Manchester City lifted the Carabao Cup for the fourth season in a row on Sunday after beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley. Pep Guardiola's men dominated proceedings and produced their slick possession-based football from the get-go as Spurs spent most of the evening chasing shadows.
Despite being on the receiving end of constant pressure throughout the first half, Spurs entered the half-time interval without conceding, courtesy of Hugo Lloris.
Interim manager Ryan Mason witnessed his team produce a promising start to the second half as Giovani Lo Celso forced a good save from Zack Steffen.
Spurs looked determined to take the game to Manchester City, and soon Harry Kane made a driving run from the halfway line before feeding Pierre-Emile Hojberg. The midfielder anticipated Sergio Reguilon to overlap and he nudged the ball into space, but the Spurs full-back was not on the same page and the chance went abegging.
Much to the disappointment of Spurs, they were eventually punished for not making the best use of their early dominance after the interval. Serge Aurier brought Raheem Sterling down on the left flank and presented Manchester City with a set-piece. Kevin De Bruyne then stepped up and delivered the perfect ball into the area for Aymeric Laporte to leap high and plant his downward header into the bottom corner to give Manchester City the lead in the 82nd minute.
For all the slick passing and movement Manchester City produced throughout the evening, the winning goal came from a dead-ball situation. Without further delay, let us take a closer look at the individual performances from the final at Wembley.
Zack Steffen - 7/10
The 26-year-old was hardly made to sweat throughout the game. When Steffen was eventually called into action straight after the interval, he was equal to the task. The shot-stopper produced a good save to deny Lo Celso and that was the only time he was seriously involved in the game.
Kyle Walker - 7/10
The former Spurs defender showed great promise in attack early on but was later overshadowed by Riyad Mahrez on the right wing. Irrespective of his lack of involvement inside the final third as the game progressed, Walker was steady at the back and kept Son quiet.
Ruben Dias - 7/10
Calm and composed on the ball, Dias was his usual self at the back for Manchester City. The Portuguese was involved in building out from the back and hardly put a foot wrong in the game. It is astonishing how quickly he has established himself in this team.
Aymeric Laporte - 8/10
The centre-back picked up a booking just before half-time but never looked like treading a fine line. Laporte eventually proved to be the match-winner with his excellent header towards the dying embers of the game. Things could have hardly ended any better for the man of the moment.
Joao Cancelo - 8/10
The full-back was a constant thorn on the flesh for Spurs down the left flank with his overlapping runs for Manchester City. Cancelo set the tone for the dominance in the first half with his excellent movement past Hojberg on the left and did not look back. Defensively sound as well whenever called upon, he is a real asset to any team.
Ilkay Gundogan - 7/10
Gundogan went about his business as usual in the middle of the park for Manchester City and was constantly looking forward to getting inside the Spurs penalty area. The German midfielder made his intentions clear with a header over the crossbar and an attempt that drifted wide from close range.
Fernandinho - 7/10
Heavily involved in the build-up by Manchester City throughout the game. Fernandinho was also instrumental in recycling possession and provided the base for others to flaunt their panache while going forward. With the triumph, Fernandinho has now won six Carabao Cup titles. No one has won more.
Kevin De Bruyne - 8/10
The Belgian has quality written all over him. De Bruyne pressed high up the pitch and looked to feed one of his Manchester City teammates in behind at every opportunity.
The midfielder produced two excellent lobbed passes for Sterling and Foden, but his teammates were unable to latch on and convert them. Obviously, De Bruyne also supplied the cross for the winning goal with his excellent set-piece delivery.
Riyad Mahrez - 9/10
Sergio Reguilon had no idea what to do with Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian proved a constant menace as he cut inside from the right and tested Spurs time and again. Without a shadow of doubt, Mahrez was the biggest threat for Spurs throughout the game. As such, he was also deservedly adjudged as the player of the match.
Raheem Sterling - 7/10
The forward started bright and was heavily involved in every move. However, Sterling seemed to lack composure in front of goal and was not sharp with his finishing. There were plenty of encouraging signs otherwise though, especially with his willingness to work the channels and make space for others.
Phil Foden - 8/10
A real treat to watch when he plays the way he did in the first half. Foden has established himself as a generational talent and it is hard to argue why he shouldn't play every game for Manchester City. The 20-year-old enthralled with his clever movement and quick change of direction. It is scary to think he is only getting started.
