Oops, City spoilt the party… again… oh, and I’ve always loved Willy. Like really loved Willy.
The unlikely hero at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon came in the form of a bald Argentinian that had received copious amounts of stick pre-match (warranted).
I said before the match that I had hoped for a stress-free contest and in true City fashion, that wasn’t the case.
I won’t bother writing about the first half, as I genuinely don’t think anything even happened – correct me if I’m wrong.
Much of the excitement was played out after 45 minutes, with Fernandinho smashing a strike somewhat through Simon Mignolet – who despite an impressive performance, still managed to bag himself a clanger.
It was nearly two not long after when Raheem Sterling saw his beautifully hit shot glance just wide of the post. Just kidding, it should have been two, however the former Liverpool player thought it was an appropriate time to do “the Edin Dzeko” – hitting an open net the wrong side of Mignolet’s post.
City were later denied a penalty (shock), as a bursting run from Sergio Aguero was ended courtesy of a dangling leg from Alberto Moreno.
With Michael Oliver waving play on, it was time for typical City to shine. With just 8 minutes to go, Coutinho hit Liverpool’s first shot on target, which would find the net. At this point it was clear the implications of this goal, Liverpool had won the trophy, well we thought they had. You would be forgiven had you thought this was a last minute winner, with the parade bus coming on the pitch to collect the players. Little did the scousers know – the score was actually 1-1.
This meant that City were really going to put 30,000 hearts through their paces, a few more missed chances, a brilliant Caballero save and a WWE move from Yaya Toure were enough to ensure that the Capital One Klopp final would be decided by the cruellest way possible, penalties.
It was Willy’s time to shine, quite literally, with the stadium’s floodlights reflecting from his head.
Emre Can opened the contest with a cheeky chip, before Fernandinho smashed the ball against the post. It looked like it would be heartbreak for Manchester City, especially as a sad looking Fernandinho made his way back to the halfway line – who doesn’t that thought upset?
However, the heroics kicked in. Lucas, Coutinho and Lallana tried their luck, but God was equal to each and every one with 3 sensational saves from 12 yards.
Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero both superbly put the ball in the back of Mignolet’s goal with ultimate precision – it was all up to one man to secure the cup for City, that man was Yaya Toure.
The score was 2-1, City needed one more penalty to hit the back of the net and the cup was theirs. Yaya Toure took his run up, the rest is history.
The fans were everywhere, so were the team. Yaya Toure went dashing off with his shirt swinging above his head, Willy was telling him we hadn’t won, then he realised we had, it was pandemonium.
Songs of praise broke out everywhere for the hero, including “he used to be sh*te but now he’s alright, walking in a Willy wonderland”.
Used to be shite but now he's alright pic.twitter.com/N8dtNMJ5lG
— Archie (@ArchieBarnett) February 29, 2016
It’s worth giving a shout out to Vincent Kompany. The City skipper was solid as always throughout, not one foot wrong. He once again showed how much this club means to him, how much it always will. And, the ever gracious centre back was found commiserating the Liverpool players before joining the jubilant City team. A man that oozes class.
Ask me what happened in the stands at Wembley Stadium and I won’t be able to tell you but let me tell you this:
You can always tell how much this means to the fans. Manchester City isn’t a club without soul as it’s so often proclaimed, this is a club where everyone is together. You hug the nearest person before realising it’s a big fat bloke in his late 50s that is covered head to toe in his favourite lager. This is a club that is filled with passion, and one that will always remain to be. A club where the fans actually matter, one that will keep the core consistent right until the end.
A club that are once again Capital One Cup champions. We’re Man City, we’ll fight till the end.
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