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Carabao Cup

Team of the Tournament

25 February 2018

There have been plenty of unforgettable performances in this season's Carabao Cup campaign, and we’ve picked 11 players and a manager who caught the eye to make up our very own dream team.

Goalkeeper: Will Norris (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Norris was simply unbeatable as Wolverhampton Wanderers marched through to Round Four of the Carabao Cup. Yeovil Town and Bristol Rovers couldn’t find a way past, nor could Premier League Southampton, or today’s finalists Manchester City over 120 minutes, who could only beat the 24-year-old from 12 yards in the subsequent penalty shoot-out.

Defender: Joe Bryan (Bristol City)

Bryan caught the eye bursting down the left-hand side for Bristol City during their run to the semi-finals, while the wing-back performed his defensive duties just as ably. It was going forward where he really made his mark though, and in some style – winning the Goal of the Round in consecutive ties, against Crystal Palace and Manchester United.

Defender: Aden Flint (Bristol City)

This Robin excelled at both ends of the pitch, but it was at the heart of the defence where Flint really stood out; a rock at the back as they progressed to the last four. He helped keep a clean sheet against Stoke City, while a superb goal-line clearance, and a goal of his own, kept their hopes alive in the semi-final.

Defender: Rob Holding (Arsenal)

With Holding among Arsenal’s backline, they’ve excelled in the Carabao Cup, keeping clean sheets against Doncaster Rovers, West Ham United, and in the semi-final first leg against Chelsea. The only goal conceded with the 22-year-old on the pitch came against Norwich City, but the defender more than played his part in the 120 minutes.

Midfielder: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Hazard played a key part in Chelsea’s progress, with the Belgian winger’s first start of 2017/18 accompanied by two assists in the 5-1 rout of Nottingham Forest. He set up the last-minute quarter-final winner against AFC Bournemouth and put the Blues ahead in the semi-final second leg before Arsenal fought back.

Midfielder: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Wilshere excelled in the Arsenal midfield and has played an integral role in their progress to today’s Carabao Cup Final. He may have missed the quarter-final win against West Ham United, but his all-action, energetic displays helped the Gunners through in their four other matches. This competition brings the best out of the exciting and nimble-footed midfielder.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

The midfield magician scored in both legs of the semi-final against Bristol City, setting another up at Ashton Gate for good measure, proving the key player as the brave Robins finally met their match. And although he was frustrated by the aforementioned Norris, De Bruyne starred against Wolves and netted from the spot as City edged through.

Midfielder: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Silva has lit up the Carabao Cup in his first season in English football, whether that’s finding the net or creating the chances for his team-mates. The Portuguese international set up crucial goals in Round Three and both legs of the last-four tie, and he grabbed a goal as Manchester City saw off Leicester City in the quarter-finals.

Forward: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

The man for the big occasion. Aguero coolly slotted home the winning spot-kick in the shoot-out against Wolves. Yet it was in the semi-finals where he exploded into life, netting a late winner at the Etihad Stadium before grabbing the crucial second goal at Ashton Gate.

Forward: Islam Slimani (Leicester City)

Now on loan at Newcastle United, it was with Leicester City where Slimani earned his place in the Carabao Cup Team of the Tournament. He hit a brace to help see off Sheffield United, struck a brilliant goal to send home eight-time winners Liverpool, and netted a decisive goal against Leeds United.

Forward: Josh Murphy (Norwich City)

Murphy is the current joint-top scorer in this season’s Carabao Cup, after hitting four goals in four games. He netted two against Charlton Athletic, and another against Brentford set up a trip to Arsenal, where he netted once more as the Canaries bowed out. The 22-year-old now has nine in 12 appearances in the competition throughout his career.

Manager: Lee Johnson (Bristol City)

The two managers here at Wembley today of course stake a claim, but Johnson was the mastermind as Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City became the story of this season’s Carabao Cup. Four Premier League sides – Watford, Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Manchester United – were dispatched, before the Robins pushed Manchester City all the way in the two-legged semi-final.


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