Manchester City won the Carabao Cup for a fourth year in a row after Aymeric Laporte steered them to a 1-0 win over Tottenham in front of 8,000 fans at Wembley.
The French defender rose in the 82nd minute to head the winner, taking City to a joint-record eighth win in this competition alongside Liverpool – while they also became the second side after the Reds to win this competition for the fourth time in a row.
It was also the first leg secured by Pep Guardiola’s side of a potential treble this season, with the Premier League looking almost sewn up and a Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain to come.
For Spurs, the 13-year wait for a trophy will go on. It is now a sixth-straight loss at Wembley for them in neutral games.
How City became Carabao Cup winners again
The first half was just wave after wave of City attack as they spurned countless chances to take the lead. Raheem Sterling saw a close-range effort blocked by Eric Dier, Phil Foden saw a shot deflected off Toby Alderweireld and onto the post, while Riyad Mahrez curled one just wide. In total City had 29 touches in Spurs’ box in the first 45 minutes, while Spurs had just one in City’s.
The only real bright spot of the first half for Tottenham – other than somehow managing not to concede – was the threat that Lucas Moura posed to Laporte. The City defender twice hauled down the Brazilian as he beat him on the counter-attack, and was perhaps lucky only to be booked for the second one.
Spurs did come out for the second half much more on the front foot and finally tested Zack Steffen in the City goal, as he was forced to tip a Giovani Lo Celso effort from the edge of the box wide of the post.
City grew again as the half went on, though, and Spurs had Hugo Lloris to thank for keeping them on level terms after 74 minutes when he dived low to his right to keep out a bending Mahrez attempt.
Finally, the breakthrough was found with eight minutes to go, as Kevin De Bruyne delivered a perfect free-kick to the far post, where Laporte arrived to head home and send 4,000 City fans into raptures.