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Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium

FT
Wembley Stadium Referee : Paul Tierney
25th April 2021 4:30 PM (BST)
  • 1 Manchester City

    • ‘82' Aymeric Laporte
  • 0 Tottenham Hotspur

#mancity

Commentary By Neil Leigh

20:20

What a day... what a team!... ๐Ÿ’™

That's it from me this evening, Blues.

What a magnificent Sunday!

A fourth successive Carabao Cup final triumph for City and the boss, an eighth in total for the Club and a record-breaking sixth winners medal for both Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero.

And what made it even better was that some of our brilliant fans were there at Wembley to share in the experience.

You do run out of superlatives for this team don't you?

You can check out all the match reaction and stats from a quite wonderful Wembley occasion below.

Just in case you had forgotten up next, it is Paris Saint-Germain in our Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday evening.

Kick-off is at 20pm (UK) and you can join us here in the Matchday Centre from 18pm

Trust me you don't want to miss that - it will be special!

As always, thanks for you company - and enjoy the rest of your Sunday night!!


19:59

Nice quiet week ahead

Just a gentle reminder that there is the small matter of a Champions League semi-final first leg away to Paris Saint-Germain looming on Wednesday.

Then we travel to Crystal Palace next Saturday for a crucial Premier League game.

If we secure three points there and Manchester United were to lose to Liverpool next Sunday we would be crowned champions.

Hold on to you hats folks it's getting interesting!

19:12

'More than deserved'

More from Pep:

"I am so delighted for the guys and  for those who couldnโ€™t play. Fernandinho and Sergio, they are the players with the most cups and yeah, fourth time in a row was a nice compliment because Arsenal and United away and Spurs to win it, it was more than deserved.

"It was a good night to share with our people, we are there."

18:57

More from the boss...๐Ÿ‘‡

Pep Guardiola's reaction:

"It was good [Aymeric Laporte's goal]. The taker was good and he was brilliant to score the goal. We donโ€™t have time to work on set-pieces. 

"With the schedule, we donโ€™t have any time to work on these things. Itโ€™s just about recovery and go again."

18:55

Pep's reaction...๐Ÿ‘‡

Reaction from the boss:

"We played to score. We played really well. Weโ€™re incredibly happy to win four in a row and we played with incredible personality to try and win the game.

"They had a few minutes and the Lo Celso shot, but in general we played very good."


18:41

'This is special for us'

Aymeric Laporte's verdict:

"Iโ€™m so happy to win this title again. This is special for us because we lost in the FA Cup. We have done so, so good and we have to keep this rhythm to win more titles.

"It has been difficult because they are a good team, it is never easy to play a good team who fight towards the top of the table, like that, it was not easy.

"We did very well and we are very happy to win today and to win this trophy."
 

18:37

'The atmosphere was amazing'

Riyad Mahrez's reaction:

"We knew it was going to be tough. We stayed focused, we kept dominating the ball and then we scored. I think we deserved to win today.

"They are a good team, but we were very confident in our game. It is a very good win, we get the trophy again. We are very happy.

"It's so good to have the fans back. The atmosphere with just 8,000 was amazing and we canโ€™t wait to have more fans back soon.


 

18:34

Squad goals... โšฝ

Brilliant scenes as the entire City squad and staff celebrate with the Carabao Cup.

These are the days we all live for.

Magnificent.

18:32

The fab four

Fernandnho raises the trophy in front of his ecstatic team-mates.

What an achievement from him - and Sergio - in lifting their sixth League Cup winners medal.

18:25

Deserved๐Ÿ’™

No doubt that we were worthy winners.

We were excellent from the first whistle and probably left a few goals out there.

That doesn't matter now - we have won the League Cup once again - and now we can enjoy the moment.

81'

Fan-tastic

Rob Pollard at Wembley:

"As well as the quality weโ€™ve shown, our work-rate has been outstanding, too. The players have covered so much ground. Always great to see. 

"And another word on our fansโ€ฆSUPERB. So good to see them back. Itโ€™s been way too long."

77'

Mahrez the magician

Rob Pollard at Wembley:

"Mahrez has been superb throughout. Another weaving run and shot from the Algerian forces another outstanding save from Lloris. 

"Weโ€™ve played some brilliant stuff today. A combination of superb goalkeeping, robust defending and, perhaps at times, some profligacy means we remain at 0-0. 

"Keep playing this and surely we will find a breakthrough."

75'

Stepping it up?

