Manchester City beat Chelsea 4-2 on penalties in the EFL Cup final after the two sides battled it out in a 0-0 draw in 120 minutes, securing their second successive triumph in the competition.
The game started slowly with City taking charge of the majority of possession but the Blues looked far more organised than the 6-0 dismantling at the Etihad earlier this month.
At the halfway point, there was a lot of evident effort being showcased by both sides but little quality to match. The second half saw both sides step it up a little with both teams creating a few half chances as the game continued.
However, with 10 minutes left on the clock, there had been just one shot on target throughout the whole game. Nothing changed as the minutes counted down and the full-time whistle was blown with the score sat at 0-0.
Extra-time beckoned with both sides hoping to make the breakthrough. Chelsea looked slightly stronger with Maurizio Sarri’s substitutions proving effective.
A bizarre confrontation between Sarri and Kepa Arrizabalaga saw the stressed relations between the Blues manager and his squad highlighted at a bad time for the Londoners as the match went to penalties.
The shootout saw both Jorginho and David Luiz miss for Chelsea, allowing Raheem Sterling to step up and score the winning penalty for his side.
This victory for City means that Pep Guardiola’s side are still on course for a potential quadruple trophy haul this season, while Chelsea’s problems only deepen with Sarri’s frustrations clear to see.
Here are the player ratings from Manchester City’s penalty shootout win over Chelsea.
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Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6 – A few soft saves in the opening half kept Kepa involved in the proceedings. Was rarely severely tested in the Chelsea net until a late Aguero strike was well-saved. He REALLY didn’t want to get substituted which enforce a sensational standoff with Sarri which the player won. Never seen anything like it, a must see. Piled pressure on his side and despite saving Leroy Sane’s penalty, couldn’t be the hero today.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 – Clearly frustrated after his side’s 6-0 defeat at the Etihad, Azpilicueta looked far more assured this afternoon, although he faced a tough task in limiting Sterling to as few creative opportunities as possible. Scored a brilliant spot kick in the penalty shootout.
David Luiz – 7 – Organised alongside his Chelsea teammates, Luiz did his best to limit the space, put pressure on the City attackers and keep Chelsea heads calm as the game progressed. The big-haired Brazilian was booked in the first half for a clattering challenge on Bernardo. A poor free-kick in the second half was also disappointing. Missed his penalty kick in the shootout.
Antonio Rudiger – 7 – Rudiger’s leadership – alongside Luiz – was critical for Chelsea to get past the nervy opening stages of the match. Strong throughout, the centre-back was a real rock at the heart of the Chelsea defence. Booked after slicing down David Silva just outside the area.
Emerson – 7 – Pushed into the side after the poor form of Marcos Alonso, Emerson looked lively and offered his services up and down the left. Did well to limit Bernardo somewhat and certainly proved that on recent form, he should be ahead of Alonso in the left-back pecking order. Scored his penalty in the shootout.
Jorginho – 6 – Sarri’s favourite human being did what he does; kept possession and had the calmness to pick a pass. Picked up a booking for a blatant foul on Sterling, stopping the England international from hurting Chelsea on the counter-attack. Missed the first penalty in the shootout, instantly putting Chelsea on the back foot.
N’Golo Kante – 8 – A World Cup winner, two Premier League titles and STILL Sarri doesn’t fancy him. Part of Chelsea’s resolute defending was because they were playing deeper, with Kante almost alongside Jorginho. Got even better as the game continued with his influence in the final third helping Chelsea. Had a good chance but he fired over after some neat Hazard play.
Ross Barkley – 6 – Playing in a more deeper position that limited his influence in the final third, Barkley looked slightly uncomfortable in possession and restricted in his defensive duties. Grew into the game in the second half but was eventually subbed for Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Willian – 6 – It was a tough afternoon for Willian who rarely found enough space to do any damage and when he did have the ball, had few teammates who were brave enough to commit themselves going forward. Subbed for Gonzalo Higuain.
