In Depth

‘Winning is great’: Pep Guardiola hails Man City’s incredible consistency

Sky Blues make it three Carabao Cup titles in a row after seeing off Aston Villa

Carabao Cup final Aston Villa 1 Manchester City 2 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola described his side’s third consecutive Carabao Cup title as “awesome”. 

Speaking after the Sky Blues had beaten Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley yesterday, the City boss said: “It was awesome… it’s the consistency, incredible.”

The league cup has now found its way to the Etihad in five of the last seven seasons and their hat-trick of wins is a feat emulated only by Liverpool, who lifted the trophy a record four times from 1981 to 1984. 

For Guardiola, yesterday’s victory was about the joy of six as the Spaniard has won all his cup finals with City: two Community Shields, three League Cups and one FA Cup.

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Fab four?

City will have their eyes on equalling Liverpool’s record - particularly as they won’t be competing in Europe next season after their two-year ban imposed by Uefa - and Guardiola issued a statement of intent as his side celebrated at Wembley. 

“We’ve won a lot,” he declared. “Every game we play we try to win it, every competition we try to win it, and three times in a row, being here and winning is great.”

The result seemed set in stone as City went 2-0 up within half an hour. Sergio Aguero’s strike put the holders ahead on 20 minutes and ten minutes later Rodri’s header doubled their advantage, although the Sky Blue who really caught the eye was young Phil Foden.

Mbwana Samatta got a goal back for Villa just before the break, and the underdogs almost levelled in the dying moments of the second half when Bjorn Engels’s powerful header was brilliantly kept out by City stopper Claudio Bravo.

Manchester City celebrate their victory over Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final

Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images

Cups runneth over

Although City are out of the title race, lying 22 points behind leaders Liverpool, who actually lost a game on Saturday, they are still in with a shout of a hat-trick of cup titles this season.

On Wednesday they visit Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fifth round and on 17 March they host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash having come away from the Bernabeu last week with a priceless 2-1 victory

“What is important is everybody knows we have the responsibility to fight and try to win the games and titles and that means a lot,” said Guardiola.

Today’s back pages 

‘Champers’ City win Carabao Cup and Tottenham must toughen up

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