Substitutes (Manchester City)
Rodri - N/A
Replaced Fernandinho in the 84th minute
Bernardo Silva - N/A
Replaced Kevin De Bruyne in the 87th minute
Hugo Lloris - 7/10
The Frenchman made several notable saves to thwart City right from the get-go. While his close-range block to deny Phil Foden was breath-taking early on, Lloris was at full stretch to deny Riyad Mahrez in the second half. It almost felt like he could even help push the game into extra-time. However, in the end, it was not meant to be. Quite easily the best performer for the north-London club on the night.
Serge Aurier - 4/10
The Spurs full-back started the game well with an excellent challenge inside the penalty area on Raheem Sterling. Aurier also produced a decent cross that helped Spurs win their first corner in a rare foray forward during the first half. The Ivorian was constantly put under pressure defensively though, and finally blinked towards the end. His foul on Sterling proved costly as City netted the winner from the resulting set-piece.
Toby Alderweireld - 5/10
The 32-year-old coped well with the one-on-one situations he faced throughout the game. Alderweireld did not look like producing an error for prolonged periods despite the constant threat from the City attackers. The wait for silverware with Spurs goes on, will he get another shot at it though?
Eric Dier - 5/10
The Englishman produced two excellent blocks off Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez to keep the scores level. Apart from a blemish in the first half, when he made a mess of playing out from the back, Dier did not allow the constant pressure from City to unnerve him. Not enough in the end, yet again.
Sergio Reguilon - 4/10
The Spaniard endured a shaky start to the game and was lucky to escape an early booking. Reguilon eventually received a caution for clattering into Kevin De Bruyne and never looked comfortable against Riyad Mahrez. Spurs will also wonder what could have been if he had overlapped and got on the end of a nudge from Hojberg during their spell of promise early in the second half.
Pierre-Emile Hojberg - 6/10
Despite initially struggling to stamp his authority in the game due to the high press deployed by City, Hojberg grew in confidence as the game went on. The midfielder covered plenty of grass and was heavily involved in putting out fires inside Spurs' defensive third. Eventually, he had to be withdrawn in favor of Dele Alli as Spurs chased a late equalizer.
Harry Winks - 5/10
Troubled by the high press from City early on in the game, Winks was unable to drop deep and help Spurs build from the back. Although it did get better for him after the interval, there was nothing substantial from the midfielder that lifted the others around him.
Giovani Lo Celso - 5/10
The midfielder produced Spurs' only shot on target in the game following a promising spell right after the half-time interval. There is no denying the fact that Spurs expected more from Lo Celso. However, the Argentine struggled to get on the ball as often as they wanted and lasted for just over an hour at Wembley.
Lucas Moura - 5/10
The Brazilian produced two excellent bursts of pace in the first half and was brought down by his counterparts in blue on both occasions. Moura worked tirelessly off the ball as well during the first forty-five, when Spurs played catch-up to City. However, the forward was withdrawn following the hour mark after his impact waned.
Harry Kane - 5/10
The striker managed just 10 touches in the entirety of the first half. Understandably so, especially considering how little of the ball Spurs enjoyed. There was promise after the interval with Kane dropping deep and getting involved in the build-up. Although he made a driving run from near the halfway line before slipping it behind for Hojberg, the chance went to waste. The disappointment pretty much summed up his evening.
Son Heung-min - 4/10
Due to the lofty standards set by Son over the last few seasons in England, this could only be considered a mediocre display. The South Korean was engulfed in tears at the full-time whistle after his inability to deliver for his team. Maybe it was the weight of expectations, maybe it was something else, but that is not the Son we have known all season.
Gareth Bale - 4/10
The winger was introduced to inject pace and directness after the hour mark, but failed to make his mark. Not the first time Bale has flown under the radar since his return to north London.
Moussa Sissoko - 4/10
The Frenchman was outjumped by Aymeric Laporte in the build-up to the winning goal. Sissoko will feel bitterly disappointed about letting his countryman sneak in behind him and run away with the headlines at Wembley.
Dele Alli - N/A
Replaced Pierre-Emile Hojberg in the 84th minute.
Steven Bergwijn - N/A
Replaced Serge Aurier in the 90th minute.