27 February, 2018, 12:00 am
LONDON – Pep Guardiola claimed his maiden English silverware as his side thrashed Arsenal 3-0 in the League Cup final with Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva all on target in a disappointingly one-sided showpiece on Sunday.
The first meeting between the sides in a domestic final was no classic but Spaniard Guardiola will not care after his side’s class eventually shone through at a freezing Wembley Stadium.
City, who will also win the Premier League title barring a monumental collapse, did not even have to hit top gear to lift the trophy for the third time in five years.
Aguero’s 18th-minute goal gave City a halftime lead and Arsenal withered after the break as Kompany prodded in from close range after 58 minutes before Silva thumped home a left-footer seven minutes later.
Arsenal’s fans left in droves in the final 20 minutes while City’s fans decorated the stadium with sky blue.
After a trophy-less first season in charge of City, Guardiola’s career major trophy haul as a manager stands at 19, having won 11 with Barcelona and seven at Bayern Munich.
“It’s important. We’re so happy, and a big congratulations to all of Manchester City, and our fans. This trophy is for Manchester City and not for me,” Guardiola, whose side’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple was wrecked by a shock FA Cup defeat by third-tier Wigan Athletic on Monday, said.
“The first half we were not good, there were a lot of mistakes, in the second half we played with a lot more courage and personality — we were outstanding.”
Arsenal have now lost a record six League Cup finals and it remains the only silverware manager Arsene Wenger has not won.
“We self-inflicted our punishment,” he said.