Guardiola heaps praise on keeper Muric as City book Carabao Cup semi final spot

Pep Guardiola praised rookie goalkeeper Arijanet Muric after holders Manchester City reached the Carabao Cup semi finals.

They beat Leicester 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

City remain in the hunt for a quadruple this season as Oleksandr Zinchenko scored the decisive spot kick after Muric saved from James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu.

Christian Fuchs missed for Leicester and Raheem Sterling was embarrassed after he chipped his spot-kick over, although Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan scored for City.

Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring in the first half only for Marc Albrighton’s 73rd-minute leveller to send it to penalties, for a repeat of last season’s quarter final between the sides.

Guardiola said: “We got to the final last season and won so we played to win the game. It was quite similar to last season. The end was the same and last season Claudio (Bravo) was exceptional and this year it was Arijanet.

“I don’t know how the legs will be sustained for the rest of the season but it’s
better to be in the semi final than to be out.

“Aro is so big, his reaction is so quick and he took the right decisions. It’s good experience for him. He is a young guy, he is so shy, it’s a nice moment. He deserve the big applause.”

Leicester bowed out after Claude Puel’s gambled on leaving out Jamie Vardy.

Vardy was rested after returning from a groin injury at the weekend but Puel had no regrets omitting the striker.

“It was important to keep him fresh and be careful about another injury,” he said.

“If we look at the starting players it’s all experienced players and talented players. I’m happy with their performance, it was a complete game.

“It’s important because we have a good squad and it’s important when we play games every three games I want my team to play with the right intensity.

“We cannot have a debate about the penalties. My players took the responsibility. Remember the example of last season when we also lost on penalties. Who missed the penalties then? It was (Riyad) Mahrez and Vardy.”

- Press Association

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