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EFL Cup final: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

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Carabao Cup Final
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EFL Cup final: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur 

Manchester City beat Tottenham at Wembley to win the Carabao cup for the fourth consecutive year, in what was a closely contested final. Aymeric Laporte’s header late in the second half was the difference on the scoresheet. It was a historic game as City became the only team to win it eight times, with Fernandinho and Aguero being the first players to win it six times. De Bruyne and Kane returned from injuries to increase the excitement.

Manchester City were sensational through out the full 90 minutes, however especially in the first half. They produced a number of chances through slick passing in tight areas and their well oiled high press denied Spurs to play out from the back. City’s attacking players managed to find space on the attack with ease, Sterling and Foden were shifting to the left to allow De Bruyne to attack through the centre.

 

First Half

It was all City in the first 45 minutes. Early on, City worked the ball leading to constant threat; Foden’s effort went wide, Sterling headed one over and Dier blocked his goal bound shot from close range.

The best chance of the half fell for Foden from Alderweireld’s attempt to clear De Bruyne’s cross, Lloris’ instinct appeared brilliant as he pushed Foden’s shot to the post and wide.

Man of the match, Mahrez was at his best on the night, bringing the ball down with exceptional first touches, wriggling past defenders through step overs. The Algerian pulled off two of his traditional left foot curlers, albeit missing the goal by close margin. Cancelo had a shot saved by Lloris, at the end of what was a disappointing first half for City, as they had nothing to show for their amazing display.

Spurs couldn’t manage to put any good run of passes in the first half and were congested by the City press, forcing them to change their approach to long balls after 30 minutes.

 

Second Half

Spurs started the second half brightly though. Lo Celso forced Steffen to a good save from his curler from outside the box. They managed to force City back for some time and enjoyed a short but good spell of possession in their opposition’s half. But Lo Celso’s effort was the only time the American keeper was brought into action. Spurs interim manager, Ryan Mason, brought on Bale and Sissoko for Moura and Lo Celso in the 66th minute.

City started ticking again after 10 minutes in the second half. Mahrez found Gundogan at the far post but he couldn’t direct it while on his back foot. A De Bruyne special looping ball picked Fernandinho at the far post but Lloris did well to catch the City captain’s header. Mahrez flew past three defenders to launch a strike only for the inform Lloris to catch it again.

In the 81st minute, Aurier conceded an unnecessary foul to Sterling in the far wide area and that produced city’s breakthrough. De Bruyne put a delicious ball in and Laporte attacked it to find the bottom corner and give city the lead.

Rodri came on for Fernandinho and Dele Alli replaced Hojbjerg after the goal. Soon after, Bernardo replaced De Bruyne to see out the game.

City continued creating chances even after scoring and chose to run at goal instead at the far corner until the final whistle. As Spurs committed more men forward, spaces opened up for City to counter, Sterling and Mahrez came close to score a second goal for City.

Guardiola’s team matched Liverpool’s record from 1981 to 1984 to win the Carabao cup in four consecutive season. The champions are set to lift the EPL trophy for the third time in four seasons and are set to face face PSG in the UCL semi-finals midweek, as they chase the elusive Champions League trophy.

 

EFL Cup final Top Performers

Riyad Mahrez– The Algerian was sensational on the night and looked most likely to score on the pitch. He linked up well with team-mates and came close to scoring multiple times, firing his shots just wide or forcing Lloris into action.

Joao Cancelo– He worked the ball on the left side in the build up to attacks but what was more impressive from the Portuguese player was his defensive output, he stopped counter-attacks and in the process dispossessing Spurs attackers and transitioning  to attacks well.

Eric Dier– The centre back played a key role in keeping his teams back door shut until the 82nd minute. He made a few goal saving blocks and was strong in the air to clear away threatening deliveries in the box.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘EFL Cup final: Manchester City 1 – Tottenham 0’.  Do you think Man City can beat PSG in the Champions league and progress to the final? Let us know!

 

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