Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, and David Silva landed Pep Guardiola his first trophy as a Manchester City manager in his second season at the club.
Manchester City defeated Arsenal in the Carabao Cup Final at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday to claim their first trophy under the Pep Guardiola reign.
While Arsenal started the match brightly with Aubameyang going close to opening the deadlock in the opening stages of the game, the match turned in City’s favor after Aguero’s opener in the 18th minute. The Citizens made their domination count in the 2nd half with goals from both Vincent Kompany and David Silvas piling the misery on Arsene Wenger and his men.
Here’s the match report from the Carabao Cup Final.
Arsenal didn’t turn up
For a team that was defeated midweek by Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League, Arsenal started this game like they had a point to prove, with Aubameyang seeing his goal-bound effort barely stopped by Claudio Bravo on the rebound.
From there on, however, the Gunners were all at sea, unable to cope with the high-press game which has enabled Manchester City to sit 13-points clear at the Premier League summit. Mistakes were made – as Shkodran Mustafi was out-muscled too easily by Sergio Aguero for the opener, and within two minutes of the start of 2nd half, the game was out of sight for the Gunners.
And if there ever was any doubt by their performance, the fact that Arsenal fans left the stadium in hordes when the match was only 80-minutes-old tells you all what you need to know how Arsenal performed in the Carabao Cup Final.
Kompany the star performer for City
For a player whose injuries have restricted him to making just 14-appearances for club and country this season, Kompany was in need of a stellar performance today to prolong his Manchester City career. And he did just that by putting in a Man of the Match performance against the Gunners.
In addition to scoring the 2nd goal of the game which effectively put the match to bed, Kompany was instrumental throughout the game, showing Pep Guardiola that he could still play at the elite level for some years.
Still, while his performance today was noteworthy, Kompany has to stay fit for the remainder of this season if he wants to be in the Manchester City squad come August.
Errors Proved Costly For Arsenal
When Arsene Wenger sanctioned £70m on the signings of Xhaka and Mustafi from Valencia and Basel, respectively, he would have expected the duo to lift Arsenal in matches like today’s. Instead, it was these two players who deserve the blame for Arsenal’s woeful performance.
While Mustafi misjudged the flight of the goal-kick to let Aguero through on goal – a costly, but one time error, Xhaka was poor throughout the game. He failed to track City’s midfield runners and had seen too many of his passes intercepted before they could reach his Arsenal teammates.
Therefore, while Mustafi would deserve all the flak that would undoubtedly come his way after making a costly mistake, Xhaka was equally responsible for a lackluster performance from the Gunners.
Wenger’s drought goes on
During his 22-year stint as the manager of Arsenal, League Cup is the only domestic trophy which Arsene Wenger has failed to win. And just like his previous two shots at it – in 2007 and 2011, the Frenchman has once again left the competition after being defeated in the Final.
And with the Gunners’ position in the Premier League also tenuous – they sit 10-points adrift of 4th placed Tottenham with a game in hand, it seems that this was the last chance for Wenger to win this competition.