Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sky’s the limit for Pep’s City slickers after League Cup win



Sky’s the limit for Pep’s City slickers after League Cup win

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany lifts the English League Cup as his teammates celebrate their victory over Arsenal in the final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. AFP
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany lifts the English League Cup as his teammates celebrate their victory over Arsenal in the final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. AFP

Sky’s the limit for Pep’s City slickers after League Cup win

Pep Guardiola’s League Cup triumph against Arsenal could usher in an era of dominance for Manchester City, but he had three veterans to thank for a comprehensive win at Wembley.

City were not at their best in a scrappy first half on a bitingly cold February day on Sunday, failing to hit the exalted heights of their football earlier this season.

The highlight of the opening period was a bizarre opener for Sergio Aguero, who netted his 199th goal for the club direct from a punt down the field by City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo – a rare route-one goal for a side renowned for their intricate football.

But it was men against boys after the break as City dominated a disappointing Arsenal side, cantering to a 3-0 win with further goals from an ecstatic Vincent Kompany and David Silva.

The League Cup may seem like small fry to a man with a glittering CV that includes two Champions League triumphs while in charge of Barcelona and a clutch of league titles with Bayern Munich.

But an emotional Guardiola knows that winning the first silverware is crucial to infusing his runaway Premier League leaders with the belief to go on and win bigger prizes.

“It’s important,” said the Catalan. “We’re so happy, and big congratulations to all of Manchester City, and our fans. This trophy is for Manchester City and not for me.

“The first half was not good but in the second half we played really well,” he said. “We were in the second half like we have been so far [this season] so of course big congratulations for all Manchester City.

“That’s why it’s important to win titles because it’s going to help us win the next games in the Premier League.”

City saw their dreams of an unprecedented quadruple shattered just six days before the Wembley final when third-tier Wigan dumped them out of the FA Cup.

But a 13-point lead in the Premier League means they are champions-elect and they have one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals after a 4-0 victory against Basel in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Three legends
Guardiola said although winning his first trophy at the club means a lot to him personally, he is just a chapter in City’s history.

He knows that for all he has reshaped the club in his image, it was three veterans of City’s defining 2012 Premier League title triumph who delivered the goods at Wembley.

Guardiola said Aguero, Silva and Kompany were three legends who had helped turn the club from perennial underachievers into regular trophy winners, capable of going toe to toe with the heavyweights of Europe and challenging regularly for honours.

“They help us to understand what it means for the club because they won titles, they put pressure on us to continue to win titles,” he said.

“If we are able to win more titles in the future the people who are coming here, they have to know here you have to win titles and that’s why it’s so, so important.”

A relaxed-looking Guardiola thanked the club’s hierarchy for sticking with him during a barren first season at the helm of the club last year, when many questioned whether his “pure” brand of football would work in England.

He admitted he had imposed heavy demands on his players but said he never doubted himself.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, one of the standout players in England this year, said the sky is the limit for the club.

“We have had a good season already, and now we need to keep going,” he said. “We have this one in the bag and now we have to maintain the same focus in the Premier League and the Champions League.

“The potential for this club is amazing, and the way we play is probably one of the best in the world.”

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four