With 15 minutes to go just signs that City are really upping the ante in terms of pressure and intensity.

Wonder how much Spurs' exertions may tell on them in the closing stages.

Open
73'

Brilliant save

So close!

Mahrez weaves some more magic as he cuts into a central position and lets fly with a superb goal bound shot.

However, Lloris is there with a wonderful save there to deny the City man.

Deserved a goal that.

72'

Grrrr

Another brilliant City attack comes to nothing. Foden puts in Sterling on the overlap on the left flank, he finds the roaming Gundogan but for once Ilkay's radar is askew as the effort goes tamely wide.

Open
70'

Save..

Another superb swerving cross is met by the onrushing Fernandinho's header on the edge of the box but Lloris gets down to make a comfortable save.


69'

Extra time loming?

Given our huge Champions League semi with PSG on Wednesday, fair to say it would be preferable to avoid extra time.

Heading that way at the moment though.

Time to step it up lads...

63'

Phew..

Spurs break at pace through Kane and he feeds the onrushing Hojbjerg but, fortunately, he overhits his lay off to the onrushing Lo Celso.

Big let off that.

61'

Headed over

Another fine spell of City pressure ends with Gundogan just heading over from Mahrez's inviting cross.

The intensity is being stepped up at both ends you feel.

59'

'Fascinating tactical battle'

Rob Pollard at Wembley

"A really intriguing game now. City have been far superior โ€“ much more expansive and attack-minded โ€“ but Spurs have stood firm.

"They will surely open up a little more in the second half, and that could leave more space for us to exploit. 

"Sterling, Foden and Mahrez have all come close โ€“ it feels like a matter of time before we open the scoring. 

"But in Kane, Son and Moura, Tottenham have plenty of quality on the break. 

"Tactically, itโ€™s fascinating."

54'

Nip and tuck

Spurs definitely more aggressive so far this half.

But City so quick on the counter attack and and another fine move finds Mahez weaving in from the right only for Dier to block the Algerian's shot.


49'

Nearly...

De Bruyne chips in a neat dink to try and find the onrushing Foden but its just a fraction too strong.

Metaphor for the game so far...

49'

Game on?

Bit more intent from Spurs at the start of the second half.

For City the key is to maintain that approach and intensity that saw us dominate the opening 45 minutes.

Open
48'

Save..

Crucial save there from Steffen as he dives to deny Lo Celso as the Spurs man curls in a fine shot shot.

The keeper saved a certain goal there.

Big moment.

HT

All to play for...โšฝ

Ten shots on goal from City to one from Spurs gives a measure of our dominance.

But the key fact is that goalless half-time scoreline.

Given Spurs' quality we still have work to do if we are to claim a fourth successive Carabao Cup.

HT

'Spurs still a danger'

Andy Morrison's first-half take:

"Everything we wanted from the first half, we got, chance after chance, total domination, but just not the goal. We havenโ€™t taken any of our chances yet.

"Spurs will be happy at half-time. Whilst it is still 0-0, theyโ€™re still very dangerous."
 

HT

'Everything but the goal'

Shaun Goater's first half assessment:

"We had everything besides the goal we need. City are using almost six players to press up high and forcing Tottenham to go long.

"Technically, City have been brilliant."
 

HT

Staying in the fight

To maintain my earlier boxing analogy, Spurs are basically staying in the fight.

City have been in scintillating form.

So much to admire and so many superb individual displays.

41'

Oh my days

What a cross by KDB.

He arrows a stunning ball 40 yards in from the left flank and its inches away from finding the advancing Sterling with Dier left in his slip stream.

Talk about laser guided.

38'

'Free-flowing and inventive'

Rob Pollard at Wembley: 

"Since Llorisโ€™ point-blank save, Sterling and Mahrez have both gone close, with City playing some outstanding football. 

"Itโ€™s free-flowing and inventive. We deserve a goal but, as yet, the deadlock remains unbroken. A goal before half time would be huge for us."

37'

So close again...

More Mahrez brilliance as he drifts across the edge of the Spurs box before whistling a left foot shot which arrows over the bar.

You feel we're getting closer!

35'

Wowzers

Now Mahrez is within an ace of finding the target.

Our Algerian wizard cuts in with some trademark trciery from the right before firing in a curling shot which is inches away.

What a goal that would have been.

33'

Points but no prizes... yet

If it were a boxing match City would be well ahead on points.

As it is however it is somehow still goalless.

And with Spurs' quality upfront that means we can't relax for a second.


31'

Agony...

