Manchester City were crowned Carabao Cup winners for the third successive season after Pep Guardiola’s side beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday.
Villa reached their first League Cup final in a decade and held a good account of themselves despite the defeat, with City winning by virtue of a dubious decision to award them a corner.
Rodri scored the eventual winner from the resulting set piece, and City successfully defended their title despite Mbwana Samatta’s thundering headed consolation.
Guardiola hailed the consistency of his team after winning his sixth major title with City in his fourth campaign at the Etihad Stadium, via Football Daily:
City academy graduate Phil Foden assisted Sergio Aguero for the game’s first goal after 20 minutes, and Rodri made the most of the corner controversy with his angled header into the bottom left.
The Citizens have lifted spirits after a difficult month at the Etihad. After UEFA’s decision to hand City a two-year ban from the Champions League (pending an appeal), the English giants beat Real Madrid 2-1 away from home in the first leg of this season’s round of 16.
They remain 22 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with one game in hand. The Reds suffered their first top-tier defeat in more than a year on Saturday when they fell 3-0 at Watford.
City are the first team to win three consecutive League Cup finals since Liverpool clinched four straight titles between 1981 and 1984, two of which were decided after replays.