Manchester City continued their imperious stranglehold over the League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.
Goals from Sergio Aguero and Rodri (Rodrigo Hernández Cascante) in the final at Wembley ensured that City won the trophy for a third straight season.
City have now won the competition in five of the last seven seasons.
They dominated much of the match and should have been home and dry when they opened a 2-0 lead after half an hour, thanks to Aguero’s strike in the 20th minute and a Rodri header.
Yet a bizarre slip from City defender John Stones allowed Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi to cross for Mbwana Samatta to head home just before halftime, fueling their hopes of a comeback.
The second half failed to live up to the first, however, with few clear chances until City keeper Claudio Bravo pulled off an excellent save to push Bjorn Engels’ header against the post and out in the 87th minute.
City became the first side to win the competition three seasons in a row since Liverpool claimed four straight titles from 1981 to 1984.
“Three times in a row is a big success. It’s the consistency, incredible,” said Spaniard Guardiola.
“It was awesome. We struggled in the first minutes and the last ones. They had two clear chances in the first minutes but we played really well, especially in the second half.
“Big success, our second title of the season with the Community Shield, it’s so nice,” he added.
City had come into the final buoyed by their midweek Champions League last 16, first-leg victory at Real Madrid and there was a spring in their step as the game quickly settled into a predictable pattern of City dominance. (Reuters/NAN)