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Manchester City fell to their third defeat of the Premier League Cup group stage with a 1-3 defeat to Derby County at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Joe Hardy's first half strike was cancelled out by Derby midfielder Kellan Gordon in the second period before Emil Jakobsen and Mason Bennett sealed the win for Derby.
City suffered a major setback early in the match as left-back Erik Sarmiento’s attempt to turn sharply resulted in the Spaniard requiring a stretcher to carry him down the tunnel.
He was replaced by striker Joe Hardy and City changed to a 3-2-4-1 formation with Hardy as the focal point.
Hardy didn’t take long to make an impact as he monetised City’s early dominance with a left footed effort from 18 yards across Ravas in the Derby goal.
City’s four-strong central midfield of Will Patching, Rodney Kongolo, Denzeil Boadu and Paolo Fernandes kept a grip on the first half from that point although Henrich Ravas may not have been tested as much as they would have liked.
Derby came in to their own in the second half and after early chances for Mason Bennett and Emil Jakobsen failed to test Daniel Grimshaw, City’s goalkeeper made an excellent save from a deep cross. Unfortunately for City, Derby’s Kellan Gordon reacted quickest to equalise.
The visitors were the livelier of the two sides from that point and were rewarded when Jakobsen latched on to an excellent lofted pass and poked into the corner of the goal.
Mason Bennett sealed the points for Derby with a penalty after Alex Baros was adjudged to have been fouled by Charlie Oliver in the box.
Manchester City have three points from four matches in the Premier League Cup with two more matches to go in the group stage.
City travel to Leicester City on Monday 30 January in the Premier League 2. Visit the ticket office for information on how you can support our future at upcoming home matches.
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City's change in formation had worked excellently in the first half but once the referee blew his whistle for the second half, Derby came forward and eventually wore the hosts down.
Paolo Fernandes – A bag of tricks and a incredible speed of thought allowed him to glide around his opposing number several times throughout the night.
Athough he may have struggled to deliver the end product, the 18-year-old and his left foot played a vital role in everything impressive about City’s expansive football.
Daniel Grimshaw took his place in goal.
Manchester City will face Derby County on Wednesday evening and here’s all you need to know ahead of the Premier League Cup tie.
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