sport news Manchester City the Carabao cup kings: How Pep's men dominate the competition

As the Manchester City team coach pulls into the Wembley Stadium players bay on Sunday, Pep Guardiola and his troops will be met with the most familiar of sensations.

Over the past four years this truly has been City's competition. Day has become night, night has become day, and the League Cup has been coloured sky blue. It's just how things go.

Aston Villa know full well they are facing a formidable opponent. This season alone they have already conceded nine goals to Guardiola's men. For City though, this is nothing personal. 

This is a chance for more silverware and a shot at the record books. With the Etihad side having passed through a remarkable 14 consecutive rounds in the competition, Sportsmail took a look back through the archives.

Man City know the Carabao Cup better than anyone else and have dominated in recent years

Man City know the Carabao Cup better than anyone else and have dominated in recent years

Last elimination - 26 October 2016

We have to travel back just over three days to find the last time City were knocked out of the competition they call their own.

At the hands of noisy neighbours , a solitary goal from playmaker Juan Mata at the start of the second half was enough to send City home from Old Trafford empty-handed.

It is over three years since City were eliminated from the competition, losing to United in 2016

It is over three years since City were eliminated from the competition, losing to United in 2016

The loss came early in Guardiola's maiden season. His philosophy was only in the early days of permeating its way into the bones of City's squad, and the Carabao Cup would soon become a tournament in which he would flourish.

City were, of course, holders of the trophy at the time, having won the cup the season prior by beating Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on penalties.

Losing to United would jerk City into life. From that point onward, they would not bow out and the remarkable run since has taken them all the way to Sunday's final, were they are overwhelming favourites.

The men in sky blue were unable to make their mark at Old Trafford, but have dominated since

The men in sky blue were unable to make their mark at Old Trafford, but have dominated since

The goals

In their 17 matches since exiting to United in 2016, City have been scoring at what can only be described as a formidable level.

Though Guardiola continually tinkers with his Carabao Cup sides, in both formation and personnel, the goals never appear to dry up.

Vincent Kompany caused scenes of jubilation when scoring vs Arsenal in the 2018 final

Vincent Kompany caused scenes of jubilation when scoring vs Arsenal in the 2018 final

Following the recent semi-final revenge mission against United, to set up a place in Sunday's final, City have 39 strikes to their name, having conceded just 11.

This is where Gabriel Jesus has come into his own. When fully fit, the Brazilian is often the go-to man in this competition. He has 832 minutes under his belt overall, and six goals to show for it.

It makes him City's most lethal forward in the competition, alongside Sergio Aguero who also has six. Jesus, however, has also provided two assists. 

Though it may be said that the luck of the draw has favoured City in recent years, Guardiola's men certainly taken no prisoners when it comes to progressing in the cup.

During last season's semi-final the men in sky blue disembodied Burton Albion and took a 9-0 victory, before scoring one further goal in what was essentially a pointless second leg. 

Joao Canelo found opportunities in the cup, and scored against Oxford United this season

Joao Canelo found opportunities in the cup, and scored against Oxford United this season

Gabriel Jesus was part of the squad who dismantled Burton to take a 10-0 aggregate victory

Gabriel Jesus was part of the squad who dismantled Burton to take a 10-0 aggregate victory

City can of course still do things the hard way. During their 2018 semi-final duel with a plucky Bristol City, the Carabao Cup regulars refused to bow out and succumb to a giant killing. 

A 2-1 first leg was met with a 3-2 return, as Guardiola and Co. marched on to Wembley once more.

Mr reliable

Though it may come as a surprise, City's most trusted lieutenant in this competition comes in the form of Ilkay Gundogan.

The decorated German has the most appearances out of all his team-mates, having featured 14 times on City's blistering run and banking 964 minutes.

Gundogan has taken delight in the competition, having used it for come-back appearances following his nasty cruciate ligament rupture in his knee in 2016.

The Carabao Cup has been an outlet for Ilkay Gundogan, who is City's trusted lieutenant

The Carabao Cup has been an outlet for Ilkay Gundogan, who is City's trusted lieutenant

Of his 14 appearances in the undefeated run, Gundogan has started nine times, showing his versatility in a number of different positions.

The former star has featured at

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