Guardiola dedicates Man City win to Colin Bell as Blues reach Carabao Cup final

Pep Guardiola dedicated Manchester City’s Carabao Cup semi-final derby win to club legend Colin Bell.

Bell passed away, aged 74, with City’s players paying tribute by wearing retro shirt bearing his No.8 before the game, then beating their local rivals.

Goals from John Stones and Fernandinho sealed the win that kept City on course for a fourth straight Carabao Cup win and a record-equalling eighthtriumph to match Liverpool.

Guardiola said: “It was a sad day for all the City family. We’re now in the present, but before was the past, and we’ve been graced with exceptional players.

“Colin Bell has a stand at the Etihad Stadium because he was something special.

There was a minute's silence for Colin Bell ahead of kick-off
There was a minute’s silence for Colin Bell ahead of kick-off

“We played for him and his family. This person helped build something special and to beat United away is for you.

“We dedicate the victory to Colin, his family and the Manchester City fans who miss him a lot.”

Man-of-the-match Stones, who scored his first City goal for four years, said: “I’d like to send our condolences for Colin Bell and his family.

“I think how we played today was a reflection of him. A great moment for us and hopefully he is looking down on us. It was a great occasion, another win against another of the top teams.

“We had so many chances, great chances, great moves to get into the box and we did a job at the end of the day.”

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denied his side had a mental block, after suffering a fourth successive semi-final exit.

Manchester City are through to yet another Carabao Cup final

“It’s not psychological,” said Solskjaer. “It’s not a mental issue. Sometimes you meet good teams in the semis. At the moment, City are probably the best team in England.

“They can score many great goals. You can accept that. But when you concede two simple set-plays, it’s very disappointing. Just not good enough in those moments.

“We didn’t create enough big chances. We didn’t have the extra finesse we’ve had in the games lately. We weren’t good enough.

“But we’re getting closer. This is a much better version of United than a year ago in those semis.”

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