Wednesday Jan 29, 2020. 12:00
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has hailed “a goal made in Egypt” after his side defeated Leicester City 2-1 on Tuesday night to advance into the final of the Carabao Cup.
Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ netted the decisive goal in injury time, turning home a cross from countryman Ahmed Elmohamady to seal a 2-1 win at Villa Park and 3-2 triumph on aggregate in the semifinal tie.
Earlier, Villa had led through a 12th-minute opener from Matt Targett, but the Foxes hit back through in-form Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho in the 72nd minute to raise the possibility of extra time and penalties.
Smith admitted after the match that he “certainly let myself go” in celebration after “a goal made in Egypt”.
“It means an awful lot. We’ve got a proud history in this competition and if we could go and lift the trophy for the sixth time for this club, then I’ll be a very proud man,” Smith continued, as quoted by The Guardian.
Villa will come up against one of the Manchester clubs in the final, with City hosting United at the Etihad Stadium tonight in the second leg of the other semifinal. Pep Guardiola’s side hold a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Old Trafford.
“We know it’s going to be tough against Manchester City or Manchester United but the hard part is getting to a cup final and we’ve managed to do that against a very good Leicester team,” added Smith.
The manager also voiced his hope that this result will help Villa climb away from relegation trouble in the Premier League, where they are two points off the bottom three: “That win may give everybody belief in what we’re doing … it shows there’s an awful lot of character and quality in this squad.”