More brilliance from Sterling on the left flank as he arrows in on goal and dinks a delicate shot which agonisingly goes wide.

Raz has started superbly.

30'

'What an occasion this is'

Rob Pollard at Wembley

"Not sure how we arenโ€™t ahead. We won the ball high up the pitch, got it to De Bruyne and he delivered a dangerous low cross. Alderweireld cut it out but Foden pounced and hit one first time from close range โ€“ but Lloris made a fine reaction save. 

"Weโ€™ve been by far the better side so far but that was our best chance. 

"The fans are in fine voice. What an occasion this is."

Open
27'

Hit the post!

So close.

City storm forward after Dier gives the ball away, De Bruyne fizzes the  ball into the box where it finds the unmarked Foden.

He turns and shoots on goal but the ball takes a deflection off a Spurs and smacks against the post.

How did that not go in?

25'

Hmmmm

Laporte has to put the blocks on Lucas Moura unfairly after the Spurs man evaded him.

Spurs want the City man booked but nothing happeneing

20'

Well cleared

Zack Steffen gets a crucial punch in from the resulting corner to clear the immediate danger before Alderweireld sends a low shot wide of the post.

16'

Pure Philth!! ๐Ÿ’™

Some absolute class from Foden there. He spins and then powers clear of two defenders before being hacked down by Reguilon.

The Stockport Iniesta looks in the mood..

14'

Aarrgh!

So close to an opener.

City work another opportunity from a quick throw in and a quick ball finds the waiting Sterling in the centre of the box whose goalbound shot is hacked clear by Eric Dier.

12'

One way traffic

All the action has been in the Spurs half so far,.

City look in the mood with Mahrez almost finding the advancing De Bruyne in our latest sortie forward.

The City engine is purring at the moment.

10'

Positive start

Rob Pollard at Wembley:

"A very positive start from City. 

"De Bruyne operating as a False 9. Heโ€™s the furthest forward and playing centrally, with Sterling and Mahrez playing off him. Foden, too, has licence to get forward and he is at every opportunity. 

"City dominating the ball and spending a lot of time in the Tottenham half. Very good opening period."

7'

Close!

Sterling causes more havoc in the Spurs box, he then cuts in from the left flank and fires a quick ball to Foden whose first time effort snaps wide.

0'

Fitting tribute

City playing in our familiar sky Blue shirts, Tottenham in their green away strip.

Both sides proudly displaying an NHS badge on their shirts in honour of the mazing work done by the health service over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Classy touch

16:26

'Be clinical... and stop Kane!'

Andy Morrison's final thoughts:

"First of all, we need to be clinical. We need to finish off the chances we get in the first half. Secondly, we need to be well on transitions.

"We need to stop Kane and force him on his left foot. If we be clinical we will take care of the game."
 

16:21

'Every game he raises his standards'

Andy Morrison on Phil Foden:

"Itโ€™s great to see Foden in there. Heโ€™s rightly on the pitch. Every game he seems to raise his standards, for one so young, it is remarkable.

"There isnโ€™t anything I can say that hasnโ€™t been mentioned about him."
 

16:18

Stat attack (part two)...๐Ÿ“ˆ

 ๐Ÿ”น When playing at the ground as a neutral venue, Tottenham have lost each of their last five matches at Wembley Stadium, shipping at least two goals each time. Spurs also lost both of their Premier League games against City at Wembley when using it as a home ground.

 ๐Ÿ”น 25th April is the latest a League Cup final has taken place since 1990 (29th April), with Brian Cloughโ€™s Nottingham Forest beating Joe Royleโ€™s Oldham Athletic 1-0, 31 years ago.

 ๐Ÿ”น City boss Pep Guardiola is looking to become the first manager to win the League Cup in four consecutive seasons. City havenโ€™t lost any of their last 19 ties in the competition, since being eliminated by Manchester United in October 2016.


16:10

'A great leader'

Shaun Goater on Fernandinho:

"Heโ€™s a great leader. Pep knows that when Fernandinho is selected, the job will get done.

"He understands the role and is so consistent. He still has that bite and heโ€™s clever in how he uses his aggression.

"Fernandinho now and then goes bang, plays it out to the wide man. You donโ€™t normally associate that with a defensive midfielder. Normally they just go square and sideways."
 

16:06

Pep's pre-match thoughts...๐Ÿ‘‡

Pep Guardiola:

"Welcome back to the fans - itโ€™s a final and we want to win.

"The team we select is always a strong one.

