- Arsenal 0-2 Man City
Arsenal and Manchester City will clash in the Carabao Cup final this Sunday at Wembley.
The trophy is the first piece of silverware up for grabs in English football.
Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, is yet to win it in his over 20 years at the club.
For City manager, Pep Guardiola, victory would mean he has clinched his first trophy in England.
Arsene Wenger surprisingly reverts to a back three, with out of form Callum Chambers joining Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny. Not surprisingly, it’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who leads the line, flanked by Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil. Wing-backs Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin will provide support, while Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka anchor midfield.
SUBS: Stones, Laporte, B. Silva, Ederson, Jesus, Zinchenko, Foden.
MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3): Bravo; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Gundogan; D. Silva, Sane, Aguero.
SUBS: Mertesacker, Iwobi, Welbeck, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Cech, Elneny.
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Ospina; Chambers, Mustafi, Koscielny; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal; Ozil, Wilshere, Aubameyang.
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Wenger has never really needed to win the competition to bolster his resume, but with his future at the helm in doubt, today’s result could go a long way in determining whether or not he stays beyond the end of the season.
It’s also a competition Arsene Wenger – in his 22nd season as Arsenal manager – has never won. The Frenchman has won the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield a combined 17 times – the EFL Cup is all that’s missing from his cabinet.
A top-four finish seems a stretch for the Gunners, they’re out of the FA Cup, and a daunting task lays ahead in the Europa League. If they’re going to win a trophy this season – or even qualify for Europe – this figures to be their best opportunity.
This is a match City need, because nothing can spoil a good season more than a lack of trophies. The Premier League should be theirs, but anything less than two trophies in 2017/18 would have to be considered a disappointment. That being said, Arsenal come into the final as the more desperate club.
Pep Guardiola’s side have the Premier League title firmly in their grasp as their sights shift today to the EFL Cup – a competition they have won twice in the last four seasons – as they look to cap this near-flawless campaign with its first trophy.
The 2017/18 season has all the makings of a historic one for Manchester City. Dreams of the quadruple were dashed by Wigan in the FA Cup last week, but the domestic double is a stone’s throw away, while the treble remains a distinct possibility.
The 2018 final is very much a tale of two antithetical clubs – Manchester City, enjoying an indelible campaign under Pep Guardiola, and Arsenal, continuing their tailspin under lame duck manager Arsene Wenger.
Fancy a final? You came to the right place! Hello and welcome to elegant Wembley Stadium for live coverage of the EFL Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester City!
1′ AND THEY’RE OFF! Arsenal get the 2018 EFL Cup final is underway at Wembley, in their red tops with white trim, attacking left to right, with City in their sky blue.
3′ An early chance falls to City as pressure stays on following a corner, but Ramsey does well to block Sane’s effort at the near post. That results in another set-piece opportunity for the Premier League leaders, but Arsenal this time are much more convincing in dealing with the threat.
5′ Arsenal are content letting City play on the ball, but they have a very good defensive shape, at least early on. Because of the threat the Citizens pose, it’s already looking like more of a back five for the Gunners than a back three, though.
7′ A sloppy attempt to play out from the back sees Arsenal put themselves under unnecessary pressure. Sane picks out Aguero, who does expertly to dribble his way into the penalty area beyond a few defenders, but he bites off more than he can chew in the end as the chance comes to nothing.
8′ AUBAMEYANG MISSES A SITTER! It’s the first attack of the night from the Gunners, as Wilshere does really well to win the ball and play in Ozil. The Germany international squares across the face of goal for Aubameyang, who has the goal at his mercy, but he sends the ball straight back into the arms of Bravo!
10′ STAT: This is Arsenal’s eighth EFL Cup final – they’ve lost more than any other side in the history of the competition (5), winning the tournament twice in 1987 and 1993.
58′ Ilkay Guendogan provided the assist for the goal.
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