MX23RW : Friday, January 31 03:00:30| >> :600:11077175:11077175:
Sep 24, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Deepdale
Attendance: 22,025
PrestonPreston North End
Man CityManchester City
FT(HT: 0-3)
Sterling (19'), Jesus (35'), Ledson (42' og.)

Result: Manchester City begin EFL Cup defence by easing past Preston

Result: Man City begin EFL Cup defence by easing past Preston
© Reuters
City are bidding for a third successive Carabao Cup trophy.

Manchester City began their quest for a third successive Carabao Cup triumph with a clinical 3-0 demolition of Championship high-flyers Preston.

Raheem Sterling set up a comfortable night with a fine solo effort before Gabriel Jesus doubled the lead with a crisp strike.

A Ryan Ledson own goal put the holders three up and effectively ended the contest before the interval.

— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 24, 2019

It was a result that was never in doubt, completely vindicating what had seemed a bold call by City boss Pep Guardiola to hand starts to both Eric Garcia, 18, and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, 17, at centre-back. For the latter it was a senior debut.

With full-backs Joao Cancelo and Angelino also featuring and Claudio Bravo playing in goal, it was a completely changed back unit. There was also an opportunity for Phil Foden in midfield but there were plenty of regulars involved with Sterling, Jesus, David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva all starting.

Preston, third in the Championship, might have hoped to trouble City but, after making six changes themselves, were distinctly second best.

Sterling (right) set City on their way
Sterling (right) set City on their way (Richard Sellers/PA)

The hosts did have an early chance when a cross from Ledson almost found former Manchester United forward Josh Harrop but City soon took control.

Sterling's runs repeatedly troubled the Preston defence and he had them backpedalling when he powered through in the 19th minute, wrong-footing three opponents before shooting past Connor Ripley with the aid of a deflection.

Jesus was denied soon after by an offside flag but the Brazilian celebrated in the 35th minute as he rifled home from a tight angle from a Sterling through ball.

The third came three minutes before the interval when David Silva's low ball was turned into his own net by Ledson.

Jesus and Garcia missed the target early in the second half before Preston had another good moment when Harrop squeezed a shot against the post. City also hit the woodwork when Foden clipped an effort onto the bar.

City cantered to victory, giving more game time to fit-again Benjamin Mendy and handing a debut to Adrian Bernabe along the way.

Jesus almost grabbed another late on but Ripley saved with his feet.

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2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
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11Crystal Palace247982228-630
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2465132740-1323
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

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