Pep Guardiola labels Manchester City’s third consecutive Carabao Cup win ‘incredible’

Pep Guardiola praised Manchester City’s “awesome” performance against Aston Villa which saw his side lift the Carabao Cup for the third year in succession with a 2-1 victory on Sunday.

A nervy opening at Wembley made way for a confident performance from City, with Sergio Aguero’s 22nd goal of the season handing them the advantage and Rodri’s header extending it after half-an-hour.

Anwar El Ghazi took advantage of John Stones’ slip to tee up Mbwana Samatta, whose brilliant header reduced the deficit before the break, but it was the holders who prevailed, despite a barren second 45 minutes in north London.

  • City win third straight Carabao Cup title at Wembley
  • Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City highlights

The narrow victory earned Guardiola the eighth piece of silverware from his tenure at the Etihad and the Spaniard beamed as he praised his side’s performance.

“It was awesome,” he told Sky Sports. “I think we struggled in the first minutes and the last ones. They had two clear chances in the first minutes: the header and the corner. But we played really well, especially second half with the 2-1 [scoreline]. Sometimes you don’t know if you attack or just keep the result.

On January 12, City subjected Villa to a 6-1 humbling at Villa Park – a game in which Aguero scored a hat-trick – but Smith admitted lessons had been both learned and acted upon, standing them in good stead for the remaining 11 games of the Premier League season.

He added: “I think Stones has tripped over and El Ghazi has put a great ball in but we spoke about the space behind and to try and expose it today. We felt, when we played them at Villa Park, we played in front of them too much and they are a team that wants to play in your half, so the space was always going to be behind them.

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