Pep Guardiola secured his first trophy as Manchester City manager as they overpowered Arsenal to win the Carabao Cup in convincing fashion at Wembley. City responded to Monday’s shock FA Cup fifth-round defeat by League One Wigan Athletic in style as they swept aside Arsenal and now turn their attention to clinching the Premier League and continuing their Champions League campaign. Sergio Aguero gave City an 18th-minute lead when he took full advantage of Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi’s feeble challenge to latch on to keeper Claudio Bravo’s goal-kick and loft a cool finish over David Ospina. Arsenal were toothless apart from one early opening when Kyle Walker stopped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the six-yard area and the contest was effectively over when man-of-the-match Vincent Kompany swept in Ilkay Gundogan’s cross-shot just before the hour.
David Silva put the final flourish on City and Guardiola’s day with a powerful shot past Ospina before City closed out the most routine of victories. There was one contentious note which may draw further attention from the Football Association as Guardiola wore his trademark yellow ribbon, which he displays in supported of imprisoned politicians in his native Catalonia, despite facing a charge from English football’s governing body for “wearing a political message”. If one moment summed up Arsenal’s performance, it was the dismal manner in which Mustafi was left appealing limply for a foul after failing to deal with a routine long goal-kick from Bravo, a light-as-a-feather touch from Aguero paving the way for him to beat the onrushing Ospina.
Arsenal, quite simply, were overpowered with no answer to City’s quality once a lacklustre first 45 minutes gave way to a second half in which Guardiola’s side camped out in Gunners territory. Lightweight, loose in possession and defensively weak, Arsenal were no match for City. When the final whistle blew, the portion of Wembley where Arsenal’s fans were housed was virtually deserted, many taking Silva’s third goal as the signal to head for the exits and beat the rush home. Few could blame them as this was a painful experience. This was a chastening afternoon for Wenger as another trophy hope was ended – faced with the cold, hard reality that Arsenal look light years behind this burgeoning, developing Manchester City.