doctor will clarify.’
Finger’s crossed Ilkay will be given the all-clear after an impressive performance against the Baggies.
Meanwhile, the Birmingham Mail praised the 4,000 or so travelling City fans at West Brom who made up a third of the 15,000 crowd last night in their ‘crowd watch’ section of the match report.
It says: “Fair play to the fans who braved the chaotic traffic on the M6 to make it to the Hawthorns.
“City filled the entire Smethwick End to give the ground a real electric cup tie feel.
“Yet it was the home fans in full voice as their side ended the match on top and were desperately unlucky not to extend the game into extra time.”
Finally, in our League Cup wrap up, our next opponents, Wolves, carried the fourth round draw story on their official website thus: “Wolves have been drawn away to Manchester City in the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup.
“Wolves actually faced City the last time they reached the fourth round stage of the competition, in the 2011/12 season, when they were beaten 5-2 at Molineux.
“All in all, the sides have met five times in the competition, including of course the 1974 final, which Wolves won 2-1 with goals from John Richards and Kenny Hibbitt.
“Of the five meetings to date Wolves have won two and City three.
“Pep Guardiola’s side have got off to a blistering start so far this season, winning six of their seven games so far, scoring 21 goals in the process.”
With the likelihood of 6,000 travelling fans at the Etihad, it should be a lively encounter.
We’ll return with another media trawl tomorrow morning…