Manchester City v Sunderland –
Final Score: Manchester City 3-1 Sunderland
Man Of The Match: Yaya Toure
Manuel Pellegrini win his first trophy in England as Manchester City defeats a spirited Sunderland side in the final of the Capital One Cup.
The Premier League title contenders were up against the relegation battlers in the final of the League Cup and it was expected to be a one sided match on paper. But credit to the Black Cats, the disparity between the two sides was hardly visible on the pitch and the 3-1 score-line in the end was a bit unfair to them.
Sunderland started the match on the front foot and took the game to Manchester City. Gus Poyet’s tactical acumen was on display as he restricted his opponent to limited opportunities in the first half. Moreover they looked to sneak a goal on the counter-attack, and that plan worked wonderfully when Fabio Borini provided them with the lead in the 10th minute of the game. The on-loan Liverpool forward took advantage of a defensive error from Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany and produced calm finish past Costel Pantilimon. Sunderland’s goal set up the match perfectly for the neutrals as Manchester City were made to push for an equalizer, but Gus Poyet’s men held their shape and organization and made it hard for men in blue to create any clear cut opportunity.
Manchester City needed something special in the second half to break the deadlock and Yaya Toure provided that with a magical strike in the 55th minute of the game. The former Barcelona midfielder curled the ball into the top corner of Vito Mannone’s net as he continued his impressive scoring form this season. Even before Sunderland could recover from that shock, Manchester City took the lead just ninety seconds after scoring the equalizer, and this time Samir Nasri provided a moment of brilliance. The former Arsenal midfielder blasted the ball past Mannone with the outside of his right foot and managed to get a wonderful curl on the ball as he did so.
Sunderland responded well two those two goals and showed a lot of character to get back up and have a go at Manchester City. But despite all their endeavour and effort, they failed to break the Manchester City defence in the second half, in fact Pellegrini’s men added another right at the end as Sunderland pushed bodies forward and left a lot of gap at the back. Yaya Toure slipped in Jesus Navas on the right and the Spaniard placed it past Mannone, who failed to save it despite getting a hand to the shot. That provided the icing on the cake on a memorable win for Manchester City as they lifted the League Cup for the first time since 1976.
Manuel Pellegrini, who became the first South American manager to lift this trophy, was over the moon with this win and felt that his team deserved this for their consistent and attacking display throughout the tournament.
“I’m very happy. I think the team deserve this cup because we played well during the whole cup and we scored a lot of goals and conceded just two goals in the whole cup.
“To start winning the first trophy I think is very important for the club, for the players, for me, for the staff – all of us.
“I think that we were not doing things well [in the first half].
“Sunderland play a very good match, they were very close and we didn’t move the ball as fast as we needed [in the first half] but I think in the second half we changed it, we scored two beautiful goals and we had the patience to wait for the moment.” – The Manchester City manager said.
Pellegrini was full of praise for Yaya Toure, who scored the first goal for City and then provided the assist for the third.
“Yes he is a top player he normally changes the games, but I think also we didn’t deserve to lose the first half as it was very close and they score on one counter attack, but second half I think we were the better team.” – Pellegrini added.
The former Real Madrid manager also hopes that this is the first of many he wins at this club.
“Very important because at a very important club you can win trophies that for me is the most important thing and we hope it will continue in the future.” – He said.