Citizens seize the Carabao Cup
Written By: Robert Halter
It was the first meeting between Arsenal and Manchester City in a major final as the Citizens and Gunners contested the 2018 Carabao Cup at Wembley stadium on February 25. In the eighth minute from a breakaway move by Jack Wilshere, and a sideways pass from Aaron Ramsey, following a cross on the right through Mesut Ozil, on two occasions, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was stopped at close range as Kyle Walker slid in before Claudio Bravo made the save. In the next minute, from a ball through by David Silva, the outside netting of the left post was found by Sergio Aguero. But it was the Citizens that struck first on eighteen minutes, when from a long goal kick by Bravo, the ball was left in the air by Shkodran Mustafi, which set Aguero free, who exposed the space in between Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers, to lob David Ospina, with a crafted chip from outside the box into the bottom right corner. Midway through the first half, after Aguero fouled Wilshere on the edge of the d, the free kick by Ramsey was driven low through the wall into the safe clutches of Bravo. The Gunners were soon without the injured Nacho Monreal, who was replaced with Sead Kolasinac. On the half hour mark, through a delivery by Ilkay Gundogan, the ball was put over by a header from Citizens captain, Vincent Kompany. In the thirty fifth minute, following a barge into Walker by Kolasinac, from De Bruyne’s free kick, a header by Aguero, was ballooned over. During the fortieth minute, as Aguero cut in from the left, and spun the ball across past Koscielny, the outside netting of the right post was fired at by De Bruyne. The Citizens stepped up a gear three minutes into the second half, when from Danilo’s ball in, a header back out from Leroy Sane, was met with a low drive outside the area by Kompany, that struck Koscielny, and went past the left post. After losing Fernandinho to injury, Bernardo Silva, took over. However, Man City doubled their advantage on fifty eight minutes, when De Bruyne’s corner was driven into the box by Gundogan, and with the follow through a left footed shot by Kompany, was driven into the bottom right corner. The Carabao Cup was heading to the Ethihad in the sixty fifth minute when the game was put out of reach for Arsenal, when from Danilo’s incisive pass, the ball was drilled into the bottom right corner by Silva from the left side of the area. Danny Welbeck was then brought on for Chambers. The Gunners later brought on Alex Iwobi for Ramsey. On seventy five minutes, from a Sane loose pass, Granit Xhaka took the ball off Aguero, before striking a shot high over the top. Sane was then switched with Gabriel Jesus. In the eighty first minute, from Aubameyang’s pass into the path of Iwobi, a clumsy stop by Bravo, turned the ball away. Near the end Aguero was taken off for Phil Foden. A conquering Manchester City were then left to celebrate a 3-0 victory over Arsenal, as Kompany lifted the Carabao Cup and was also awarded the Alan Hardaker trophy for being the man of the match.