EFL CUP FINAL MATCH REPORT!

Aston Villa v Man. City!

THE GOALS...

0-1 | 19 mins – SERGIO AGUERO
Rodrigo dinked a ball deep to the Villa byline, Phil Foden nodded it back for Sergio Aguero to side volley low into the next from six yards out, via a deflection off Tyrone Mings!

0-2 | 29 mins – RODRIGO
Out-swinging corner finds the head of Rodrigo who evaded his marker, Frederic Guilbert, to nod home from eight yards out! Simple goal.

1-2 | MBWANA SAMATTA 40 mins
Calamity from John Stones who  stumbles over while backtracking, allowing El Ghazi to get in down the Villa left. He floats a lovely cross for Mbwana Samatta to head home with a diving header!

PLAYER RATINGS!

aston villa

6/10 Nyland
Smith stuck with his League Cup keeper and the Norwegian didn’t let his gaffer down. Had no chance with the City goals and made a smart save from Rodri.

5/10 Guilbert
Had his hands full all game with Sterling and Zinchenko, and his loose marking allowed Rodri to power home a header for 2-0.

8/10 Engels
Not long back from a long-term lay-off, but put in a great block to deny Aguero on 29 minutes and a brilliant sliding tackle to deny Sterling in the second half.

7/10 Mings
His usual combative and dependable self – plenty of powerful clearing headers and last-ditch blocks and tackles to keep the rampant Cityzens at bay.

6/10 Targett
Offered good support down the left flank whenever he could, but failed to outmuscle Phil Foden for his key header for the opening goal.

6/10 Nakamba
Decent shield in front of the back four and he never gave up. But saw very little of the ball against City’s megastar midfield line-up.

7/10 Luiz
Linked well with Grealish and offered some resistance against the City’s midfield passing wall. Tried to get forward when he could.

5/10 El Mohamady 
Supported Guilbert in defence, but offered very little going forward other than a couple of dangerous right-wing whips.

6/10 Grealish
Did most of his best work in his own half trying to stop City ­– found space and time limited and was never able to stamp his mark on the contest.
 
8/10 El Ghazi
By far Villa’s brightest player – decent early header and low drive, and a superb looped cross from the left for Samatta’s goal.
 
6/10 Samatta
Had little impact on the game, other than his powerful near-post headed goal from El Ghazi’s slick centre. Still looks short of match sharpness.
 
SUBS
 
Trezeguet
Blew a decent chance to open City up late on.
 
Hourihane
Struggled to get in the game against City’s classy midfield.
 
Davis
Not enough time to make an impact.

MAN. CITY

7/10 Bravo
Had very little to do other than pick the ball out of the net and push Engel’s 87th-minute header against the post. Cup-winning save.

6/10 Walker
Only really tested in the opening exchanges – looked in total control of Villa’s left flank and supported Foden well.

5/10 Stones
Hadn’t put a foot wrong until his horrendous slip allowed El Ghazi to cross for Samatta’s goal. Solid outing spoiled by one calamity.

7/10 Fernandinho
Composed display at the heart of City’s backline – regularly stepped into midfield to form a power trio with Rodri and Gundogan.

7/10 Zinchenko
Wasted some decent chances to open Villa up, but was solid as a rock defensively and often drifted inside to allow Sterling more space on the left wing.

7/10 Gundogan
A classy performance in central midfield ­– always looked in control and kept the ball ticking over for the dominant Prem champions.

9/10 Rodri
Man of the Match – ran the show in midfield and was a constant threat at set-pieces. Bagged a thumping header to make it 2-0.

6/10 Silva
Wasn’t at his brilliant best, but enough quality touches and composure to give Nakamba and Luiz a torrid time.

7/10 Sterling
Always looked a threat, but squandered a few chances
Booked for late lunge on FG. Became more influential as the game wore on.

7/10 Aguero
A ruthless finish for the opening goal and kept the Villa back four busy without ever hitting top gear.

8/10 Foden
Operated in an unfamiliar attacking role on the right wing, but caused Villa problems all game. Deft header to lay the opener on a plate for Aguero.

SUBS

6/10 De Bruyne
Immediately a telling presence in the AMC role. Villa struggled to pick up his sick runs.

Jesus
A couple of half chances to help City seal it, but failed at the vital moment.

Bernardo Silva
Bright as usual, but City didn’t need any heroics from Silva this time.

GAME GALLERY!

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REACTION FROM THE CAMPS!

ASTON VILLA

VILLA BOSS, DEAN SMITH

“We came with a lot of belief in that dressing room to go out and prove everyone wrong.

“I told them I was proud of their performance. They’re disappointed, they’ll feel that tonight, but they’ll wake up in the morning and take a lot of pride from it too.

“If you can go toe-to-toe with them like we did at the death, we can get wins against teams in the Premier League.

“I could tell in the players eyes before the game they were ready for this game. We asked City questions today.

“[On the wrongly given corner that led to City’s first goal] There’s nothing I can do about that. We all know it was a goal kick, we’ve got to defend the corner better.

“I thought it was in from where I was. We’re playing against a top team. There was never any sense of a backward step from my players today.

“We take it game by game, we always have, we came here to win a trophy, but now our concentration turns to the Premier League.”

MAN. CITY

MAN. CITY BOSS, PEP GUARDIOLA

“I’m very pleased for the performance we played. We created a lot of chances, shots, but could not get the third goal.

“A lot of energy we spent in Madrid. We played, in general, really well and now we have another trophy in our club.

“I’m so satisfied of course, every game we play counts, we try to win, that is the best thing we can give for our club.

“We have the responsibility to fight for every title. We’ve won eight out of 11 titles, so I am pleased.

“It’s remarkable that we’ve won 8 out of the last 9 titles, apart from the Champions League. That’s incredible.

“Now it’s about recovery, no time to celebrate. This team, this group of players have something special.

“The most beautiful one is the Premier League, it’s the most difficult one. We have the numbers like a normal team could win the title, but their team was exceptional.

“I’m so pleased, honestly.”

READER REACTION!...

"In the end Aston Villa simply didn’t want it enough - Man City had too much quality for them!"

Ronen

"In the first half Aston Villa were the better team with a lot of possession, until Man. City scored their two goals. After that, Man. City dominated the rest of the match, if John Stones didn’t make that silly mistake Man. City would have got a clean sheet, after Aston Villa scored it was game on and they know they had a chance of coming back! But Man. City has enough experienced players to hold on. Aston Villa need to concentrate on staying in the Premier League now!"

Jack

"I thought it was a hard game and a tense game. Aston Villa had a great chance but it was amazing because Man. City won their 3rd Carabao Cup in a row!"

Daniel

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