Manchester City booked their place in the League Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
Ross Barkley scored a fine individual goal for the visitors in the 18th minute, but Fernandinho quickly equalised before substitute De Bruyne levelled the tie and then set up Sergio Aguero to complete the victory in the 76th minute.
The Manchester side won by a 4-3 aggregate score after an earlier 2-1 victory for Roberto Martinez’s Everton at the Goodison Park.
However, there was a moment of controversy in City’s second goal, with replays suggesting that Raheem Sterling had taken the ball beyond the byline before cutting it back for De Bruyne to score.
With Everton manager Roberto Martínez, politely unequivocal on that, saying officials should have spotted it.
The evening ended on a sour note for Manuel Pellegrini, however, when De Bruyne was stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, as he crumpled under Ramiro Funes Mori’s clumsy challenge.
“To play a final at Wembley is very important. I am very happy,” said City manager Manuel Pellegrini.
On suggestions De Bruyne’s goal should not have stood, he added: “That is not why we won. We won because we scored three goals and Everton had just one chance.”
But Martinez said: “Everyone that has seen the replay can clearly see the ball is out of play.
“It’s very, very hard to take. If they score three goals in the right way, then you accept it.”
City’s win set up a final against Liverpool on February 28 at Wembley.