"Every manager has his own idea. I donโ€™t know what pattern they are going to use.

"They will use aggression, and pressing a lot and with pace up front with Moura and Son, always Spurs is a tough game for us. Theyโ€™re a top class team. This is a final."

16:03

'An emotional moment'

Rob Pollard at Wembley:

"The City players have just come out to warm up in front of fans for the first time in more than a year.

"Given what everyone has been through during a really tough period, that was an emotional moment. 

"Thereโ€™s a reduced number, but just having some in here today feels like progress. Theyโ€™re in fine voice and determined to enjoy themselves."

15:59

KDB's pre-match thoughts...๐Ÿ‘‡

Kevin De Bruyne:

"Iโ€™m fine, Itโ€™s a big day again, this is a big game and Iโ€™m excited to play in this one.

"Itโ€™s probably hard for their new manager to change a lot in the week. Weโ€™ll see in the first five minutes and adapt to whatever we see on the pitch.

"Weโ€™ve been here a lot, it is always nice to play for the trophies. Thatโ€™s why we play for this team.

"Itโ€™s going to be nice [fans back]. It makes a difference. To have fans in the stadium makes a difference."

 

15:52

Wembley scene setter

Rob Pollard is our man in position at Wembley this afternoon. He'll be bringing us unique insight from the Carabao Cup showpiece throughout the afternoon:

Good afternoon from a sunny Wembley. Ideal conditions for football โ€“ bright, but not too warm. Pitch looks fantastic, too. 

Thatโ€™s a very strong team. Given the PSG first leg is very much on the horizon, some perhaps expected those who have played plenty of football this season to be rested - but thatโ€™s a team built to win. 

Should be a fantastic occasion against a side with so much quality themselves. 


15:48

Great to have you back

A small number of supporters will make a welcome addition to the Wembley atmosphere today.

I think it's fair to say we have missed you all enormously.

Hopefully the first small steps along the road to a return to normality.

They may be limited in number but they will make their presence felt sure enough!

15:46

'An irreplaceable game changer'

Andy Morrison on KDB:

"I think KDB is in the top five players in world football for me. Heโ€™s shown the way he carries himself and his standard.

"Weโ€™re very fortunate to have a player like him. He is a game changer. Heโ€™s unique and I think heโ€™s irreplaceable."
 

15:44

'A really strong team - I'm loving it!'

 Shaun Goater's team thoughts:

"Iโ€™m really pleased to see KDB in the starting side. The coaching staff and players will be happy to see him in too!

"He just has this real quality of finding that key pass. For me, this is a really strong team, Iโ€™m loving this."

15:35

Big beasts on display.

So the headline news is that both Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane are fit and start for City and Spurs respectively

Great news for both sets of fans and a fitting stage for two such wonderful players.

That's got the blood pressure rising a bit more!!

15:31

TUNE IN ๐Ÿ“บ

Join Shaun Goater, Andy Morrison and fellow special guest Shaun Wright-Phillips live now for all the essential Carabao Cup final build-up on We're Not Really Here!

15:30

Here's how we line up this afternoon... โšฝ๏ธ

Pep Guardiola makes six changes from the side that won 2-1 at Aston Villa in midweek for todayโ€™s Wembley showpiece.

Zack Steffen, Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Joao Cancelo all come into the starting eleven.

CITY XI: Steffen, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Fernandinho ยฉ, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sterling, Foden, Mahrez

Subs: Ederson, Ake, Jesus, Aguero, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Bernardo, Torres, Mendy

15:23

Elsewhere today...

There has already been one early kick-off completed with Burnley securing a superb 4-0 win away at Wolves to take a big step towards guaranteeing their Premier League safety.

Meanwhile, the 2pm kick-off between Leeds United and Manchester United is currently goalless.

The late kick-off sees Aston Villa tackle West Brom at 7pm.

15:08

Stat attack...๐Ÿ“ˆ

 ๐Ÿ”น City are looking to win the League Cup for a joint-record eighth time (level with Liverpool), while they could also become just the second team to win the competition in four consecutive campaigns (Liverpool, 1981-1984).

 ๐Ÿ”น Tottenhamโ€™s last major trophy win came in this competition back in 2008, beating Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley under Juande Ramos. This is their third appearance in the final since then, losing against Manchester United in 2009 and Chelsea in 2015.

 ๐Ÿ”น Both Tottenham (W4 L4) and Manchester City (W7 L1) are competing in their ninth different League Cup final, with only Liverpool (12) having played in more. Only Liverpool (8) have won more than Man City, while only Arsenal (6) have lost more than Spurs.


