Manchester City beat Liverpool on penalties to win League Cup
Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 in a penalty shootout to lift the League Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, and claim the first major trophy of the English football season.
Image Credit: Getty Images.
London: Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 in a penalty shootout to lift the League Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, and claim the first major trophy of the English football season.
Willy Caballero was City's hero, making three saves in the shootout to deny Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana after the match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra time.
Caballero's performance also fully justified the decision by City coach Manuel Pellegrini to play the Argentine goalkeeper. Though he is City's second-choice behind England keeper Joe Hart, the 34-year-old Caballero has been a regular during the team's League Cup campaign.
Following successful spot-kicks from Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure scored the decisive penalty, sliding the ball past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to secure at least one more trophy for Pellegrini before the coach is replaced by Pep Guardiola next season.
Mignolet had been at fault earlier when City took the lead in the 49th minute, having failed to deal with a cross shot by Fernandinho. It should have been a routine save but the ball went straight through Mignolet.
Former Liverpool player Raheem Sterling had a golden opportunity to put City two ahead in the 60th minute but he missed the target from six yards (meters). With Mignolet already committed, all he had to do was stroke the ball into the Liverpool net. Instead, his mistimed effort went wide.
Coutinho equalised for Liverpool in the 83rd minute from close range after a Lallana effort hit the post and rebounded neatly into the path of the Brazilian midfielder.
Both sides had chances to take the lead in extra time. Aguero had the best chance for City in the 105th minute. Put through on goal by David Silva, the striker dinked his shot with the outside of his right foot but Mignolet stood tall and parried away the effort with his left hand.
Divock Origi, who replaced Roberto Firmino in the 80th minute, came close to putting Liverpool ahead in the 110th after a frantic period of attacking from the Reds, but his header from close range was beaten away by Caballero.
Liverpool started the sharper of the two sides but wasn't able to engineer any notable chances during a drab first half.
City produced the best chance of the first period, when Aguero sauntered past Liverpool center backs Leiva and Mamadou Sakho, but his shot from 15 yards (meters) was tipped onto the post by Mignolet at full stretch.
A visibly angry Sakho was replaced soon after by Kolo Toure because of possible concussion following a clash of heads earlier in the 16th minute with Emre Can that saw both players needing attention.
The League Cup is City's fifth trophy since 2011. The team is still in the hunt for the Premier League title despite being nine points behind leader Leicester and looks set to make the quarterfinals of the Champions League after beating Dynamo Kiev 3-1 in the first-leg of the last 16.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are experiencing one of their most barren runs in their history. Since 2006, when Liverpool won the FA Cup, it's only added one trophy, the League Cup in 2012.
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