Soccer

Man City pounces third-tier Burton 9-0 in English League Cup

AP

Gabriel Jesus scored four goals in Manchester City’s 9-0 win over third-tier Burton Albion on Wednesday in the first leg of an English League Cup semifinal that proved even more of a mismatch than anticipated.

Kevin De Bruyne, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez also scored at Etihad Stadium for a result that virtually renders the second leg meaningless in two weeks.

With an annual wage bill around 90 times smaller than City’s, Burton was given an “extremely slim” chance of winning by its own manager, former City forward Nigel Clough.

Even that felt generous after just five minutes, when De Bruyne’s goal began a rout that turned into a humiliation. Clough leaned back in is seat in the dugout, a resigned look already on his face.

By the 37th minute, a City side that was nowhere near at full strength — half the team were back-up players — was 4-0 up and the home fans were singing about going to Wembley Stadium.

They can already start planning for Feb. 24 final at English soccer’s national stadium, where Tottenham beat Chelsea 1-0 in the first leg of their semifinal on Tuesday.

City enjoyed a stroll 24 hours later, with fans not quite getting their wish after chanting “We want 10” in the closing stages.