Manchester City do not have long to wait to forget the woes of Monday night. Facing off against Arsenal in the League Cup Final, it is a chance for Pep to get some silverware in the cabinet. Not as old, or prestigious as the FA Cup, the League Cup has been good to City.
Four times winners, another victory on Sunday would see City as the joint second most succesful side in the competition’s history. Victory would make City five time winners, and join Manchester United and Aston Villa in terms of competition success.
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Yesterday it was the turn of Manuel Pellegrini’s first season in charge, and the 3-1 victory over Sunderland. Today, it’s Pellegrini’s final trophy for the Blues, and a penalty shoot out victory over Liverpool.
This time Manchester City stormed to the Final. Beating Sunderland 4-1, Palace 5-1 and Hull City 4-1. In the Semi Finals, and facing Everton, City lost the first game 2-1. The return leg, at the Etihad, was a 3-1 victory for City meaning a 4-3 aggregate win, and no Merseyside final!
In the final itself, City took the lead early in the second half, thanks to a Fernandinho strike. Raheem Sterling would have the opportunity to make it 2-0 shortly after but put the ball wide of the post from only a few yards out.
Eventually, and inevitably, Liverpool got themselves back into it. A Coutinho strike in the final ten minutes took the fixture to extra time, and then penalties. The Brazilian finishing from twelve yards out after an Adam Lallana strike hit the post.
Manchester City picked up a ton of cautions in the final fifteen minutes of normal time, and it continued into the extra time. It was surprising that City still had a full complement of people on the pitch as Micheal Oliver signalled for penalty kicks.
Before the ABBA scheme for taking penalties it was Liverpool to draw first blood. Emre Can stepping up and dispatching the shot. Fernandinho was next, and first for City…and failed. It almost seemed like it was going to be ‘same old City’, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
However Lucas, Coutinho and Lallana all had their spot kicks saved from super Willy Caballero. While Navas, Aguero and Yaya Toure made no mistakes with theirs to win the trophy.