A virtuoso performance in the League Cup final saw Manchester City take the trophy for an astounding fourth year in a row, and a sixth time in eight seasons.
Pep Guardiola’s side played fluid football from the off at Wembley, with eight thousand fans in attendance to watch them do it. Their opponents Tottenham Hotspur never found their footing, and although the game remained goalless for much of the ninety minutes, City were always in control and were rewarded for their pressure with a winning goal from Aymeric Laporte.
Although City are out of contention for a historic quadruple, the treble is still very much on the cards. The League Cup is in the bag and the Premier League title is almost sewn up, while the latest Champions League betting online lists City as favourites to finally end their duck in Europe’s biggest competition. Standing in their way at the semi-final stage are Paris Saint-Germain, who like City have been transparent in their ruthless ambition to win a Champions League. Over the last decade, both sides have risen to the top of their respective leagues, and both are flush with young, superstar talent. Whoever reaches the final will surely be considered the favourite to win the whole tournament.
Champions League Remains the Priority
Though City fans have been vocal in their desire to win back the Premier League after losing out to Liverpool last campaign, the Champions League has always been the golden goose in the eyes of the City ownership. Previous quarter-final appearances have ended in disappointment for Pep Guardiola at City, with the dramatic 4-3 loss to Spurs in 2019 followed by an underwhelming performance against Lyon last year. After seeing off Borussia Dortmund in a potential banana-skin game this year, however, the squad will be full of confidence that they can go the extra mile this time around.
Pep Guardiola labelled his City side “brilliant” in that two-legged triumph over Dortmund, and indeed, the second leg had the hallmarks of a match they might have found a way to lose in previous years. But there is a ruthlessness to this City squad, one that evokes the iteration that romped to 100 points in the Premier League in 2017-2018. Dealing with injuries throughout the year, including a lengthy spell on the sideline for Sergio Aguero, has not dulled the polished brass of this City attacking line that has racked up goals in his absence. If they do go on to win the treble this campaign, it began with an effortless performance in the League Cup final.
Losing finalists Spurs, meanwhile, will end another season without silverware after a lacklustre performance in front of their own fans at Wembley. That extends their run without a trophy to 2008, when they won the League Cup under Juande Ramos. It also precipitates a summer of potential massive change in North London, with numerous names in the conversation for the head coach position and a decision possibly looming on the future of Harry Kane. With Gareth Bale seemingly returning to Real Madrid after an underwhelming year-long loan spell, Spurs could be on the verge of a rebuild – they looked devoid of ideas going forward for much of the season under Jose Mourinho.
Both sides look set to end the season in completely contrasting fashion as City could be very easily celebrating a maiden Champions League victory at the end of the season, while Spurs have to choose wisely as they appear to be at a crossroads.