Pep Guardiola saluted the ‘special’ quality of Ruben Dias after a man of the match display from our Portuguese centre half helped inspire City to a fourth Carabao Cup final.

Second half goals from John Stones and Fernandinho secured a memorable 2-0 semi-final win at Manchester United on a night made even more poignant following yesterday’s sad passing of City legend Colin Bell.

It was a display the great man would have been proud of – with Dias again tower of strength at the back

And as he reflected on the win, the City manager was quick to praise the 23-year-old and the role of football director Txiki Begiristain in helping secure the deal which brought him to the Etihad from Benfica last September.

“Ruben lives with football 24 hours and he is giving us something special,” declared the City boss.

“Congrats to Txiki and the club for bringing this player here because he will be outstanding for many years to come.”

The boss was also full of praise for another commanding display from Dias’ centre half partner John Stones, who capped his own excellent display by scoring the all-important opener.

“He came back and he make another outstanding performance - but the most important thing is he can do something he hasn’t been able to do - play four, five games in a row.

“This is important. He has to handle Rashford, who is dangerous and clever, and the quality of his passes to Joao were outstanding.

“All the team, Fernandinho, our captain, what performance again. Outstanding. All the players - Gundogan, Raheem, Phil...all the team.

“All credit (to John). Football is a long career - it is up and down, sometimes bad moments. We can help him but when someone plays like this, its credit to him. Hopefully he can continue in this way.”

The boss also spoke of his pride in steering the Club to a fourth successive League Cup final, with City now looking forward to a Wembley clash with Tottenham at Wembley on April 25th.

And he paid a heartfelt tribute to the incredible legacy left by Colin, one which chimes with everyone at the Club..

“We never drop one game or one competition. We have to play well, like Colin Bell helped create this club,” Guardiola declared.

“It’s a big loss. Sad news. But we can continue and be proud of what these guys years ago did to create the Club.

“Colin Bell helps create this feeling - it’s fantastic. Today away at Old Trafford we played incredible football, we won and we go to Wembley again.

“It’s incredibly good to be back at Wembley to play the final.”