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Pep proud of battling youngsters

​DEPENDABLE: Pep Guardiola and Claudio Bravo celebrate at the King Power Stadium.

​DEPENDABLE: Pep Guardiola and Claudio Bravo celebrate at the King Power Stadium.

Pep Guardiola couldn’t be prouder of the way his much-changed City side ground out an impressive win over Leicester City.

The Blues progress to the Carabao Cup semi-finals after a second successive penalty shoot-out win having drawn 1-1 in normal time.

With no fewer than five Academy graduates involved, two making their senior debuts and another his first senior start, City showcased a rich vein of talent, ready to push for first team football.

“Our young players played so well,” said Pep. “Brahim (Diaz), Tosin (Adarabioyo) and Phil (Foden) played really well and I’m so happy.

“This is the second time we have won on penalties after the win against Wolves, so to reach the semi-finals is fantastic.

“There are so many things to be happy about: Bernardo Silva played an outstanding game, as did Gundogan and Yaya - everybody was really good.

“The players today have not played too much in the last period and they’ve shown me very, very good things and it is not easy to do that when there have been lots of changes.”

Though the Blues’ boss looked surprised at the amount of time added on in normal time, plus the controversy surrounding the last-gasp leveller from the spot by Leicester, he refused to be drawn on the subject, preferring to praise his side’s reaction to the decisions.

“The TV doesn’t lie so we will see on the replays if it was a penalty,” he said.

“What I liked the most was how we reacted to overcome that situation. That is a good sign for our future.

“We like to work out situations so in football sometimes this sort of thing happens and the way we react is not easy because we were so tired, and we had a lot of young players playing extra time - Danilo was a central defender, he’s never played there in his life!

“There were no complaints in extra time to say how unfair it was in the last minutes and instead of that, we tried again and tried again and with the penalties as well.

“So, to overcome that situation and the way we played in extra time to try and win the game is not easy because Vardy was there and Mahrez was there, so it was difficult.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next round or who will be playing.

“We have to adapt because you’re thinking two weeks in advance. Maybe there are injuries, maybe there are sendings off. We are going to see the level of the team, how are their behaviours and consider the players who deserve to play.”

And when asked if the Blues could win four trophies this season he added: “Forget about it. That is not going to happen."

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