It was a final that could have gone anywhere, but at the end, it was depended on by luck with Manchester City going on to win the Carabao Cup on Sunday.
Many expected Chelsea to collapse against City having suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat just two weeks ago, but Maurizio Sarri’s side turned things around to give Pep Guardiola’s side a difficult game at Wembley.
Sarri utilised a different kind of tactic against City and it seemed to work as Chelsea this time refused to press high up but pressed City from midfield aggressively. While Manchester City were the better side in the first-half, Chelsea were dominant in the second-half, and both sides were too tired to do much in extra time as the game went into penalty shootout.
City eventually won the shootout, and Pep Guardiola admitted the game was a tough one and specifically praised Chelsea midfielders N’Golo Kante and Jorginho for giving his side a tough match at Wembley.
“It was a tight game, we knew it would be as a final. One of the toughest teams I have ever faced in my time. How Jorginho and Kante pressed was incredible. It is not easy to fight them,” Guardiola said.
“I was impressed with the way Chelsea defended, they were well organised and one of the toughest teams I’ve faced in my career.
“We knew they have pride and they would react [from the 6-0 defeat]. This game was more similar to the game at Stamford Bridge, which we lost. It was tough.
“I thought we played well for 70 minutes but then we suffered because we were tired.
“We had a few injuries as well which will demand a lot of us and now we could suffer [in other competitions], but the title will help our mood going forward. I’m tired but I’m happy.”
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insists he is proud of his players despite Chelsea’s League Cup final loss to Manchester City on penalties, and he admitted that the players carried out his tactics very well.
Asked whether he has his squad’s backing, Sarri said: “After this match I have to say that I’m sure. Because they played exactly what I asked. Today I am proud of my players… I am really very happy.
“I think in the last 3 matches we are improving, we have improved a lot. Today we showed to everyone that we could become a very solid team, because we conceded nothing to the opponents, against Man City that is not easy.”