In Brief

Caballero's heroics win the Capital One Cup for Man City

Wembley encounter ends as a tale of two goalkeepers as Liverpool lose penalty shoot-out

Liverpool 1 Man City 1 (Man City win 3-1 on penalties)

Manchester City claimed the first silverware of the season after goalkeeper Willy Caballero's heroics in a penalty shoot-out with Liverpool won them the Capital One Cup – and ensured manager Manuel Pellegrini will leave the Etihad with his head held high.

With the scores level at 1-1 after extra time, the final went to spot kicks and Caballero, whose inclusion in the team ahead of the usual keeper, Joe Hart, had raised eyebrows, produced three top-draw saves.

The result was harsh on Caballero's opposite number, Simon Mignolet, who allowed City to score in normal time, when he failed to stop a shot from Fernandinho, but also produced a string of fine saves to keep his team in the game, including two from Sergio Aguero.

But when it came to the shoot-out, the Reds' keeper was unable to lay a hand on City, even though Fernandinho missed the target to give Liverpool hope. Caballero, on the other hand, was in spectacular form and produced outstanding saves to stop Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana.

When Yaya Toure converted the winning kick for City, it was not him but Caballero who was mobbed, notes Henry Winter in The Times.

"His performance, not simply in the shoot-out but also in normal time, when he denied Divock Origi, was a vindication of Pellegrini's decision," he adds.

It not only justified his choice of goalkeeper, it also made up for humiliation in the FA Cup against Chelsea last week, says Phil McNulty of the BBC.

"This was a victory of great significance for Pellegrini, not simply in the context of his forthcoming replacement by [Pep] Guardiola, but also in the light of his selection policies in the past week," he writes.

"City have a trophy secured, will surely progress in the Champions League and cannot be written off in the league title pursuit, nine points behind leaders Leicester City with a game in hand. It means a week that started with the misery, and the selection questions of that FA Cup defeat, ends in triumph."

It was a deserved win for Manchester, who took the lead early in the second half but failed to add to it, says Daniel Taylor of The Guardian. "City should probably have been spared extra time but for some poor officiating and their own wastefulness given the number of chances they passed up to make it 2-0," he says.

But the match will be remembered as a tale of two goalkeepers.

"While Caballero was hoisted on to the players' shoulders, with the Wembley arch illuminated in blue and white and Daniel Sturridge reduced to tears, the final will be remembered as a personal ordeal for Simon Mignolet bearing in mind the unremarkable shot from Fernandinho that opened the scoring," adds Taylor.

"Mignolet made some fine saves either side of that mistake but, unfortunately for him, they will quickly be forgotten in the context of the one he let through his arms."

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