If Manchester City’s presence in the semifinals of the English League Cup is no real surprise, the same cannot be said about second-division club Brentford.
By beating Newcastle 1-0 to take down a fourth Premier League opponent so far in the competition, Brentford reached the semis of a major cup competition for the first time in the southwest London club’s 131-year history.
City’s players, on the other hand, are regulars at the business end of domestic competitions and kept alive their bid to win the League Cup for a fourth straight season with a 4-1 win at Arsenal on Tuesday.
The holders were given a helping hand by Arsenal’s backup goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson, who fumbled a free-kick attempt by Riyad Mahrez with the score at 1-1 at the start of the second half and saw the ball squirm behind him into the net.
Further City goals from Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte piled on the agony for Arsenal and its under-pressure manager Mikel Arteta, whose team has plunged to 15th place in the Premier League.
City is looking to claim an eighth League Cup title, tying the record of Liverpool in the competition.
The other quarterfinal matches take place on Wednesday, when Everton hosts Manchester United and Tottenham is at second-tier Stoke.
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