Bristol City shocked the soccer world on Wednesday night by defeating Premier League giants Manchester United in the Carabao Cup.
Soccer players and fans alike are often accused of not treating cup competitions with the respect that they deserve. Winning the Premier League or qualifying for European competitions is at the forefront of most teams minds and with that prestigious knock out tournaments such as the FA Cup are often looked upon as being less important.
Every now and again, however, something incredible happens that reminds fans of the magic of the cup. Lower league teams get their chance in the spotlight and an opportunity to pit themselves against some of the greatest teams in world soccer. That happened on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup— otherwise known as the league cup—when Championship outfit Bristol City played host to Premier League behemoths Manchester United.
Things did not go as you might have expected. Lowly Bristol City not only gave a good account of themselves, but they managed to topple Manchester United, the current holders of the Carabao Cup. Homegrown star Joe Bryan put the underdogs ahead with a superb strike, only for a returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic to level things up a few minutes later. The match remained finely balanced from that point on until the very last minute. City midfielder Korey Smith found himself with the ball in front of goal and netted a winner with the last kick of the game sending United crashing out of the tournament.
If you haven't seen the goal and exactly what the victory means to Bristol City and the club's fans, just take a look at the footage above. Plus, in the clip below you'll see City manager Lee Johnson celebrating the late winner on the touchline by swinging around an equally jubilant and unsuspecting ball boy. If there were a roof on Ashton Gate, Bristol City's stadium where the match was played, then it would have undoubtedly been blown off.
City's win was not only a giant-killing, but a record-breaking night all around. Their toppling of Manchester United has made them the first lower league team to ever defeat four Premier League teams in the space of one League Cup tournament. It's also the first time City has defeated United since 1978 and the furthest they have progressed in the League Cup since the 1988/89 season. It'll be a tough task if they want to make it all the way to the final though. Premier League leaders Manchester City await them in the semi-finals but who knows, maybe they'll be able to upset the blue half of Manchester as well.