Carling Cup verdict: Arsenal 0 Manchester City 1

City claimed a place in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup thanks to a brilliant breakaway goal scored by Sergio Aguero. Both sides may have sent out rotated sides, but winning at Arsenal for the first time in 34 years is another psychological boost for City.

Only Samir Nasri of the starting eleven at Liverpool began this match, though Aguero did play the majority after coming on for Kolarov after 31 minutes. There was a slight surprise in seeing the right-footed Zabaleta playing at left-back. The Argentine had a fine game, using all his defensive nous to prevent the dangerous Oxlade-Chamberlain causing significant damage.

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Carling Cup player ratings: Arsenal v Manchester City

Pantilimon – Produced a save from Park that matched anything by Joe Hart at Anfield. Still needs to work on dealing with crosses but this was a much more promising display from the Romanian. 8

Zabaleta – For all the praise being directed at Oxlade-Chamberlain, he rarely got the better of Pablo who did an excellent job defensively. 8

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Carling Cup preview: Arsenal v Manchester City

With Roberto Mancini vowing to make eleven changes from the team which played Liverpool, there could be an opportunity for a couple of the younger players. It won’t be easy as Arsene Wenger has indicated he will play some first teamers in an attempt to win this Carling Cup quarter-final.

Juan Roman tweeted that he has travelled down with the squad, while Razak and Suarez will also be looking to feature. The sight of Owen Hargreaves will be a welcome one and if de Jong plays then there may not be room for Razak in the starting eleven.

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Verdict: Arsenal 0 Manchester City 0

City went to an in-form Arsenal with the intention of not coming away empty handed. In that regard, 0-0 was mission accomplished and Roberto Mancini was apologising to no-one for his tactics.

The only surprise was that so many people were surprised by this. The clues were all there leading up to the game.

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