Arsenal are likely to end up outside ‘top four’ for the second time running but they had a glorious opportunity to taste title glory this evening when they locked horns with Manchester City in the League Cup final. City, clear frontrunners for the Premier League title, got knocked out from the FA Cup competition following a surprise defeat to Ligue One minnows Wigan Athletic.
Pep Guardiola thus considered the competition very seriously and was determined to secure a ‘domestic double’ in his second season in charge. Arsenal were expected to uplift their game to have a close contest but Guardiola’s sensational Cup final record just got extended with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Wembley.
The Gunners had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock in early minutes but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a sitter from close range and hit it straight into the hands of Claudio Bravo. Arsenal showed sheer defensive resilience until they conceded a bizarre goal when Bravo’s goal-kick sailed over the top and Sergio Aguero did extremely well to shield off Shkodran Mustafi to chip it over David Ospina to break the deadlock.
City looked more purposeful after the break and put the game to the bed when another Mustafi error proved costly. It was eventually converted by Vincent Kompany from a bizarre Ilkay Gundogan assist. City ensured their third League Cup title in five years when David Silva scored spectacularly from a difficult angle seven minutes later.
Wenger’s wait for the League Cup continues. Meanwhile, here’s how the Cityzens fared on the day.
Was mostly untested but was lucky to see Aubameyang strike straight into his hands from close range. Got an unlikely assist to his name when his goal-kick sailed over everyone and Sergio Aguero did extremely well to finish it into the back of the net. The Chilean has been second-fiddle to Ederson but clinched his side’s first title of the season.
Was a constant threat in the attack as he kept on combining with the likes of Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne down the right flank. Had little to offer defensively. Seemed to have some discomfort towards the end, which might be another injury worry for Pep.
The skipper celebrated another glorious title triumph with Manchester City and also scored their second of the evening. Struggled at times against Aubameyang but made sure the Gabonese did not create much harm. Made a brilliant challenge to deny Aubameyang when he went through on goal.
City’s best defender of the season delivered another strong defensive display with timely challenges, blocks, clearances and interceptions.
Performed his defensive duties and did not allow Hector Bellerin to create much trouble with his pace and overlapping runs down the flank. Assisted David Silva’s spectacular strike that earned City a 3-0 lead.
Screened his defence and broke down many Gunners moves in the middle of the park. Was unlucky to suffer a likely hamstring strain and was forced to leave the pitch early in the second half. Bernardo Silva was introduced in place of the Brazilian.
His box-to-box runs and movements around the box helped his teammates to move up and offer numbers in the attack. Assisted Vincent Kompany who netted City’s second of the evening.
The Spanish wizard delivered another majestic display in midfield. He was outstanding with the ball and his off the ball movements were causing a menace in Arsenal defence. Scored spectacularly from a difficult angle to make it 3-0 for the Manchester giants.
The Belgian superstar was all over the pitch, kept on finding right options through his passes and one-twos.
Made some impressive runs down the left flank and his movement and pace created enough trouble for a depleted Gunners defence. Was replaced by Gabriel Jesus who finally made his return from a long-standing injury.
The Argentine hitman broke the deadlock as he did extremely well to shield off Mustafi and pick up Bravo’s long goal-kick to chip it over Ospina with great composure. Was replaced by Phil Foden in the closing minutes of the game.
Came in the place of an injured Fernandinho. Kept the game flowing.
Made his much-awaited return from a lengthy injury spell.
Came in place of Aguero at the 89th-minute mark.
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