Guardiola is used to success, having won a combined 21 trophies in charge of Barca and Bayern Munich, but victory this weekend would still be significant in City’s ongoing development. However, it proved to be a rare moment of threat as City upped their level after the break to leave Arsene Wenger’s hopes of a first triumph in this competition in tatters. Arsenal, who’s last League Cup title came in 1993, took down Guardiola’s side en route to the FA Cup title last season and are certainly capable or orchestrating a similar upset. A third league cup final success in five seasons may well be the springboard to something special for Guardiola & Co this term and it is perhaps the flawless conclusion to a week that started with the shock loss to League One, Wigan in the FA Cup.
It was an stirring response from the Premier League leaders after their bid for a historic quadruple came to an end with a shock FA Cup defeat to League One Wigan on Monday.
City’s much-maligned No.2 goalkeeper has redeemed himself in this competition, helping Guardiola’s side through penalty shootout wins over Wolves and Leicester in the earlier rounds.
“It’s important”, said Guardiola.
But the 47-year-old has told his players that there will be no champagne celebrations with a return Premier League clash against the Gunners at the Emirates looming on Thursday night.
Former Manchester United defender Neville slammed Mustafi’s poor defending for Aguero’s opener to hand Manchester City the momentum in the one-sided League Cup final.
Asked if the League Cup felt like the missing piece, Wenger said in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports: Yes! “I don’t know if he was pushed or not, but did he expect the free kick?”
Arsenal soon rued that missed opportunity as Kompany doubled City’s lead just before the hour, turning in Ilkay Gundogan’s low shot from De Bruyne’s cleverly taken corner.
And as Arsenal now brace to go up against Guardiola’s Manchester City side, a repeat of the same dominating performance in the middle of the park could make him the promised prince again.
Arsenal had a good early chance when Mesut Ozil rolled over a cross for Pierre Emerick Aubameyang whose shot was well saved by Claudio Bravo.
Guardiola said late past year: “All the politicians that are in prison, I hope they can leave and go back home soon with their families and continue living the lives they deserve”.
But Arsenal’s casual defending was the team’s undoing again.
“Winning titles helps you to win more, that’s true”, Guardiola said. The trophy will work as an opportunity to help save face for Arsenal after a hard Premier League campaign. While there are no clear favourites when it comes to cup finals, many would back Manchester City on paper. “He had a good session yesterday that he absorbed well so we have to see how he responds to it today but I think he will be alright. I will always remember how everyone at the club, like Khaldoon, supported me”.
The defeat means Chelsea is now in fifth place, two points behind Totttenham. If his boys win, this will be Pep’s first trophy with them.