Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 12°C Monday 14 June 2021


15,857 Views 35 Comments

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

You may need to refresh the page for YouTube videos and other elements to display correctly.

Manchester City 3-1 Sunderland

Hello, and welcome to our League Cup final liveblog.

Big news is that Sergio Aguero is deemed fit enough to start. Here are the full teams:

MAN CITY: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Nasri, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero. Subs: Hart, Lescott, Milner, Negredo, Javi Garcia, Jesus Navas, Clichy.

SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Bardsley, Brown, O’Shea, Alonso, Ki, Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, Johnson, Borini. Subs: Gardner, Fletcher, Celustka, Giaccherini, Vergini, Scocco, Ustari.

Before this game starts, a quick poll for you…

Who do you think will win today?

Poll Results:

Sunderland (147)
Other (127)
Man City (21)

Right, the formalities are over, and the game is underway…

Phil Bardsley has already put in a crunching tackle.

Sunderland will hope that sets the tone for the afternoon.

Sunderland are already having to defend somewhat desperately.

They fail to deal with a corner initially, prompting more than one defender to throw himself in front of the ball to prevent City getting a shot on target.

Good save from Mannone, parrying Aguero’s effort from the edge of the area.

City are dominating the opening stages as expected.


Man City 0-1 Sunderland: Kompany gets the wrong side of Borini after an innocuous long ball is played up towards him (9 mins).

The striker then shows good pace to power through on goal and score from a tight angle.

Fantastic start for Sunderland!

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Final - Manchester City v Sunderland - Wembley Stadium Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

An acrobat performs with the Capital One Cup before kick-off.

That goal has not really changed the pattern of the game.

Most of the action continues to be played in Sunderland’s half, though City are currently struggling to find their way past a well-organised Black Cats defence.

Swift break from City, as Aguero uses his pace to get away from his marker.

His cross finds Nasi, whose shot is relatively tame and straight at Mannone.

This is proving to be a very fascinating encounter so far — Sunderland look to have got this game spot on tactically.

Johnson gets to the by-line, but his cross can’t find a Sunderland man.

City are looking very vulnerable at the back right now, with Gus Poyet’s side continually taking advantage of their lack of pace in that area.

Nasri plays a dangerous corner into the box that Borini does well to head over, when he could easily have scored an own goal.

With all this relentless pressure, it’s hard to imagine City not scoring eventually.

City are furious, as a suspiciously offside-looking Borini runs through on goal, but Kompany makes an excellent goal-saving tackle to stop Sunderland going two-up.

It’s been a fantastic performance from Sunderland so far.

Alonso is somewhat lucky there.

Kompany wins the first header from a City corner and the Sunderland player has his arms around Demichelis, who goes down in the box, but the referee ignores it and waves play on.

We’re into first-half stoppage time.

This is far from the one-sided damp squib that many people expected it to be. On the contrary, it’s been an absorbing, fascinating affair.


So at half-time, a surprise is on the cards.

Sunderland have worked incredibly hard and just about deserve their lead for the courage and organisation they’ve shown.

O’Shea and Brown have looked solid at the back, their midfield has been hard-working and tenacious when necessary, and the pace of Johnson and Borini has continually troubled the City defence on the break.

Pellegrini’s side have enjoyed superior possession and territory, yet clear cut chances for them have been few and far between.

Some of their players, particularly Dzeko, have simply failed to perform — and they could definitely do with the pace of Navas, who is on the bench.

A resilient effort is needed from Poyet’s men in the second half — City’s pressure and possession means they are likely to tire pretty quickly, especially on the notoriously draining Wembley pitch.

The second half is underway, and already, City get a corner that Sunderland are forced to nervously clear away…

Ki attempts an ambitious strike from distance.

Pantilimon nervously has to tip it over for a corner, as Sunderland continue to pose a considerable attacking threat.



Man City 2-1 Sunderland: The ball is laid to Yaya Toure on the edge of the box, and he curls an unstoppable shot into the top corner (53 mins).

Almost straight after that, Kolarov crosses to find Nasri, who hits it first time and finds the corner of the net (55 mins).

Two moments of magic have Sunderland shellshocked.

Sunderland must be fairly demoralised right now.

Steven Fletcher and Craig Gardner have replaced Adam Johnson and Seb Larsson, as Sunderland attempt to stem the City tide.

Meanwhile, Navas has replaced Aguero, as City adopt a slightly more cautious approach.

Appeals for a penalty following a Sunderland corner, but replays show that the ball hit Yaya Toure’s chest.

Sunderland are showing good spirit after those two recent killer blows.

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Final - Manchester City v Sunderland - Wembley Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

Tempers flare between Manchester City’s Martin Demichelis (centre right) and Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley (centre left).

Sunderland have been on top for the past few minutes and are attacking in numbers.

They’ve struggled to create chances of late, though.

Sunderland go for broke as Giaccherini comes on for Cattermole.

City, conversely, take off Silva and bring on the more defensive-minded Javi Garcia.

City go close from a corner, as Kompany gets an inch on Wes Brown and volleys narrowly wide.

Less than 10 minutes remaining now.

Poor from Bardsley.

Sunderland get forward in numbers, but the defender ignores several options and instead ill-advisedly blasts the ball well over from distance.

Sunderland need to be careful as they’re looking increasingly susceptible on the counter-attack.

Edin Dzeko is replaced by Negredo, and he’s taking his time coming off unsurprisingly.

A free-kick is headed down to Fletcher inside the City box, but the striker misconteols it completely, wasting a good chance in the process.

One minute of normal time remaining…


Man City 3-1 Sunderland: City counter-attack to maximum effect. Yaya Toure produces a typical marauding run through the midfield, before finding Navas with a nicely weighted pass (90 mins).

The Spaniard makes no mistake with his finish, effectively winning the game for City in the process.


A disappointed John O’Shea admits that Sunderland are “not in a good place now”.

Despite being on the losing team, the Irish defender had a decent game today.

Right, that’s all from me for now, but we’ll have more reaction to come shortly on the site.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy