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Man City Beat Chelsea In Cup Final Shootout Amidst Arrizabalaga Saga

Manchester City defeated Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup final, but it was Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga who grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Chelsea entered the hallowed Wembley turf looking for a much better result than last time out against their Manchester rivals. A 6-0 loss at the Etihad just two weeks ago.

From the off Chelsea looked much steadier this time around, opting not to match City blow for blow, content with allowing Guardiola’s side to dictate the majority of the possession.

 

 

Gonzalo Higuain was sacrificed for a much pacier front three of Willian, Pedro and Eden Hazard in the false nine. It was, however, City’s striker who again looked the more lively.

Fresh off tormenting the Chelsea defence two weeks ago, Aguero looked confident, flashing a difficult shot just over from just inside the area.

The first half continued with little in the way of clear cut chances, Nicolas Otamendi getting around the back of the Chelsea defence after a ball in from Zinchenko in the only real effort on goal.

Sarri’s side continued to frustrate though, holding City scoreless heading into the second period.

The first half began a tad more open and ten minutes in the poacher extraordinaire, Aguero had the ball in the net, a tidy finish from close range, only for the linesman to rule it out for offside. A decision even VAR agreed with.

Chelsea though, could not sustain an extended period of possession and the game fell into a routine of City almost constantly on the ball.

That was until the 65th minute when Eden Hazard raced in behind the City defence and crossed the ball for the onrushing N’golo Kante. The French international, however, failed to keep his shot down, in what was undoubtedly Chelsea’s best chance up until then.

Perhaps that gave the London side some encouragement as they finally began to turn the City tide, Ross Barkley striking just over from around 25 or so yards out.

Hazard then found himself in a strong position again, finding Pedro on the right but the Spaniard opted to square the ball when shooting looked the better option.

Chelsea brought 18-year old Callum Hudson-Odoi on as they looked to take advantage of their first real period of pressure, but despite the best efforts of Willian from a free-kick, and Hazard being marginally called offside, 90 minutes was not enough to separate the two sides.

The first 15 minutes continued in a similar vein to the end of normal time, Chelsea having the upper hand but failing to find the goal that would surely earn Sarri the first silverware of his career.

It was Manchester City though who injected the first bit of extra-time quality as Raheem Sterling made his way to the byline and found Sergio Aguero who was well defended by Cesar Azpilicueta.

With time ticking away it was Aguero again with an opportunity, after Rudiger’s slip, but Kepa made a comfortable save from 18 yards out.

Arguably the most entertaining moment of the game came after Kepa’s save. The young goalkeeper went down injured and despite Sarri wanting to replace him with Willy Caballero, Kepa refused to be taken off with the Italian losing the battle after a comical exchange between the pair.

A humiliated Sarri was clearly enraged by Kepa’s lack of respect for his authority as penalties loomed.

The misery continued for Sarri and Chelsea as the shootout began, Jorginho’s tame penalty was saved by Ederson while Gundogan coolly finished City’s first.

Azpilicueta scored, before Aguero’s penalty squirmed under Kepa’s body as the score stood at 2-2. The Spanish keeper came up trumps though saving Sane’s spot kick. Luiz’s miss, however, meant after Bernardo Silva scored, it was Guardiola’s side who had the advantage.

Hazard was calm under pressure to score his kick but Raheem Sterling stepped up to smash the ball past Kepa and win the Carabao Cup for Manchester City.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]