ARSENAL 0 – 3 MANCHESTER CITY
A stunning cup final performance by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City saw them richly rewarded with silverware as the runaway leaders beat Arsenal at Wembley Stadium 3-0 to lift the Carabao Cup. Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva helped to see the club lifting their fifth League Cup trophy in their history and third in five years.
It was a week that started badly for City after they had been dumped out of the FA Cup away at Wigan last Monday, so it was a good chance to redeem themselves after their shock loss. Arsenal came into the final on the back of a home loss in the Europa League and their last domestic game saw them coming out second best in the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
City started well in the contest, as Leroy Sane had a shot blocked in the area after two minutes gone and had the Blues on top. Arsenal had the best chance of the game coming their way when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his shot in front of goal saved by Claudio Bravo in the Manchester City goals, as Aubameyang looked to be in an offside position.
Nacho Monreal then appealed for a penalty in the 13th minute of play, when the Spaniard spun around in the area and tried to claim a foul off Vincent Kompany when there was no contact and had the referee unmoved by his pleas. The deadlock was broken after 18 minutes on the clock when a long ball upfield by Bravo saw Argentine striker Sergio Aguero getting on the end of the kick and chipping David Ospina in the Arsenal goal for 1-0.
German defender Shkodran Mustafi had got a little bump off Aguero in the build-up, but the referee was not interested at all. City looked the better side and saw them just unable to make their attack play count as they tested their opponents.
Aaron Ramsey attempted a low free kick from long range that saw Bravo dealing with the shot and easily dealt with. City skipper Vincent Kompany then showed signs of his old self as he chased down hard Aubameyang, before outmuscling the Arsenal striker to stop the Gabonese International.
Both sides wasted good chances in the half and had the Citizens nearly making it 2-0 before halftime when Aguero put a ball into the area and over the outstretched arm of David Ospina and have Kevin De Bruyne volleying his effort into the side netting.
Early moments of the second half saw a chance falling to Vincent Kompany and his shot was blocked and just went past the post. Claudio Bravo then nearly got punished for his error on 53 minutes, when the Chilean keeper came running out to clear away and saw him completely miskicking.
City doubled their lead minutes later after captain Vincent Kompany diverted the ball home after Ilkay Gündogon driven a ball into the Arsenal area and have the Belgian showing his delight and passion in his celebration. David Silva completed the victory for City with less than a half hour to play after Danilo played a ball through for the man dubbed ‘Merlin’ by Manchester City fans, and the Spanish International fired across goal and into the far corner for a 3-0 scoreline.
As soon as the third goal went, it began to see the Arsenal end of the stadium quickly starting too empty and have the Gunners fans unhappy with the performance of their side, as they were outplayed, outclassed and out-fought by a determined and focused Manchester City side. As the final whistle blew it saw the travelling fans from the North West enjoying their trip down south and winning yet another cup and seeing Pep Guardiola continuing his habit of trophies and winning finals in his managerial career.
For Pep’s men they still have a chance of a ‘treble’ with the destination of the Premier League title looking all but over you’d say, so their last trophy to go for is the Champions League and sees them in good health as they hold a 4-0 lead over Basle of Switzerland after their first leg tie in Switzerland a couple of weeks ago. Before that though, City face Arsenal again this coming Thursday night and then meet Chelsea at home in the teatime kick on Sunday.