City lift League Cup - More pressure piled on Wenger after Arsenal horror-show
LONDON, England (AP):
Manchester City completed part one of a possible treble yesterday, winning the League Cup final in style with a comprehensive 3-0 win over a defensively absent-minded Arsenal.
It was the first major English trophy for City manager Pep Guardiola in his second season at the helm. His counterpart, Arsene Wenger, has never won the League Cup since he became Arsenal's manager in 1996, and the stinging defeat at Wembley Stadium puts his position at the club under further pressure.
City looked a completely different team from the start of the week, when the team crashed out of the FA Cup in a 1-0 loss to Wigan last Monday that ended its hopes for a quadruple. City still have a chance to win the Champions League and Premier League, where their lead at the top of the table was cut to 13 points after a 2-1 win by Manchester United over Chelsea.
Guardiola viewed the trophy as a springboard for future team success, rather than focusing on it as a personal achievement.
"It's important to win titles because maybe it will help us to win the next games in the Premier League, and win the league," he said. Coincidentally, City face Arsenal next in the league on Thursday.
Sergio Aguero gave City the lead in the 18th minute after an atrocious defensive error from defender Shkodran Mustafi, who misjudged a direct long ball launched from goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and allowed Aguero a free run on goal. Aguero ambled forward in a one-on-one and lifted the ball over Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.
City captain Vincent Kompany doubled the scoreline when he diverted a shot from Ilkay Gundogan into the bottom corner in the 58th. It was more poor defending from Arsenal that led to the goal, with Gundogan being allowed to prowl freely around the penalty area before unleashing his shot. David Silva scored City's third goal seven minutes later with a low angled shot that whizzed just inside the post.
Arsenal supporters started heading for the exits after Silva's goal with shouts of "Wenger Out" and ironically chanting "There's only one Arsene Wenger."