How Man City won the League Cup for a record fourth time

How Man City won the League Cup for a record fourth time

Manchester City won the League Cup for a record fourth time in succession with a deserved victory over a disappointing Tottenham Hotspur side at Wembley.

City defender Aymeric Laporte, arguably fortunate to be on the pitch after escaping a yellow card in the first half before being cautioned after the break, rose above Spurs substitute Moussa Sissoko to head home Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick eight minutes from time.

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It was an appropriate reward for City creating a host of chances and dominating Spurs, who did not enjoy any sort of positive reaction from sacking manager Jose Mourinho on Monday and replacing him with caretaker Ryan Mason.

The final was played in front of 8,000 supporters, including 2,000 from each club – and it was a delight to hear noise inside Wembley’s vast arena once more.

Pep Guardiola’s face was a picture of joy at the end of a week that saw Manchester City heavily criticised as one of the Premier League clubs involved in the ill-fated and quickly abandoned European Super League.

No-one can begrudge City or Guardiola this piece of history, with Laporte’s winner finally making the breakthrough that their performance – top class in so many areas apart from end product – deserved.

Riyad Mahrez was outstanding while Raheem Sterling was tireless – even if his finishing touch still eludes him.

It means City, who lost the chance of a historic quadruple when they were beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley eight days ago, secure their first trophy of the season three days before their Champions League semi-final first leg at Paris St-Germain.

City are within touching distance of regaining the Premier League title so this cup success, the 30th major trophy of Guardiola’s glittering managerial career, sets the perfect platform for further glory ahead.

The Spaniard’s players may have feared they would pay for their missed chances but anything other than a City win would have been a real injustice even if Laporte was slightly lucky to have received only one yellow card for two cynical fouls on Lucas Moura.

It has been an eventual few days for Spurs, with Mourinho surprisingly dismissed at the start of a week in which they were attempting to win their first major trophy since 2008.

Chairman Daniel Levy and the club’s hierarchy simultaneously became a target for criticism over Tottenham’s involvement in the European Super League,according to BBC Sport report.

Indeed, one of the first chants from the 2,000 Spurs fans who were reunited inside Wembley was ‘We want Levy out’.

In the context of this cup final, it was a gamble to dispense with Mourinho – who boasts a track record of success on these sorts of occasions – and replace him with 29-year-old rookie coach Mason.

If it was designed to lift clouds around this Spurs squad and spark a reaction that might overcome City, it failed miserably. Mason’s side – and it should be stressed he has barely had any time to exert serious influence – were insipid, lacklustre and could have no complaints about the result.

Harry Kane, an injury doubt until late in the build-up after sustaining an ankle injury in the draw at Everton, declared himself fit but looked well off the pace and stayed down on a couple of occasions after challenges.

The England made minimal impact on the game but he was not alone in that respect for Spurs, whose wait for a trophy goes on after a poor display.

Source: Football News – Sporting Life

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