League Cup Final 2014 Match Report

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Sunderland: Borini (10)
Manchester City: Yaya Touré (54), Nasri (56), Navas (89)

Attendance: 84,697


Pantilimon: Beaten by a very good finish, which was no fault of his. Handled and punched well, and saved what he had to save: 7

Zabaleta: A warrior, as ever. One excellent bit of pressing by Zaba in the Sunderland penalty box won us a corner, and a hard tackle he won with the keen Colback stood out. A reliable, reassuring presence down the right. He provided the pass for Yaya’s great strike: 7

Kompany: As ever, a commanding presence at the back. Unfortunate that his attempted clearance struck Borini who went on to score. His last ditch tackle on the Sunderland striker saved us from going 0-2 down: 7

Demichelis: Did some good defensive work but this was spoiled by some sloppy passes and when he was easily beaten on the by-line by Johnson. He was also beaten and caught out for pace on occasions and might have been better positioned to cover Kompany for Sunderland’s goal: 6

Kolarov: Kept Johnson quiet mostly, resulting in the ex-City winger being substituted, He was very good going forward, supplying the cross that led to Nasri’s goal, which gave us the lead: 7

Nasri: Such a mature performance from an individual who has come of age this season. Scoring with a controlled shot just inside the post from a crossed ball takes great technique. He deserved his goal not only for his skill but for his persistence in trying to create all match. This very popular young man is now a key player: 8

Yaya: He had a quiet first half, but had a great another match winning performance second half. His foot was like a giant wand with that great strike. His ability to play an inch perfect pass on the run cannot be taken for granted, and his pass for Navas’s goal was a superb example of this. We are witnessing one of Manchester City’s greatest ever players, and he is continuing to make history: 8 (Man of the match)

Fernandinho: Worked tirelessly and helped keep us in touch with some important defending. Got stronger in the second half: 7

Silva: Not his greatest day (and it started with a bone jarring challenge from Bardsley), but as ever, he was undeterred, prepared to work, always wanting the ball and looking to create. He tended to over-elaborate at times when he could have shot, but, as ever, was important in our retention of possession: 7

Dzeko: Started off with some good touches, but didn’t maintain that level consistently, and he didn’t look like scoring. Still, he stayed involved and kept going: 5

Agüero: Stung Mannone’s gloves with an early drive, set up another chance in the first half, and played a key part in our second goal, before his month’s layoff caught up with him: 6


Garcia (for Silva 76): Stiffened midfield with some sharp tackles and sensible distribution: 6
Navas (for Agüero 57): Gave us pace and energy down the right, and his finish for his goal very good too: 7
Negredo (for Dzeko 87): Picked up a silly booking, kicking the ball away to waste time, then gave away a foul that allowed Sunderland one last set piece! n/a

Refwatch: Martin Atkinson: His appointment was a good omen – he was the referee for our FA Cup Final win of 2011. Not that he favoured us in any way. He got most decisions right, even if it didn’t seem like many were going our way in the first half: 7

Best Oppo: Borini: A livewire in Sunderland’s attack, who made a crucial clearance in his own box too. Took his goal very well indeed but possibly should have taken his shot earlier when clean through again: 8

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