London, April 26
Tottenham Hotspurs’ hope of winning their first trophy in 13 years was ended by a rampant Manchester City who lifted the League Cup for the fourth consecutive time. A week after sacking their coach Jose Mourinho, Spurs found themselves totally outplayed and outclassed in a game that surprisingly had just one goal in it and was played with 8,000 spectators allowed in for the first time during the pandemic.
City are now focused on winning two remaining trophies this season. They are well on the way to the Premier League title for the third time in four years and have a semifinal place in the Champions League. Their coach, Pep Guardiola, said: “To win this cup four times in a row is amazing in this period of lockdown with everyone suffering. We went out to play at an incredible level and with incredible quality.”
He added: “We cannot deny one eye is always on the Champions League, but we take every game seriously, otherwise it’s impossible to win four Carabao Cups in a row. We won the first title and we go to Paris (Champions League) for another one. After that, we are two games away from winning the most important title, the Premier League, the one I’m proud of most.”
City dominated the match throughout, forcing Spurs into defence to the extent that they rarely had the opportunity to put the pressure of the City goal. Early in the second half Spurs had their one decent spell when Gio Lo Celso’s curling shot was well saved by Zack Steffen. City, on the other hand, had several missed chances.
Phil Foden shot over the bar in the seventh minute, later Raheem Sterling just failed to reach a pass from Kevin De Bruyne and Joao Cancelo’s drive from outside the box was tipped over the bar. There was more pressure from City in the second half and missed chances. Ilkay Gundogan headed over and another header from Fernandinho was well saved before, man of the match, Riyad Mahrez’s shot, after a great run, was tipped wide by Hugo Lloris.
It was as late as the 82nd minute when City finally scored. They won a free kick on the left from Serge Aurier and De Bruyne curled in his shot to Aymeric Laporte who beat Moussa Sissoko to the ball and steered his header inside the right post. That was it, there was nothing left to come from the London side.
Spurs 29-year old rookie coach, Ryan Mason, said: “It’s difficult to take that for the players and for everyone associated with the club. We have to move on. When you lose a cup final, it’s disappointing. We’re all hurting. I am, the players are and I’m sure the fans are.”
He added: “I know that feeling. It’s normal, because it shows they care deeply for this club. They gave absolutely everything, 100 per cent commitment. It wasn’t enough today, that’s tough to take. But we have to look forward.”