Alamy Stock Photo Southampton's Moussa Djenepo celebrates his goal.
Saints March On

Clean sheet for Bazunu as Man City stunned by Southampton in Carabao Cup quarter-finals

Meanwhile Dean Henderson was the hero for Nottingham Forest as they beat Wolves on penalties.

MANCHESTER CITY CRASHED out of the Carabao Cup after substitutes Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne failed to inspire a fightback in a shock 2-0 quarter-final defeat to Premier League strugglers Southampton.

First-half goals from Saints pair Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenepo stunned the eight-time winners on an extraordinary evening at St Mary’s, where Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was called upon to make a string of important late saves.

Pep Guardiola began with Haaland and De Bruyne on the bench for the second successive game ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

But, unlike on Sunday when the influential pair were not required in a thumping 4-0 FA Cup victory over Chelsea, the decision backfired as they were unable to prevent City suffering elimination after coming off the bench in the second period.

Battling underdogs Southampton fully merited victory and will face Newcastle in their first League Cup semi-final since going on to finish runners-up in 2017.

In tonight’s other quarter-final, Nottingham Forest beat Wolves on penalties to book a semi-final date with Manchester United.

A remarkable result on the south coast was Saints’ first home success over Premier League opposition since they beat Chelsea in August and only a sixth since the start of 2022.

Nathan Jones’ bottom-of-the-table side set aside their dire league campaign and dismal home form as an aggressive start prevented City slipping into their formidable rhythm and paved the way for a monumental upset.

Lyanco epitomised Saints’ steel with his robust early treatment of Jack Grealish and he was instrumental in the 23rd-minute opener.

After cutting out Sergio Gomez’s pass to Grealish, the Brazilian defender raced forward and delivered a low cross which Mara emphatically swept past Stefan Ortega to claim his first goal for the club.

City’s sold-out away end were briefly silenced by the surprise breakthrough and they had serious cause for concern only five minutes later as Djenepo doubled the lead.

The Mali international collected the ball just inside opposition territory and accelerated towards goal before unleashing a curling effort from 30 yards which sailed over the head of stranded goalkeeper Ortega.

Guardiola responded by bringing on De Bruyne, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji for the second period.

De Bruyne almost made an immediate impact but, after his through ball cut open Saints’ defence, Julian Alvarez flashed wide.

The ineffectual Grealish then escaped punishment for a needless, off-the-ball barge on Djenepo before being promptly replaced by Haaland.

southampton-goalkeeper-gavin-bazunu-right-claims-the-ball-from-manchester-citys-erling-haaland-during-the-carabao-cup-quarter-final-match-at-st-marys-stadium-southampton-picture-date-wednesday Alamy Stock Photo Gavin Bazunu claims the ball from Manchester City's Erling Haaland. Alamy Stock Photo

Top scorer Haaland, seeking to add to his 27 goals this term, hooked over before Che Adams had an effort ruled out for offside at the other end.

Southampton have kept only one league clean sheet all season but Bazunu protected their two-goal lead with some important late interventions.

World Cup winner Alvarez threatened to halve the deficit with 12 minutes to go, while Haaland went close with a flicked header on an evening to forget for the Premier League champions. 

Meanwhile Dean Henderson was the hero for Nottingham Forest as he saved two penalties in a shoot-out against Wolves to send his side through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

The on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper kept out spot-kicks from Ruben Neves and Joe Hodge as Forest emerged 4-3 winners after it had ended 1-1 in normal time.

Willy Boly scored against his old club to put Forest ahead but Raul Jimenez levelled after the break in a bad-blooded encounter that saw a mass brawl on the pitch at the end of the penalty shoot-out, which is sure to land both clubs in hot water.

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