Manchester City managed to retain the League Cup for the first time in their history as they secured a penalty-shoot-out win over Chelsea in the final at the Wembley Stadium. The Citizens were up against a Blues team who were better drilled on the defensive front, and this saw both teams cancel out each other until the shoot-out where Pep Guardiola’s side prevailed by a 4-3 scoreline.
Three things we learned:
Manchester City on course for a quadruple: The Citizens were widely fancied to get the better of Chelsea in the League Cup final but they had to do the hard way with the Blues being resolute at the back. Moreover, Maurizio Sarri’s side produced the better attacking threat as the game went on and goalkeeper Ederson had to make a few key saves to keep the scores level. Still, they managed to run victorious by claiming their maiden silverware of the campaign and they are now on course for a historic quadruple which was widely talked about last season more than this one.
Chelsea’s organisation at the back: The Blues have gone through a mixed run of form since the turn of the year and this has largely come about from a defence which has looked vulnerable. However, in the Cup final, the Blues were effective with their interceptions throughout the game and the full backs in particular managed to withstand the attacking threat out wide despite being outpaced on occasions. The one low point was the altercation between Kepa and Sarri where the former refused to be substituted, but that has been partly resolved by both parties with the manager stating that it was a big misunderstanding.
Maurizio Sarri’s job at risk: Sarri may have dismisses any concerns with Kepa’s denial to be substituted but this may not overshadow the fact that he is under pressure at the west London side. With the League Cup final defeat, the Blues have lost their best chance of securing silverware this term and their prospects are now entirely reliant on the Europa League where they have several big clubs including Inter Milan, Napoli and Arsenal to compete with. Elsewhere, the Blues are three points behind the top four with a game in hand, but they can keep up the pace, should they win their midweek derby against Tottenham at the Bridge.
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