Guardian: City have helped restore League Cup prestige
- 03 March 2014 07:46
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
After yesterday’s stunning second-half comeback by the Blues against Sunderland, Monday’s media review was always going to be a fairly pleasant experience.
From our selection, we look at how the City fans' passion was duly noted during the feverish Wembley celebrations; Samir Nasri claims this is just the beginning of a golden era for the Club and the Black Cats’ Phil Bardsley admits there was little his side could do to stem the rampant Blues.
So let’s begin with Barney Ronay’s excellent overview of the final and how the League Cup has regained a luster not associated with the competition for many years.
He writes: “Days like these, for all the broader hierarchy of interests, are still about the fans, and City's boisterous, full-throated Wembley support celebrated here like an island full of shipwrecked men who have just spied a sail on the horizon.
“City were always likely to win this final, the cutting edge in that stellar attacking midfield just too much even in a patchy performance against opponents who were for long periods the better team.
And yet despite the sense of inevitability about the result this was still a brilliantly entertaining final, an occasion memorable for the sense of unaffected excitement among both sets of fans
“Football has done its best to suck the joy out of these occasions both in terms of staging and broader priorities. But as Vincent Kompany lifted the trophy to the strains of a wretchedly intrusive PA system, the air filled with sky blue streamers in a further nod to the usual nannied euphoria, there was still something unbound and gloriously incredulous in the reaction of City's fans and players who, for all their pedigree, honoured this competition.”
Meanwhile, the MEN’s Stuart Brennan concentrates on the post-match comments of an understandably buoyant Nasri who believes the victory over Sunderland couold be the catalyst to more silverware for the Blues.
He writes: “Cup final hero Samir Nasri smashed in the winning goal and declared ‘This is just the start!’
“The Blues ace, voted official man of the match, last week warned his teammates that a defeat by Sunderland at Wembley could wreck their season - just as it did to Arsenal when they lost in the League Cup final three years ago.
“Having rubbed out the bitter memories of the FA Cup final defeat by Wigan last May, and chalked up the first trophy of the domestic season, Nasri now feels victory can bring a boost which could take City towards a domestic treble, a feat never before achieved.
“City players and staff celebrated with a party at a secret central London location last night before travelling back to Manchester today - and getting straight back down to business tomorrow.
“The Blues take on Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-final at the Etihad Stadium next Sunday, and a victory in that will see them back at Wembley for the semi-finals on the weekend of April 12 and 13.
‘This can be just the start of something fantastic for us this season,’ said Nasri. ‘We still have the League and FA Cup to focus on - we will enjoy this win and tomorrow is another day, when we must focus on our target.
It will be a great boost and you will see that next week against Wigan - it’s important for this team to win trophies
We could go on and on with similar features, but we’ll call time with the view from the opposition.
Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley scored the winner in his team’s 1-0 win over City in the Premier League earlier this season, but he held his hands up after yesterday’s 3-1 Wembley defeat.
Quoted in the Hartlepool Mail, he said: ‘It’s been a tremendous effort from all the players, manager and staff to get to the final of this competition. It’s just disappointing to lose.
‘But we’ve lost to two wonder goals there. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up when the opposition side do that. It’s tough to take, but you have to accept that City are a top team as well.”
More opinion, gossip and rumour tomorrow…