X

Pep unhappy with ball weight

latin bond: Sergio Aguero (right), who scored the winning penalty for Manchester City, celebrates with Claudio Bravo, at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester

London: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has criticised the weight of the match ball used in the League Cup after his team failed to score in their fourth-round match against Wolverhampton Wanderers and won 4-1 on penalties.

Premier League leaders City have scored 32 goals in nine games so far, the most by any side, but failed to find the net against the Championship side as the score remained 0-0 after 120 minutes of active play.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved two of Wolves' penalties to help City win and Guardiola blamed the Mitre ball for his side's inability to score.

"It is not acceptable, the ball was unacceptable for a high-level competition," Guardiola said after the match.

"It is too light, there is no weight, nothing. It is not a good ball. It is impossible to score with a ball like that and I can say that because we won.

"I'm not making excuses. All of my players said, 'what is that?' I'm sorry, Carabao Cup, but that is not a serious ball for a serious competition."

Bravo has been heavily criticised for sloppy performances since joining City in 2016 and Brazilian Ederson has been Guardiola's first-choice keeper this season.

"Without Claudio we would not be in the next round," Guardiola added."I am so, so happy for him because it has not always been easy. He made a lot of important saves for us."

Striker Sergio Aguero, who captained the side, missed out on the chance to become City's record goalscorer but will have an opportunity again when Guardiola's side travel to West Bromwich Albion in the league on Saturday.

Holders Manchester United made eight changes to the side humbled by Huddersfield Town on Saturday but were too strong for Swansea City with Jesse Lingard scoring both goals in a 2-0 win.

"The attitude was good," said manager Jose Mourinho, who had criticised his team after their weekend Premier League defeat.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger even put out an entirely new starting XI from that which faced Everton on Sunday and had substitute Eddie Nketiah to thank for the 2-1 extra-time win over another second-tier side Norwich City.

The 18-year-old scored twice -- his first goals for the club -- including one with his first touch 15 seconds after coming on in the 85th minute. The goal was the first scored by an Arsenal player born after the Frenchman took over as manager.

Nketiah added his second six minutes into extra time as Arsenal, who had trailed to Josh Murphy's 34th-minute opener, finally saw off the spirited challenge of the visitors.

Bristol City inflicted more misery on Premier League basement side Crystal Palace and former England manager Roy Hodgson by routing the south London side 4-1 at Ashton Gate.

Leicester City caretaker manager Michael Appleton made it two wins from two as his Midlands side came from behind to beat Leeds United 3-1 with goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, his first for the Foxes, Islam Slimani and Riyadh Mahrez.

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson scored as they beat Middlesbrough 3-1 to reach the quarter-finals for the second time in their history.

Reuters

OTHER RESULTS

Arsenal 2  Norwich City 1
Bournemouth 3 Middlesbrough 1
Bristol City 4 Palace 1
Leicester 3 Leeds1
United 2 Swansea 0

Opinion

Back to top icon