City win the Cup, Waiting for Champions After a narrow victory over Tottenham on Sunday, Manchester City is now the joint-most successful club in League Cup history.
Here’s our take on the action from Wembley Stadium…
Aymeric Laporte, a City defender, has had a difficult season.
The Frenchman was regarded as the best center-back at the club heading into the season, but an unfortunate injury coincided with the rise of Rben Dias and the resurgence of John Stones, and he fell out of favour.
Stones was suspended for this game, so Laporte not only had a solid afternoon alongside Dias at the back, but he also popped up to head home the cup-winning goal in the dying minutes. You could tell how much it meant to him by his expression. City win the Cup
Stones’ form has dipped in recent weeks, but this goal may be enough to get Laporte back into Pep Guardiola’s starting lineup.
The city’s weakness last season was a lack of defensive choices, but this season they have an embarrassment of riches in that department.
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For Spurs interim manager Ryan Mason, lifting a trophy in just his second game in charge would have been a fairytale come true, but it was not to be.
City dominated the first half, but Spurs came into their own as the game progressed, and they could have won it had their final ball not let them down on a few occasions in the second half.
Heung-min Son was disappointingly ineffective against Kyle Walker, while Harry Kane returned from injury but didn’t look 100 percent at Wembley.
But, in the end, it all came down to experience. City has won trophies before (especially this one), while Spurs hasn’t. Guardiola has plenty of big-game experience, while Mason has none.
The 29-year-old hopes to have a successful coaching career, but this final came just too soon for him.
The final stretch
The city won’t win an incredible quadruple this season, but they have the first trophy of the season, and Manchester United’s 0-0 draw at Leeds earlier on Sunday ensures the Premier League title is almost gone.
If they want to convert that double into a treble, they’ll have to dig deep into their reserves of strength.
Guardiola went full power here after a much-changed side lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend, and with some better finishing, they should have been out of reach by half-time.
However, they didn’t score until late in the game, and they came dangerously close to running out of steam in the second half. They could have been disciplined more severely if they had faced stronger resistance.
Now is the time to celebrate winning the Carabao Cup for the fourth time in a row, but they have a huge game in Paris in three days, and they must recover quickly.