Manchester City won the League Cup (Carabao Cup) for a record-equalling fourth time in succession with a deserved victory over a disappointing Tottenham Hotspur side at Wembley.
City and France defender Aymeric Laporte, 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 from a Kevin de Bruyne free-kick late in the game in the 82nd minute.
The centre-back should have been sent-off in the first half against Tottenham, but he ended up being the difference-maker as he scored the winner at Wembley in London.
It was an appropriate reward for City who definitely deserved to win as they created lots of chances and dominated Spurs. Although City were good, Tottenham were poor and did not enjoy any sort of positive reaction from sacking manager Jose Mourinho on Monday and replacing him with caretaker Ryan Mason.
Laporte rose highest to head home De Bruyne’s cross past his fellow countryman Hugo Lloris to secure Manchester City’s fourth consecutive League Cup title.
Spurs, though, would feel hard done by after Laporte was twice caught out by the pace of Lucas Moura during the first half, with his only way of stopping the Brazil international to pull him back.
Both offences would normally have warranted yellow cards, and yet only the second one was punished with by referee Paul Tierney.
⭐️ @Carabao_Cup Final Man of the Match, @ManCity’s Riyad Mahrez
Completed 40/47 passes (20/24 in final 3rd)
3 chances created
4 shots, 1 on target
Made most League Cup apps in last 3 seasons, this was 1st app in the final – had been unused sub in last 2 pic.twitter.com/C01uwjgVZY
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 25, 2021
Algerian captain Riyad Mahrez was the star of the show and was rightfully awarded the man of the match award for his outstanding play.
The final was played in front of 8,000 supporters, including 2,000 from each club – and it was a delight to hear the noise inside the stadium once more and good to have fans back.
City’s victory equalled Liverpool’s feat in the early 1980s of winning the competition four years in a row, as well as matching the Reds’ overall tally of eight cups. Manager Pep Guardiola said his players are motivated by such milestones.
“That is what these players give for the future generations of this club. It is not winning [just] one title,” Guardiola said.
“This team in the last decade was the team in England – since Roberto Mancini won the Premier League, this team wins a lot of times in England.
Guardiola also spoke about fans being allowed at Wembley in a limited capacity – the first time his side has played in front of fans in almost a year.
“It’s not full [in the stadium] but it was a great noise [from the supporters],” he added.
“Today we are incredibly happy that we have four in a row in this competition. We tried to win the game, created a lot of chances.
“They had some chances on the counter but in general we had a good game.”