15:04

Splash hits

The Wembley playing surface gets a good old fashioned soaking as the pre-match prep steps up a gear.

How's everyone bearing up?

Must admit I'm getting a tad nervy now. Just under an hour and a half before kick-off.

Cannot wait for this one.

14:59

Form guide ๐Ÿ“ˆ

City come into this game buoyed by our crucial 2-1 win over Aston Villa in midweek, which stretched our lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points with five games to go. 

Guardiolaโ€™s sideโ€™s form has been nothing short of sensational. We have lost just two of previous 39 matches.

Having parted company with former boss Jose Mourinho, caretaker boss Ryan Mason enjoyed a winning start as Spurs fought back from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 last Wednesday.


14:44

Early team news ๐Ÿ“‹

 ๐Ÿ”น Pep Guardiola confirmed that both Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne were available for selection for the Wembley showpiece.

 ๐Ÿ”น Injury has prevented the Argentine striker from being involved in Cityโ€™s previous four games, whilst De Bruyne missed the midweek win over Aston Villa after he picked up a knock on his right foot and ankle in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

 ๐Ÿ”น However, speaking at his pre-match press conference the City boss confirmed that both had trained ahead of the game.

 ๐Ÿ”น But he suggested he will wait until after the final session on Saturday to make a decision on whether City's record goalscorer will have the chance to enjoy a Wembley swansong.

 ๐Ÿ”น โ€œBoth trained today,โ€ said the City boss. On Aguero, he added: โ€œToday was his first training session in two weeks.  Tomorrow is the last session and we will then decide.โ€

 ๐Ÿ”น Spurs meanwhile will make a late decision on Harry Kane who missed last Wednesday's win with an ankle injury.

 ๐Ÿ”น "Harry didn't train with the team today (Friday) but we'll have more of an idea tomorrow to see if we can get him back on the pitch," Ryan Mason said at his pre-match press conference.

14:35

We're Not Really Here ๐Ÿ“บ

Former City teammates, Shaun Goater and Andy Morrison will be the special guests for our We're Not Really Here show as we take on Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the Carabao Cup.

Pep Guardiola's side make the trip to Wembley to take on Spurs on Sunday 25 April at 16:30, as we look to secure our fourth successive Carabao Cup title in a row.

Goater and Morrison - who both enjoyed Wembley success in their time at City - will join presenter, Cel Spellman to provide their expert opinion and analysis on our cup final in the capital.

We're Not Really Here brings you a city-focused approach to your pre-match build up and begins one hour before kick-off at 15:30 (UK), where our guests will give their pre-match thoughts ahead of the game.

We will then head back to the studio at half-time for a look at the first 45 minutes, before returning at full-time for a full debriefing on the cup final.

After the final whistle our guests will give their views on the game, hear the thoughts of our fans and time permitting, listen to Pep Guardiola's post-match interview.

The best news of all is that the show is available to watch across all of our digital platforms, and supporters can get involved by using the hashtag #WNRH on Twitter.

Unashamedly City-focused, itโ€™s the best way to enjoy the matchday from home!

14:30

Itโ€™s Carabao Cup final day! ๐Ÿ’™

A very good afternoon to you all!

Welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester Cityโ€™s eagerly-awaited Carabao Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur.

In a season filled with huge games, I think itโ€™s fair to say todayโ€™s encounter โ€“ by any reckoning โ€“ counts as a real biggie.

With the season very much at its business end, today we return to Wembley Stadium eight days after our FA Cup semi-final loss seeking to secure what would be our first โ€“ but hopefully not last โ€“ piece of silverware of the campaign.

Carabao Cup winners for the past three seasons, Pep Guardiolaโ€™s side take on Tottenham seeking what would be a record-equalling fourth successive triumph.

It wonโ€™t be easy against a Spurs side looking to regroup and triumph under the caretaker stewardship of Ryan Mason, but last Wednesdayโ€™s vital league win at Aston Villa should have put us in great heart for what promises to be a crackerjack of a final.

Kick-off is at 16.30 (UK) and from here on in weโ€™ll have live coverage taking you through the pre-match build-up, match action and post-match reaction.

COME ON, CITY! ๐Ÿ™Œ

05:48

Our Wembley Matchday Centre kicks off from 2.30 this afternoon and our We're Not Really Here pre-match show starts an hour before kick-off with Andy Morrison and Shaun Goater the guests....