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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Thursday, December 21st 2017

United victory up there with Anfield 1994 - Carey

Club legend Louis Carey has reflected on one of City's greatest achievements.

City's all-time appearance record holder was at Ashton Gate as part of the Sky Sports team to see Lee Johnson's squad knock Manchester United out of the Carabao Cup in the quarter-finals.

Joe Bryan flashed in City's first goal although it wasn't long before Zlatan Ibrahimovic's free kick levelled the scores. But up popped Korey Smith in the dying embers of the match to grab City's last-gasp winner, to send the home crowd into raptures.

Reflecting on the result, Carey said it was "up there" with City's famous FA Cup victory at Anfield in 1994.

He said: "It was an incredible game, the first half was very even on all stats.

"The effort from the Bristol City players was incredible and Manchester United had a couple of chances where they hit the post and I think that's where (Jose) Mourinho is saying they were lucky...but overall the first half was very even. City were very much in the tie.

"To come out in the second half with the drive and the positivity that they did lifted the crowd. Bryan's goal then set the place alight and it was unreal. It's what dreams are made of growing up, to play one of the greatest sides in world football. To put that into the top corner is what dreams are all about."

CITY DUG DEEP

He added: "The Manchester United goal came just as City got on top. It was a harsh free kick but it was a good strike from Ibrahimovic but City dug in again.

"They looked like they were tiring at the end, they dropped deep and United had a couple of chances. The back four had to make blocks, tackles and the keeper had to make two or three great saves.

"So to go up the other end, with a midfielder to run beyond their back four and control it as well as he did, and a great ball from Taylor too...was superb for the club and the city as a whole."

THE ATMOSPHERE

A sell-out crowd of 26,088 witnessed the occasion, the largest attendance since the redevelopment of Ashton Gate.

Asked about the atmosphere, Carey said: "You just can't describe it. The noise, the atmosphere with the stadium rocking with people bouncing around, the flags going and the overall joy on people's faces knowing that they have just done something special was unreal."

He added he could think of only "two or three nights" better from his playing days, but he said Wednesday night's win "has got to be up there with the Liverpool result and even better as fans could see it in their own city".

The 2-1 victory has earned the Robins a two-legged tie against Manchester City, with the first fixture to be played week commencing January 8th.

Carey said: "Whoever you draw in the semi-finals is going to be a tough game. The quarter-final was tough enough but to draw Manchester City, who I believe are currently the best team in world football and have probably one of the greatest managers of all time, they play in a way that is incredibly difficult to deal with. It will be tough.

"The only thing that might suit Bristol City is there will be a backlog of games for Manchester City so they may have to play a weakened side."

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