Manchester City: Kings of the Cup

Manchester City, Carabao CupManchester City

The League Cup has almost become Manchester City’s personal property in recent years. With their victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the final at Wembley on Sunday, they have now won this tournament four times in a row under Pep Guardiola. 

City dominated the first half, with creator-in-chief Kevin De Bruyne running the show but unable to break the deadlock. With both teams fancying their chances late in the second half, it was Aymeric Laporte who headed what would be the winning goal into the back of the net with just 8 minutes to go to full time. Captain Fernandinho picked up the trophy in front of jubilant City fans.

The Brazilian is no stranger to lifting the trophy. Since 2013, City have clinched an incredible six titles in just eight years and the two players who have taken home the winner’s medal on every single one of these occasions are Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero.

Under normal circumstances, the Carabao Cup final takes place in late February or early March, therefore being the first trophy, an English club can win in the season.

Aymeric Laporte Riyad Mahrez Joao Cancelo Man City vs Tottenham Carabao Cup final 2020-21
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City have, in previous years, used this victory as a launchpad to propel their end of season league title charge. In March 2014, they claimed victory over Sunderland in the final of the League cup and then went on to pip Liverpool to the Premier League title.

Yaya Toure, in the best season of his career, scored a crucial equalizing goal, adding to his tally of monumental goals for City. Two further second-half goals from Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas guided them to their first League Cup title since 1976.

Their next League Cup victory was achieved in 2015-16, the second success under the stewardship of Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini. The final against Liverpool ended 0-0 and was decided by a penalty shootout where keeper Willy Caballero made three spectacular saves.

City have now equalled Liverpool’s record of four consecutive victories as well as their record for the most number of League Cup titles. At this rate, a separate cabinet exclusively for League Cup trophies needs to be installed in the Etihad Stadium.