League Cup - Manchester City overcome spirited Sunderland at Wembley

League Cup final, Wembley – Manchester City 3 (Toure 55, Nasri 56, Navas 90) Sunderland 1 (Borini 10)

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League Cup - Manchester City overcome spirited Sunderland at Wembley
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Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas all scored as Manchester City beat Sunderland 3-1 to win the League Cup at Wembley.

Fabio Borini had put the Black Cats ahead but, despite a spirited performance from Gus Poyet’s men, City just had too much quality for the Premier League strugglers.

City started on the front foot, albeit cagily, with Sunderland focusing on deep defending and the occasional counter attack.

On 10 minutes, Vincent Kompany and the inexplicably selected Martin Demichelis were both at fault as Borini chased down a long ball and finished with aplomb. The shock was on.

Sunderland were doing everything right, but a moment of brilliance turned the match on its head when, 10 minutes into the second half, Toure struck a beautiful looping drive with his right instep, the ball sailing beyond Vito Mannone into the top left corner.

Seconds later, City were ahead, as Nasri spanked in a glorious finish with the outside of his boot. It was Sunderland’s turn to be shell-shocked.

They responded well enough, adopting a more attacking yet nonetheless direct approach as City had to soak up some pressure.

But, in the closing stages, the introduction of Javi Garcia gave City better shape and they deservedly added a third when Navas finished off a counter attack with a low finish.

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KEY MOMENTS

9’ – Mannone saves from Aguero: Great strength from the Argentine, and a rasping low finish, but Mannone is equal to it.

10’ – Borini scores the opener (Manchester City 0-1 Sunderland): Great finish from the Italian but horrible defending from Kompany and Demichelis.

34’ – Borini clears off the line: Kolarov flicks on a corner and, with Toure set to tap in, Borini does really well to head clear.

39’ – Amazing Kompany tackle: The linesman fails to flag a clearly offside Borini, but a superb recovery from the Belgian, who denies the Italian a second goal.

42’ – Penalty appeal: Demichelis is clearly hauled down in the box by Alonso, but the ref waves play on.

51’ – Pantilimon save: Decent stop after a rasping effort from Ki.

55’ – Brilliant Toure goal (Manchester City 1-1 Sunderland): The Ivorian, quiet until this point, unleashes a wondrous curling, dipping shot from miles out. Top left, Mannone no chance.

56’ – Nasri puts City ahead (Manchester City 2-1 Sunderland): Kolarov’s low cross is deflected into Nasri’s path, and the Frenchman hits a glorious effort with the outside of his boot.

90’ – Navas seals it (Manchester City 3-1 Sunderland): Sunderland commit men forward, it’s five on two, Toure releases Navas and the Spaniard drives it home.

KEY STATS

It is City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s first major trophy in European football, having arrived on the old continent in 2004 - though he did win the Intertoto Cup with Villarreal in 2004.

Manchester City have scored 22 goals in this season’s League Cup.

TALKING POINT

Could this City’s year? Talk of a quadruple was on earlier this year, but City got in trouble in Europe and the Premier League is wide open. The first trophy has been claimed though, and Pellegrini’s side must relax into the run-in – if they’re as nervous as this, they won’t beat Barcelona.

[MATCHCAST: MANCHESTER CITY 3-1 SUNDERLAND]

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Fabio Borini (Sunderland): Despite losing the match, Poyet’s side performed above expectations, while City slightly below. As such, Borini – who took his goal brilliantly, was a constant threat and defended well too – is our man of the match, but the best moment was obviously Toure’s.

PLAYER RATINGS

MANCHESTER CITY: Pantilimon 6, Zabaleta 6, Kompany 6, Demichelis 5, Kolarov 6, Nasri 7, Toure 7, Fernandinho 7, Silva 7, Aguero 6, Dzeko 5; Subs: Garcia 7, Navas 7, Negredo NA

SUNDERLAND: Mannone 7, Bardsley 7, Alonso 6, O'Shea 7, Brown 6, Cattermole 7, Colback 7, Ki 6, Larsson 6, Johnson 6, Borini 7; Subs: Gardner 6, Fletcher 5, Giaccherini NA

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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