Manchester City claimed a fourth consecutive League Cup on Sunday with a dominant display to beat Tottenham 1-0 in front of 8,000 fans at Wembley.
Aymeric Laporte’s header eight minutes from time finally ended Tottenham’s resistance as their 13-year wait to win a trophy goes on.
For the first time in 13 months, a football match in England had designated fans from both teams inside the stadium in one of a series of test events at Wembley as coronavirus restrictions are eased.
Defeat by Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals last weekend means City cannot claim an unprecedented quadruple of trophies this season.
They are still on course for a treble, with the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and the possibility of winning the Premier League next weekend.
After a slight dip in form in recent weeks, Pep Guardiola’s men pinned Tottenham back from the first whistle and should have won by a far more comfortable scoreline.
Spurs fired manager Jose Mourinho on Monday, capping off a chaotic week in which both Manchester City and Tottenham backed out of plans to join a European Super League.
City, on the other hand, appeared to be in a different league from the start, peppering Hugo Lloris’ goal without finding a breakthrough.
Toby Alderweireld saved a goal-bound effort from Raheem Sterling before Lloris made a stunning save from point-blank range to turn behind Phil Foden’s shot.
Riyad Mahrez twice flashed powerful efforts inches wide after Sterling dinked over Lloris.
Spurs managed to hold out until halftime, when Lloris was called into action again to deny Joao Cancelo.
Tottenham had offered nothing as an attacking threat until Giovani Lo Celso forced Zack Steffen into a fine save a minute into the second half, despite Harry Kane’s recovery from an ankle injury.
The majority of the opportunities, on the other hand, continued to come and go.
Lloris was forced into another flying save to deny Mahrez after Ilkay Gundogan sliced wide at the near post.
When the breakthrough came, it came from an unexpected source: Laporte rose highest to head home Kevin De Bruyne’s free kick at the back post.
Spurs’ energies were expended after conceding for the second time under interim manager Ryan Mason, as they failed to muster any response to take the game to extra-time.
Sterling and Foden were wasteful in front of goal once more in the closing minutes, while Mahrez had a second goal ruled out for offside.
However, one goal was enough to secure Guardiola’s seventh major trophy in five seasons as manager of Manchester City.