Aymeric Laporte was the unlikely hero as Manchester City saw off a resilient Tottenham to lift the Carabao Cup for the fourth consecutive season.
However, the City defender arguably should have been sent off but was booked for only one of two cynical fouls in the first half before he scored the winner from Kevin De Bruyne's free-kick delivery in the 82nd minute.
Eight thousand supporters were welcomed to Wembley and witnessed a totally one-sided first half, as City peppered Tottenham's goal but could not find a way through thanks to a combination of last-ditch desperate defending and an impressive Hugo Lloris performance.
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The best chance fell to Phil Foden whose effort was deflected onto the post by Toby Alderweireld, but the out-of-form Raheem Sterling - who was handed a rare start - also went close, seeing a goalbound shot blocked by the leg of Eric Dier, while Riyad Mahrez fired agonisingly over and Lloris tipped a Cancelo effort wide.
Ryan Mason's side played with a more positive approach immediately after the restart and their first real attack came in the 47th-minute when Giovani Lo Celso forced Zack Steffen into his first save of the afternoon.
The second half was a much more even contest and it took Laporte's headed winner to settle the tie with just eight minutes remaining, as City clinched a joint record eighth League Cup trophy in front of 2,000 of their joyous supporters.
With a treble still in sight, Pep Guardiola's side now turn their attentions to the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur looks dejected

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - City take first steps towards treble

For all of City's one-touch passing and free-flowing football, it was a set-piece that ultimately proved the undoing of Spurs. And while there is a case to be made that Laporte should not have even been on the pitch - the match-winner somehow got away with a cynical foul on Lucas Moura early in the first half before he was cautioned for a similar tackle a short while later - there is no question that Manchester City were the clear winners on the day.
Guardiola named De Bruyne in a strong City line-up, despite the Belgian limping off in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea last week, and with a huge semi-final with PSG just three days away, he was rewarded for his decision, with the 29-year-old assisting the winner.
From the remaining trophies still up for grabs, the League Cup was third on City's priority list, but it sets them on a high ahead of one of the biggest games in the club's history.
Meanwhile, there were tears of disappointment for Tottenham at the final whistle, but this was a learning experience for their 29-year-old manager Mason, who was taking charge of his second game in management. The return of Harry Kane was a huge boost to their chances but in truth Spurs never really got going, as they suffered a fourth straight cup final defeat, drawing yet another blank. With his future constantly in the papers, was this Kane's final chance of landing silverware with his beloved club?

Fernandinho of Manchester City lifts the Carabao Cup

Image credit: Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH - Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

If there were concerns about his fitness ahead of this fixture, there certainly wasn't by full-time. De Bruyne was back to his brilliant best, and his sparkling performance was epitomised by an outrageous eye-of-the-needle cross with the outside of the boot which almost set Raheem Sterling up for a tap-in.

PLAYER RATINGS

Man City: Steffen 6, Walker 6, Dias 6, Laporte 6, Cancelo 6, Fernandinho 7, Gundogan 6, De Bruyne 8, Mahrez 7, Foden 7, Sterling 7. Subs: Rodrigo N/A, Bernardo N/A.
Tottenham: Lloris 7, Aurier 6, Alderweireld 6, Dier 7, Reguilon 5, Hojbjerg 5, Winks 5, Lo Celso 5, Lucas Moura 6, Son 5, Kane 6. Subs: Alli N/A, Sissoko 4, Bale 5.

Aymeric Laporte of Manchester City celebrates with Joao Cancelo

Image credit: Getty Images

KEY MOMENTS

14' - Important block! Foden races down the left, centres it and finds Sterling. He unloads a shot but Dier makes a crucial block to keep the scores level! That was going in!
25 - Laporte escapes punishment! Laporte loses the ball to Moura and is fortunate not to go into the book for a cynical foul made to stop the Spurs forward.
26' - City hit the post! Tottenham are almost the makers of their own undoing as Dier gives the ball away with a really poor pass. De Bruyne drills a low cross in, it falls to Foden, whose shot is deflected onto the post by Alderweireld!
47' - Tottenham chance! Spurs start the half on the front foot and Steffen is called into action for the first time this afternoon, diving low to keep out Lo Celso's curler from 25 yards.
82' - GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham (Aymeric Laporte): There's the breakthrough and this is controversial! Laporte, the man who could have been sent off in the first half, scores what could be the winner! He gets in front of Sissoko and heads in from De Bruyne's free-kick delivery!

Sterling was 'amazing' - Guardiola

KEY STATS

  • Manchester City have secured their eighth League Cup title, the joint-most alongside Liverpool. Indeed, they are just the second team to win the competition in four consecutive campaigns (Liverpool, 1981-1984).
  • Since the turn of the century, Tottenham have ended as runners-up in five of their six finals across all competitions, failing to score in each of their last four finals (League Cup x3, Champions League).
  • Tottenham only attempted two shots, accumulating an expected goals total of 0.06, while in contrast Man City fired in 21 shots and posted an xG of 3.63.

'I know how it feels' – Mason on that familiar feeling for Spurs in a final

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