MANCHESTER CITY KEEP VICE LIKE GRIP ON CARABAO CUP
While although the final score only saw one goal hit the back of the net, it told anything but the full story and with Manchester City winning a fourth straight Carabao Cup and fifth in the last six seasons, their vice like grip on the competition continues.
Because on another day and to be honest it was a surprise that Sunday was not the day, City could have turned their final pairing with Tottenham, into a similar bloodbath to the one that Watford witnessed in the 2019 F.A. Cup final.
Thankfully, there was not quite the mercy killing on show for Ryan Mason’s men and although his players defended gallantly for 80 minutes, this is a game of football not rugby and those last 10 minutes really do count.
Especially when Tottenham have the regular propensity to give away needless free kicks out in wide areas and once again their Achilles heel for a large amount of this season, was to be their ultimate undoing once again.
Eight minutes from time Aymeric Laporte rose highest in Tottenham’s penalty area and as his header nestled neatly past Hugo Lloris, there were questions about a lack of defensive aptitude from the North London outfit.
Aptitude that was lacking from substitute Moussa Sissoko and on the evidence of his Carabao cameo, one thing is now apparent. That being, managers new and old must stop bringing him on as a mechanism to change the game.
With that said, it would be unfair to criticise Ryan Mason and his tactical nous too much, as when you look at the output on the field, from those who wore Tottenham colours on Sunday, questions really need to be asked of the team as a collective.
Much was made of whether Harry Kane was fit to start against Manchester City and although he did play for the whole 90 minutes, it only seemed to evoke memories of his performance in the 2019 Champions League final.
Fit for Harry Kane, but is that really fit enough? That is the question that will once again go unanswered and although it will be a burning topic for days to come, you cannot blame the talisman for taking to the field.
At the same time, you cannot blame Heung-min Son for crying at the final whistle and although his emotions were rather visible at the end, the South Korean was largely invisible for the duration of the final itself.
Of course, the whole complexion of the showpiece event could and arguably should have been different and had Aymeric Laporte been booked for a tackle midway through the first half, he may have been given his marching orders second before the interval.
However, that’s one for the ‘what if’ brigade and although Tottenham will feel an element of injustice in a lack of admonishment for the French defender, there is no doubt that Manchester City were certainly the best team on the day.