Kompany on target as Manchester City cruise past Arsenal in Carabao Cup final

Sergio Agero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva scored the goals as Manchester City beat hapless Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley for Pep Guardiolas first City trophy

At the final whistling Pep Guardiola carried the air of a human who was perfectly accustomed to these various kinds of occasions. He espoused his staff, he clasped the hand of the lose director, Arsene Wenger, and then he made his way on to the pitching calmly to congratulate the players who had given him the first trophy of his Manchester City years.

The first of many, one assume, even if Wigan Athletic blew a gaping hole in the theory that Guardiola’s team could win the plenty this season. A treble is still on, however, and the Premier League might as well be engraved with their name, given the style City have turned the title race into a procession. Guardiola’s men will have to play better than they did here if they are to join the listing of Champions League wins. Yet it was still another occasion to suspect the Abu Dhabi masterplan- target: worldwide dominance- is gradually coming together.

In the process it was also a stark reminder for Arsenal about how far they have fallen behind the elite. Wenger has still not won the League Cup during 21 years as a administrator in England and Arsenal now have the unwanted record of losing six finals in this rivalry. Nothing, though, will be more galling for Arsenal than the realisation it was they who are applied to dismantle teams this style. They appeared what they are: 27 points short of City in the league, carrying far too many passengers and led by a administrator whose peak years can feel a long time ago.

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Manchester City player ratings

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Claudio Bravo Got City moving with distribution, including ball for Aguero’s goal. One wobble when he left his line. 7

Kyle Walker Jeered by Arsenal support due to his Spurs connects, he was solid and eager to bomb on. 7

Vincent Kompany Stood tall in one-on-one with Aubameyang and imposed himself. Reacted sharply to score. 9

Nicolas Otamendi Touch-tight to Aubameyang and anybody else who entered his area. He was not stretched. 7

Danilo Hugged by Guardiola after setting up third objective. Induced role work despite right-footedness. 7

Fernandinho Booked for catching Wilshere, he brought trademark bite. Forced off with trauma on 52 minutes. 7

Ilkay Gundogan No player had more touches. Maintain it simple and his team ticking. His shot led to second aim. 7

Kevin De Bruyne Moved from right to central role after Fernandinho’s withdrawal. Grew into the game. 7

David Silva When do his standards ever slip? Wandered with danger in No 10 role. Took his objective with typical style. 8

Leroy Sane Beautifully balanced and posed problems with his pace. Arsenal could not take their eyes off him. 7

Sergio Aguero Stood his ground against Mustafi and finished beautifully. Impressed with movement. 8

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Superior as City were, there is even a reasonable argument that Guardiola’s side did not reach their more exhilarating peaks. Kevin De Bruyne can pass the ball more imperiously than he did here. David Silva was eight out of 10 when frequently it is nine. Guardiola said he was unhappy with his team’s first-half performance and , no kidding, there were even rumours De Bruyne had kicked one pass out for an Arsenal throw-in. Maybe that explained why Guardiola was not dancing on the pitching afterwards.

Ultimately, though, City did not have to be at their absolute best when their foes, to quote Gary Neville in the television gantry, were “spineless” and there was a mass stoppage in the Arsenal end after Silva had drilled in the third objective. Sergio Aguero’s 30 th aim of the season had given City an 18 th-minute lead, after some dismal defending by Shkodran Mustafi, and there was never any doubt that it would be Vincent Kompany lifting the trophy once the captain had stabbed in the second aim shortly before the hour.

Vincent Kompany celebrates with Nicolas Otamendi after the Belgian defender scored Manchester City’s second objective. Photo: Catherine Ivill/ Getty Images

Kompany was the outstanding musician, seldom troubled by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and, when he can play this majestically, what a shame it is that his career has been so undermined by injuries. On the big occasions, when his legs are not failing him, there is no better centre-half in the country.

In the end it was almost a surprise City did not score more and the ironic “oles” from Arsenal’s fans, at 3-0, probably summed up the disaffection from their end of the stadium. Wenger has heard worse in recent years and admitted afterwards a lot of the damage was ” self-inflicted “. They are 10 points adrift of the Premier League’s top four, out of the FA Cup and their only realistic hope is the Europa League, a competition they used to regard with disdain.

At least Jack Wilshere played with the spirit of a man who was repulsed by the idea of meek defeat. There were others, however, in red and white who preferred to spend video games on the edges. Mesut Ozil had one of his wishy-washy games, reminding everyone he will never be a chaser of lost causes. Aaron Ramsey was overwhelmed and, defensively, Wenger’s decision to revert to a back three simply did not work.

At this level it has been clear for some time that Calum Chambers is simply not up to it. Nacho Monreal injured himself with a mistimed challenge on Kyle Walker and his replacing, Sead Kolasinac, let Silva spin away from him for the third objective. But this was a collective failure. Arsenal were weak, vapid and outclassed.

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Arsenal player ratings

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David Ospina A curiously quiet afternoon. Beaten three times but little he could have done on any of them. 5

Calum Chamber Selected despite his horror present against Ostersund, he endured nervous moments. 4

Shkodran Mustafi His part in the concession of the opener appeared worse with each replay. Had to be stronger. 4

Laurent Koscielny With Chambers, was unable to get across to Aguero on City’s first. Could not hold his team together. 5

Hector Bellerin Booked for a pull on De Bruyne, after being caught out. Asked to press high. Worried by Sane. 5

Aaron Ramsey Back after injury, he struggled to exert any influence, despite his central midfield platform. 5

Granit Xhaka Guilty of a series of misplaced pass. Fizzed one shot narrowly over when game was lost. 4

Nacho Monreal Guilty of lamentable penalty region diving. Forced off on 26 minutes after barging into Walker. 5

Mesut Ozil Another big game, another no-show from Arsenal’s principal playmaker. Bitterly frustrating. 4

Jack Wilshere Quick feet and busy energy, the only player who looked likely to spark his team. 6

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Barely touched the ball, although service was dismal. Second best in duel with Kompany. 4

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The irony is that when Aguero operated clear to open the scoring it was maybe the most unorthodox aim ever scored by a Guardiola team- originating from a long punt over the top from their goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo. Maybe Guardiola had been watching old television replays of Wimbledon from the 1980 s. Except, of course, centre-halves knew how to defend in those days. Mustafi was the wrong side of Aguero and all it needed was the slightest nudge to take him out of the equation. Aguero was just too good for him, too alert and much too clever, and it was a beautifully measured lob to lift the ball over the oncoming David Ospina.

Wenger tried to argue afterwards that City’s second goal should have been disallowed for offside against Leroy Sane. Ilkay Gundogan had the first endeavor, 20 yards out, from De Bruyne’s corner and Kompany protruded out his boot to divert the shot into the opposite corner. Yet it was the third goal that disclosed the most about this City team. This time the killer pass came on the left and “its one” that De Bruyne would have been proud of. This was City’s left-back, Danilo, slicing open the Arsenal defence. Guardiola was waiting to embrace him by the touchline and the Arsenal fans were heading, en masse, to the exits.

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