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Carabao Cup

Report: Manchester City make history in Carabao Cup Final at Wembley

25 April 2021

Manchester City claimed a fourth successive Carabao Cup, with a late header from Aymeric Laporte sealing a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of supporters at Wembley Stadium.

The defender - standing in for the suspended John Stones - headed home a set-piece delivery inside the final 10 minutes at the home of football, as City equalled Liverpool's long-standing record, with Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero becoming the competition's joint-most successful players in the process.

The Final marked the return of supporters to stadiums in England, with 8,000 fans in attendance, including NHS and key workers as football said a collective 'thank you' for their ongoing efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

With those in attendance in fine voice inside the National Stadium, the pre-match team sheets included a host of big names, with Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane named among the starters for City and Spurs respectively.

At a sun-soaked Wembley, it was the holders who enjoyed more of the early possession and almost found themselves in on goal within four minutes, only for Serge Aurier to track back and deny Raheem Sterling the chance to shoot.

The winger was involved again just three minutes later when, having got the better of Aurier down the left-hand side, he found Foden six yards from goal, who couldn't direct his close-range effort on target. With the first quarter of an hour played inside the Tottenham half almost in its entirety, Sterling continued to be City's biggest goal threat, and might have opened the scoring, but for an excellent block from Eric Dier.

Spurs' first real attack of note came just before the 20-minute mark and resulted in a corner, which USA international goalkeeper Zack Steffen did well to punch clear. They would continue to be tested at the other end, though, with another Foden effort deflecting onto the post and behind via a fantastic block from Toby Alderweireld.

Ten minutes before the break, City went close yet again, as Man of the Match Riyad Mahrez cut in from the right and so nearly fired an effort past Hugo Lloris and into the corner. Joao Cancelo then tested the Spurs keeper during first-half injury time, but a strong stop kept the scores level going into the break.

After a one-sided first period and the half-time interval, Spurs came out fighting, and so nearly took the lead as Giovani Lo Celso curled an effort towards goal from 20 yards which Steffen turned around the post. 

With chances few and far between thereafter, the likes of Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Dele Alli were sent to warm up, and Tottenham sent on Gareth Bale and Moussa Sissoko with just under 25 minutes remaining, in place of Lucas Moura and Lo Celso.

Shortly after the changes, De Bruyne looked for team-mate Fernandinho with a deep cross, but the midfielder's header proved a comfortable save for Lloris, before Ilkay Gundogan sliced wide after being teed up by Sterling inside the area. Lloris was made to work harder to deny Mahrez on 73 minutes, as the City man cut in from the right once more.

Then, with nine minutes to go, City found their breakthrough. A typically inch-perfect free-kick from De Bruyne found Laporte, who rose highest to head the holders into a late lead and ultimately earn them a fourth successive triumph in the Carabao Cup, sparking scenes of celebration in the West End of Wembley.

Manchester City: Steffen, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Fernandinho (C) (Rodri 84'), Gündoğan, De Bruyne (Silva 87'), Mahrez, Foden, Sterling.

Subs not used: Ederson, Ake, Jesus, Aguero, Zinchenko, Torres, Mendy.

Scorers: Laporte (81')

Booked: Laporte, Fernandinho


Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (C), Aurier (Bergwijn 90'), Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Winks, Hojbjerg, Lo Celso (Sissoko 67'), Lucas (Bale 67'), Kane, Son.

Subs not used: Hart, Sanchez, Tanganga, Dele, Ndombele, Lamela.

Booked: Reguilon

Man of the Match: Mahrez

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