Manchester City won the League Cup for the fourth time in a row on Sunday, defeating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley.
Aymeric Laporte’s late second-half header capped off a fantastic display by City, which has dominated this trophy in recent years. It has now equaled Liverpool’s eight League Cup victories.
With the English Premier League all but wrapped up and the team in the Champions League semifinals, it’s the first of three trophies Pep Guardiola’s side will still win this season.
Cheslea defeated Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinals earlier this month, ending City’s chances of completing an incredible quadruple.
City was able to celebrate their win in front of 8,000 fans at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, with the final serving as a test event that could pave the way for big crowds to return to UK stadiums.
Each club was given 2,000 tickets for fans, with the remaining tickets going to local residents and National Health Service employees.
After the full-time whistle, Pep Guardiola celebrated in front of City fans before thanking his team for a remarkable achievement.
“It [having fans] is much better, it’s not full but it was a good noise and celebrating with them makes it much better,” Guardiola told Sky Sports after the match.
“Today we are incredibly happy to win the title, four in a row in this competition but especially, in the last 33 games, we’ve won 30. This is amazing,” he said.
Ryan Mason, the interim manager of Tottenham Hotspur, was taking charge of only his second game after replacing Jose Mourinho last week, though Guardiola won his 25th major trophy as a manager.
Spurs were second-best in every department on the pitch as a result of the mismatch. It has now gone 13 years without winning an award.
Spurs were clearly outclassed by City’s stars, who included Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, and Riyad Mahrez, who had recovered from an injury scare to start the game.
After committing two fouls that could have easily resulted in two yellow cards, goalscorer Laporte may consider himself fortunate to have remained on the field. In the 82nd minute, however, the Frenchman got away with only one and soared above Tottenham’s defense to head in a free-kick.
City should have scored a lot more goals, but Hugo Lloris’ excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing held the score at 1-0.
The final took place a week after the ill-fated European Super League was revealed, with both Manchester City and Tottenham facing harsh criticism for agreeing to participate in the new format.
The ordeal showed everyone just how vital fans are to football, and City’s players praised the small number of supporters in the stadium for creating a fantastic atmosphere on Sunday.
“A massive difference. It’s so good to have the fans back,” Man of the Match Mahrez told Sky Sports. “The atmosphere, even with 8,000, was amazing and we look forward to having more fans there.”
“We knew it was going to be tough,” he said. “We stayed focused, we kept dominating, we kept passing the ball and then we scored. I think we deserved to win today.”
Winner of the match In an interview with Sky Sports, Laporte echoed Mahrez’s sentiments, but added that he hopes to see more fans in stadiums in the future.
“We are so happy to see them [fans] here,” he said. “I think there could be more, but we are very happy to have the sports from these fans.”