An impressive winning penalty from Raheem Sterling helped Manchester City beat Chelsea at Wembley Stadium and pick up their first major trophy of the season.
The two teams couldn’t be separated and after a 120 minute chess match, which saw limited chances to score for either side, the game went to penalties with Pep’s side securing a dramatic victory.
Here are three things we learned from the cup final encounter.
- Manchester City win marred by injuries?
Despite the victory, City boss Guardiola was quick to suggest that his side’s win came at a cost. First-team centre-back Aymeric Laporte was replaced at half-time by City veteran Vincent Kompany. He was later joined on the bench by Fernandinho, who limped off just before extra time in tears.
After the win, Guardiola said: “I’m very happy. The only problem is we will be without important players for the coming weeks. Laporte and Fernandinho will both be out injured.”
The latter already suffered an injury setback earlier in the season and during his time out, City lost three of four league games in what was their worst run of the season.
2. Kepa Arrizabalaga throws his toys out the pram…
The game was made much more dramatic just before penalties and it was Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa who found himself in the centre of the drama. After going down with cramp twice, Sarri made the decision to take him off with substitute Willy Caballero enjoying some impressive statistics in penalty shoot-outs.
The substitution was eventually reversed and the Spanish shot stopper has since been blasted on social media for his lack of respect towards his manager. Ex- England international Gary Lineker tweeted:
3. Chelsea learn their lessons from their previous thrashing
The pressure was certainly on for Sarri and his men going into the cup final, with Chelsea taking a comfortable 6-0 beating against Manchester City earlier this month. The Blues quickly found themselves 4-0 down after just 25 minutes but the tactics this time around were considerably more effective.
Chelsea played a 4-5-1 formation when off the ball with no recognised striker. The packed out midfield forced City to play more patiently and as a result, Pep’s side were able to register only one shot on target in the first half, despite yielding 68% possession.
Watch video below for in-depth analysis of the key talking points from the cup final action: