Leroy Sane’s brace gave Manchester City a battling 2-1 win at West Brom in the third round of the EFL Cup, but victory came at a price as Ilkay Gundogan was hit by another possible injury blow.
Sane has been restricted to one Premier League start so far this season, the odd-man out in Pep Guardiola’s gifted forward line, but he grasped his chance with aplomb at The Hawthorns.
The 21-year-old’s early opener preceded a swashbuckling first-half showing from a City side performing in the same vein as the recent romps against Liverpool, Feyenoord and Watford despite Guardiola making eight changes.
West Brom imposed their will on the match after the break, with the sight of Germany midfielder Gundogan – making a first start since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last December – limping off following an ugly lunge from Claudio Yacob, noticeably unsettling City.
Yacob warmed to his role as villain by snatching an equaliser but the winner arrived against the run of play in the 77th minute, with Sane collecting Bernardo Silva’s pass, cutting inside Craig Dawson and curling home past the excellent Ben Foster.