LONDON - Sensational quick-fire goals by Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri inspired Manchester City to come from behind and beat Sunderland 3-1 in the League Cup final at Wembley.
Sunderland had taken a 10th-minute lead through on-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Borini and a fine first-half display left them on course for a first piece of major silverware since 1973.
However, City responded in the second half, with Toure lobbing in a superb long-range equaliser and Nasri smashing home less than two minutes later before substitute Jesus Navas added a third goal at the death.
"The team deserve this cup because we played well during the whole cup and scored a lot of goals," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said yesterday.
"Sunderland played a good match also and we didn't move the ball as fast as we needed (in the first half), but in the second half we scored two beautiful goals and had the patience to wait for the moment."
Victory for City enabled them to partially atone for the shock of last season's loss to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final and sets them up for a tilt at a domestic treble.
City are six points off the pace in the Premier League with two games in hand and will face Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-finals, while they also trail Barcelona 2-0 in their Champions League last 16 tie.
It was a bittersweet first trip to the new Wembley for Sunderland but they could reflect with pride on a valiant display that augurs well for their Premier League relegation battle and forthcoming FA Cup quarter-final against Hull City.
"We did everything we could," said Sunderland manager Gus Poyet.
"That's the best part of what we are all about. To beat us they had to score two wonder goals. I hate losing but I'm proud of the players."