Two wonder goals from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri, and a late strike from Jesus Navas gaveManchester City the first major silverware of the season as they beat Sunderland by three goals to one. Manchester City were boosted by the return to the starting line up of Sergio Aguero to offer a pacey threat up top, while for Sunderland Lee Cattermole, Seb Larsson and Wes Brown replaced Santiago Vergini, Jozy Altidore and the cup-tied Liam Bridcutt. More after the break
The game began in a similar pattern to the previous meetings between the two clubs, with City monopolising the ball and Sunderland staying firm, getting men behind the ball. It was imperative that Sunderland avoided falling behind early on and Gus Poyet’s tactics reflected that. Any goal to hold on to for the underdogs would have been a bonus.
After unsuccessful City pressure in the opening exchanges, Sunderland got their goal. The lively Fabio Borini made a run in behind the centre back pairing of Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis as the ball was lofted forward from the Sunderland half. Borini’s electrifying pace meant the Belgian got on his wrong side at the edge of the area, and with a welcome bounce the ball dropped at Borini’s feet one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The Italian slipped the ball under Costel Pantilimon to give the underdogs the lead as Wembley erupted.
Yaya Toure, so often a massive influence on big games because of his all round ability was largely anonymous for a long period, until he delivered the most exquisite of cup final equalisers in the 54th minute. Toure received the ball around 30 yards out and struck the most delicious first time curling shot into Vito Mannone’s top corner to level the match to the delight of City fans.
The stadium again exploded just two minutes later, when a cross from Aleksandar Kolarov was struck sublimely with the outside of Samir Nasri’s foot past Mannone again. An unbelievable spell was crowned by two of City’s big guns coming up trumps and the whole momentum of the match changed in an instant.
Navas added a fourth late on as Manchester City struck on the counter attack to seal a glorious cup victory for the favourites.