Defending champions knocked out of cup following abject display
Capital One Cup
Wednesday 29 October 2014, 19.45 KO
City: Caballero, Sagna, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure(c) (Navas 60), Silva (Nasri 9 [Aguero 70]), Milner, Jovetic, Dzeko
Unused: Hart, Zabaleta, Fernando, Boyata
Booked: Mangala, Aguero
Referee: Stuart Atwell
Man of the Match: James Milner
After Saturday's painful loss to West Ham, it was time for the return of the Capital One Cup as City sought to defend the trophy they won earlier this year. After comfortably dispatching Sheffield Wednesday in the previous round, the Blues were handed another home tie, against Premier League opposition Newcastle.
Manuel Pellegrini opted for a very strong side, starting the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure. The idea presumably was to put themselves firmly in control of the game, before withdrawing the two ahead of the derby. The night, however, started disastrously as David Silva suffered an early knee injury, presumably ruling him out of Sunday's vital game. As a result City seemed to wobble, and Newcastle took full advantage.
Fernandinho's casual back pass was ceased upon by Newcastle youngster Rolando Aarons, who coolly slotted the ball through Willy Caballero's legs into the far corner. It was a nightmare start for City, who often looked devoid of ideas and bereft of confidence. There was no urgency in the passing, and little movement off the ball. City's best chance of the first half came through Toure, who fired a powerful drive which was well saved by stand-in Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot.
City went in at half time looking frustrated, but nobody seemingly willing to take the initiative in trying to get the Blues back into the game.
The second half almost mirrored the first, with City sloppy in possession, and Newcastle looking dangerous on the break. Gabriel Obertan raced clear, only to be brought down (illegally) by Aleksandr Kolarov inside the box. The Serbian should have walked, but incredibly referee Atwell waved play on. Newcastle, however, soon doubled their lead, thanks in part to some sloppy defending, but also a piece of individual brilliance by Moussa Sissoko. The Frenchman weaved through Sagna and Demichelis before finishing excellently past the on rushing Caballero to eliminate City from the competition.
A week which started so promisingly in the first half against CSKA, has become a potential nightmare for City, with the players needing to pick themselves up ahead of a huge derby on Sunday.