Eden Hazard – 8 – The Belgian international was unsurprisingly Chelsea’s most dangerous outlet. Playing in a false-nine position which is clearly not to his strengths, Hazard broke the offside trap a few times to run directly at the City defence. Set up both Kante and Pedro but they didn’t repay his work-rate with a goal. At times, he struggled to get himself enough time and space on the ball to inflict any damage on City but this was due to Chelsea’s set-up rather than his ability. Scored his penalty in the shootout.
Pedro – 6 – Like Willian, Pedro saw little of the ball on an afternoon which was dominated by City possession. Had a great chance to get a shot on target but opted to pass instead. Substituted for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – 7 – As soon as he entered the pitch, the youngster was alert and bright, looking like he had the intent to do some damage if offered the opportunity. Along with Loftus-Cheek, helped Chelsea looked more of an attacking threat throughout extra-time.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6 – On with minutes to spare for Barkley, the talented midfielder produced a few real moments of quality that Chelsea fans want to see on a regular basis from him. Looked powerful and picked out a few decent passes.
Gonzalo Higuain – 6 – Brought on in extra-time for his debut in the competition, the centre-forward couldn’t get any clear shots away.
Ederson – 6 – The shot-stopper barely had a shot to stop in the opening 45 minutes of this final. This followed into the second 45 but he had to be alert from a late Willian free-kick that he tipped over the crossbar.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7 – Pep Guardiola has put a lot of faith in the youngster in recent weeks and you can see why. Willingly wanting the ball on the left side, Chelsea’s set up allowed the youngster to push forward in support of his teammates. Kept Pedro quiet for the majority of the match.
Aymeric Laporte – 6 – His first appearance in the EFL Cup for Manchester City, the French defender was rarely tested due to Chelsea’s defensive set-up. He was substituted at half-time due to an injury.
Nicolás Otamendi – 6 – The Argentinian centre-back had a stroke of fortune just before the half time whistle when the ball bounced off him and just wide of Ederson’s goal. Picked up a booking for an obviously tired challenge on Hazard.
Kyle Walker – 6 – Offering himself up and down the right-wing, Walker faced little problems from Pedro on an afternoon that allowed the England full-back space to venture forward to aid the City attack. Struggled more as Hazard drifted over to the right side of the pitch in extra-time.
Fernandinho – 7 – Tough-tackling, resolute and quite simply, his standard game. A good performance once again from City’s anchor who was the link point between defence and attack. A foul on Barkley in the second half meant referee Jon Moss showed the midfielder a yellow card. Subbed for Danilo.
David Silva – 6 – A City legend, Silva was the quieter out of the two Silva’s this afternoon, with the midfielder often crowded out by an ever-present Chelsea defence. Substituted with just over 10 minutes to go.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6 – The talented midfielder showcased glimpses of power and passing perfection but was often crowded out by the Chelsea defence. Made a few serges from deep direct at the Chelsea box but ultimately wasn’t able to make the difference. Substituted for Leroy Sane.
Bernardo Silva – 8 – Playing on the right side of the City attack, Bernardo did well to create space out of nothing on a few occasions. He often tested the Chelsea defence and looked like one of the few players who could produce that piece of magic needed to break the deadlock. Scored his penalty in the shootout.
Raheem Sterling – 8 – Like Bernardo on the opposite wing, Sterling produced a few moments which needed both his natural ability and developed intelligence under Guardiola’s tutelage. Scored the winning penalty for City.
Sergio Aguero – 7 – The scorer of a hattrick when the two sides met just a few weeks previous was fouled within two seconds of the start of the match. The clinical striker had the first chance of the game but he fired over Kepa’s crossbar. Thought he had scored but his goal was -just about – rightly disallowed for offside. Had a shot well-saved by Kepa late on. Just about scored his spot-kick in the penalty shootout.
Vincent Kompany – 6 – On at half-time for his fourth appearance in an EFL Cup final, the City legend looked almost sluggish trying to keep up with Hazard on a few occasions but that’s more attributed to age over form.
İlkay Gündoğan – 6 – On for David Silva, the midfielder skied a shot over the bar at the start of extra-time. Scored his penalty kick.
Leroy Sane – 6 – Brought on late to replace De Bruyne but had little effect on the match. Missed his penalty in the shootout.
Danilo – 6 – On for the injured Fernandinho but like Sane, had little impact.