Manchester City welcomed fans back to English football as they secured their first silver of the season with a late strike from Aymeric Laporte to win their fourth straight Carabao Cup at Tottenham’s expense.
Frenchman Laporte broke through a truly boring affair in front of around 8,000 fans at Wembley on Sunday when he nodded a late free kick from Kevin de Bruyne to continue Pep Guardiola’s impressive cup final record.
Elected Premier League champions City came out on top in the 90 minutes, but the goalscorer’s identity is getting some feathers in north London as Laporte was fortunate enough to stay on the field after getting a second yellow card stood the first half.
Tottenham, who had former player Ryan Mason on the field following Jose Mourinho’s sack last week, are continuing their trophy drought as Londoners have gone empty-handed for the past twelve seasons.
However, the contrast between the shape of the hapless Spurs and that of Manchester City couldn’t be more clear. Guardiola’s side have almost secured the Spaniard’s third Premier League crown – and have already secured their position in this season’s Champions League semi-finals. The win is a successful recovery from losing to Chelsea in last week’s FA Cup semi-finals As they followed a historic “quadruple”, striker Laporte noted in his post-game comments the importance of getting back to winning ways.
“It’s very special for us after we lost in the FA Cup. [We needed] Gain trust and move on. We’ve been so good the past two months. We have to keep that rhythm to win more titles, “he told Sky Sports.
“It was difficult today, they were a good team. It’s never easy. We did very well today. I’ve been thinking about my yellow card. We know a small mistake can cost you. I was careful.
“We are very happy to see our supporters again. I wish there could have been more, but we are very happy about their support.”
🗣 “I’ve been to big clubs so it’s easier.” 🏆Pep Guardiola reacts to winning his 25th trophy in his managerial career pic.twitter.com/IuwoR3CggD
– Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 25, 2021
For Tottenham, losing means forgetting a week. They immediately faced fan backlash when they were exposed as one of the first 12 signatories to the hugely unpopular Super League last Sunday, before landing again on the backsides the following Monday when they saw Mourinho’s departure after just 17 months announced.
However, his temporary successor, 29-year-old Ryan Mason, proved unable to expand Spurs’ trophy cabinet, which has been gathering dust since former boss Juande Ramos won the EFL Cup in 2008.
The man in the dugout opposite, Guardiola, was more than happy with the result – and his 30th major trophy as a manager.
“Today we are incredibly happy to have four times in a row in this competition,” he said.
“We tried to win the game, we created a lot of chances. They had some chances on the counter, but generally we had a good game.”