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FOOTBALL: EFL CUP Man City through on penalties despite ball issues

MANCHESTER CITY scraped through their League Cup fourth-round tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers following extra time and a penalty shoot-out on Tuesday night.

Sergio Aguero was looking for a goal which would have broken the club’s all-time scoring record currently held by Eric Brook’s 177. He instead had to settle for scoring the winning spot kick.

At the other end of the pitch, goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, deputising for usual stopper Ederson Moraes, put in an excellent display throughout and also saved two of the penalties.

City boss Pep Guardiola had harsh words to say about the match-ball, complaining that it was used for marketing purposes and wasn’t up to scratch.

“The ball was unacceptable for a high-level competition. It is too light, it moves all over the place, it is not a good ball,” said Guardiola.

“It is impossible to score with a ball like that and I can say that because we won, I’m not making excuses.

“I’m sorry, it is not a serious ball for a serious competition. It’s marketing, money, OK, but it’s not acceptable to play with that ball.”

The ball seemed to suit both goalkeepers, though, as Bravo made saves when one-on-one with Helder Costa and Bright Enobakhare, while Will Norris repeatedly stopped City’s attempts at the other end.

The night was set up for Aguero, and though he dinked the winning penalty down the middle of Norris’s goal, it was the outstanding performance from Chilean stopper Bravo and his two penalty saves which saw City through to the next round.

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