Pep Guardiola has become the first manager since Liverpool legend Bob Paisley to win three successive League Cups after Manchester City beat Aston Villa in the 2020 Carabao Cup final.
The reigning Premier League champions took the lead on 20 minutes at Wembley through Sergio Aguero, who turned home Phil Foden’s cushioned header for his 22nd goal of the season.
Aston Villa were left incensed ten minutes later as Manchester City were wrongly awarded a corner and Rodri rose from the set-piece to head past goalkeeper Orjan Nyland.
Mbwana Samatta gave Villa hope shortly before half-time with a powerful header following a John Stones mistake but it was City who dominated the second half, creating a number of chances as Dean Smith’s side struggled to make an impact.
Aston Villa did threaten late on, with Bjorn Engels forcing Claudio Bravo to push a save onto his own post, but City held firm to clinch their third consecutive Carabao Cup victory.
City’s second Premier League title defence is set to end in disappointment – with Liverpool a staggering 22 points clear at the top of the table – but Guardiola’s side are still in the Champions League and FA Cup.
After Manchester City lifted the trophy for the fifth time in seven seasons, Guardiola said: ‘Three times in a row is a big success. It shows the consistency.
‘It’s incredible. The performance was awesome. We played really well.’
Goalscorer Aguero added: ‘The goal, for me, it’s important when the team is winning, so I am so happy for the goal but I am happy because we are winning the cup. It’s a great feeling.’
Manchester City face Sheffield Wednesday in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening.
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