Raheem Sterling scored the winning penalty for Manchester City against Chelsea to win the Carabao Cup. The 120 minutes of gameplay was largely unexciting until an incident between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Maurizio Sarri, but Sterling held his nerve on City’s final penalty to win the competition.
Raheem Sterling the Penalty Hero For Manchester City Against Chelsea
Mostly One-Way Traffic
Chelsea started the game in a far different fashion to the 6-0 thumping they endured two weeks ago. Their compact defence barely allowed City any chances to trouble Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Sergio Aguero coming to the closest when he fired over from Bernardo Silva‘s perfect cross.
The 25-minute mark signalled the point where the Blues were 4-0 down in their previous game against City but they looked much tougher to break down at Wembley than at any point during the game at the Etihad. City dominated possession, garnering 66% by half-time and leading the shots-taken statistic 4-1 by the same point, but David Luiz and Emerson dealt with chances for Kevin De Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi respectively.
The Blues actually had the best chance to score right on the cusp of the break as Willian swung in a dangerous free-kick, and Otamendi’s attempted clearance with a header went much closer to the bottom corner than he had anticipated, causing a slight moment of panic for himself and Ederson.
Chelsea Edge Back Into It
The second half looked to have started well for City when Sergio Aguero fired in but, after a quick VAR check to decide whether the original judgement of ruling it out was correct, they had to go again.
Pep Guardiola’s side continued to dominate possession and, as such, continued to look vaguely the more threatening side, but the Blues also looked capable of scoring on the counter-attack and they wasted a glorious opportunity after 65 minutes.
Willian set Eden Hazard free down the left wing after he got in behind Vincent Kompany and the Belgian raced to the by-line, but N’Golo Kante blazed the cut-back over the bar to waste easily their best chance of the match.
That chance was to be the closest either side would come, perhaps aside from Ederson denying Chelsea again when he tipped over Willian’s whipped free-kick, and the game was sent to extra-time.
The first half of extra time carried on in the same vein as all that came before it. Chelsea continued to lack possession but were doing enough defensively to keep City from creating any major goalscoring opportunities.
City had two big opportunities in the second period of extra time. Sterling jinked his way into the box before his cross was palmed by Arrizabalaga into Aguero’s path, but the Argentinian was unable to scramble it in before a shot from the edge of the area was deflected over the bar for a corner. Then, with just four minutes on the clock, Aguero capitalised on a slip from Antonio Rudiger, but his curling shot was just about held by Arrizabalaga.
The game’s final action involved no actual gameplay. Arrizabalaga injured himself making a save, and Maurizio Sarri made the signal to replace him with Willy Caballero. The stadium announcer even voiced that the change was being made, but Arrizabalaga refused to leave the field, incensing his boss, but the keeper won the battle and remained on the pitch for the shoot-out.
Jorginho stepped up first but saw his tame effort saved by Ederson, before Ilkay Gundogan and Azpilicueta converted respectively.
Aguero then made the keeper perhaps reconsider his decision to stay on as he let the penalty squirm underneath him to put City 2-1 up, but Ederson also got a hand to Emerson’s kick without being able to keep it out.
Arrizabalaga then saved from Leroy Sane to keep the score locked at 2-2, but David Luiz smacked the post from Chelsea’s fourth kick and Bernardo Silva restored City’s advantage, leaving Chelsea in a must-score position.
Score he did, though, as Hazard held his nerve to dink over Ederson’s outstretched arm, but Raheem Sterling emphatically hammered in the winner and won the Carabao Cup for Manchester City.