MX23RW : Tuesday, January 19 15:28:48| >> :120:9032:9032:
Feb 24, 2019 at 4.30pm UK at Wembley Stadium (London)
Attendance: 81,775
Man CityManchester City
Man City win 4-3 on penalties

Live Commentary: EFL Cup final - Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City (Manchester City win 4-3 on pens)

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Manchester City win the 2019 EFL Cup with a penalty shootout win over Chelsea in Sunday's final at Wembley.
Live Commentary: EFL Cup final - Chelsea 0-0 Man City (3-4 on pens) - as it happened
© Reuters

Manchester City have successfully defended the EFL Cup by beating Chelsea in a penalty shootout in Sunday's final at Wembley Stadium.

The two teams played out a goalless draw over 120 minutes, but the game ended in farce as Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted during the closing stages.

The Spaniard made a save during the shootout, but missed efforts from Jorginho and David Luiz left Raheem Sterling to wrap up a 4-3 victory for City.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in North London courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the EFL Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester City. These two clubs met as recently as two weeks ago and it was one-way traffic in City's favour, but can Chelsea find a way to gain revenge on a big stage?

LATEST! Before we get onto the team news, let's point you in the direction of the matches which are currently taking place in the Premier League. Manchester United and Liverpool are currently goalless at Old Trafford, while Arsenal lead Southampton at the Emirates Stadium. You can follow either of those games by clicking on the respective teams above.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the two starting lineups, beginning with Chelsea...

CHELSEA XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Palmieri; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Hazard, Pedro

CHELSEA SUBSTITUTES: Caballero, Christensen, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Higuain, Giroud

MANCHESTER CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; Fernandinho; D.Silva, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero

MANCHESTER CITY SUBSTITUTES: Muric, Danilo, Kompany, Gundogan, Sane, Mahrez, Foden

Let's take a look at the Chelsea side as Maurizio Sarri opts to begin the match with a recognised centre forward. Eden Hazard will play down the middle with Willian and Pedro on either flank. Gonzalo Higuain and Olivier Giroud are both on the bench.

Jorginho and N'Golo Kante both feature in midfield, and it is Ross Barkley who has being given the nod over Mateo Kovacic. The Englishman netted in each of Chelsea's Europa League games against Malmo earlier this month.

The main talking point at the back is the inclusion of Emerson Palmieri at left-back. Marcos Alonso has been first choice since Sarri's arrival at Stamford Bridge, but the Spaniard does not feature in the 18-man squad. You would think that is down to an injury. The rest of the defence is as expected.

There had been doubts over the fitness of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who sustained a hamstring problem earlier this week. However, the Spaniard has been deemed fit enough to return to the first XI
As for Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has made just the one change to the team which defeated Schalke 04 on Wednesday night. Oleksandr Zinchenko has been included at left-back, with Ilkay Gundogan only appearing among the replacements.

John Stones and Gabriel Jesus have both missed out on a place in the squad. The pair have been carrying minor injuries, and Guardiola has made the decision to not take any risks during what is a hectic schedule.

Young goalkeeper Arijanet Muric may have expected to start having featured in each of the previous rounds, but Guardiola has instead opted to go with regular number one Ederson. That should tell you everything that you need to know about Guardiola's desire to win this trophy.

Leroy Sane is another who may have expected to come back into the team, especially after his impact against Schalke in the Champions League. However, the winger instead begins on the bench alongside Riyad Mahrez.

It's a nice day in North London and this is what the two teams are playing for. Which shade of blue will be on that trophy later today?

These two sides are meeting in the final of this competition for the first time, and they are head into this game on five wins apiece. The victor will move into second place behind Liverpool in the list of most League Cup triumphs.

It has also been 26 years since Chelsea and Man City met in this competition, which seems crazy! On that occasion, City prevailed by a 1-0 scoreline at Maine Road.

It's fair to say that City have had an easier route through to the final than Chelsea. Guardiola's side have come through ties with Oxford United, Fulham, Leicester City and Burton Albion, whereas Chelsea have needed to defeat Liverpool, Derby County, Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur!

City won this competition last year with a routine triumph over Arsenal, and the Premier League champions are looking to become just the fourth team to retain the trophy.

Chelsea enjoyed their visits to Wembley last year with wins coming over Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Manchester United but it has been a different story this year. Three defeats have come against Spurs - twice - and to Man City in the Community Shield.

Chelsea have recently made their way out for the warm-up. Sarri will be desperate for his side to avoid another early capitulation against Man City.

RESULT! The full-time whistle has gone at Old Trafford and Manchester United and Liverpool have played out a goalless draw. However, it was not a game lacking in incident! Click here to read our on-the-whistle report.

RESULT! The game at the Emirates Stadium has also reached a conclusion with Arsenal registering a 2-0 win over Southampton. You can read our on-the-whistle report by clicking here.

PREDICTION! It would be a damning indictment for Chelsea if they lost in a similar manner to the league game between the two sides earlier this month, but it would also be a significant surprise if they were to avoid defeat altogether. Almost everything points towards a Man City win, and it is hard to look past the holders on current form. City to prevail by a 2-0 scoreline.

HEAD TO HEAD! Today's showdown represents the 163rd competitive meeting between the two sides, with Chelsea registering 67 wins in comparison to 56 victories for City.

City thrashed Chelsea by a 6-0 scoreline earlier this month, and the North-West giants have won six of the last 10 matches between the clubs. However, Chelsea have emerged victorious in the other four, including at Stamford Bridge in December.

There have not been many Wembley showdowns between the sides, but they did squared off in the Community Shield back in August with City easing to a 2-0 success.

Chelsea and City have only met in a final on one occasion, and that was in the 1985-86 Full Members Cup. Chelsea won 5-4 and it remains the highest-scoring final in Wembley history. An omen, perhaps...?

It's time for the two teams to start making their way out at Wembley Stadium. Both sets of players look focused, but there will definitely be more nerves in the Chelsea camp.

It's time for the national anthem. It is perhaps at this point where Sarri remembers that he is just one win away from lifting his first trophy as a manger. It's a massive occasion for the Italian on a personal level.

A reminder of the two starting lineups...

CHELSEA XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Palmieri; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Hazard, Pedro

MANCHESTER CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; Fernandinho; D.Silva, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero

KICKOFF:  Chelsea get us underway!

It's a dramatic start with Aguero going down holding his face within seconds of kickoff. The Argentine and Jorginho collided on the halfway line, but the forward is back on his feet.

City have had the better of the early minutes, although a corner came to nothing with Barkley heading clear.

City are already in their stride and posing a threat going forward. There have been a couple of occasions where Chelsea look vulnerable.

Chelsea are yet to have a single touch in the final third. Hazard is already looking a lonely figure in attack with Willian and Pedro having to work hard in defensive positions down the flanls.

Chelsea are now starting to keep everyone - including Hazard - in a deep position. Hazard was just halfway inside his own half! I suppose that it is understandable given how the game panned out at the Etihad Stadium.

Almost an opening for Chelsea, and for Kante. Laporte failed to deal with a long ball and Kante appeared to have the better of Zinchenko on his way through on goal. However, the left-back got across well to deal with the danger.

That half-chance was a wake-up call for City and they have proceeded to dominate possession ever since. Chelsea are very much playing on the counter.

Such has been Chelsea's recent demise that getting through the opening quarter-of-an-hour without much alarm will be regarded as a success. It's a small victory, but an important one.

Barkley is having to work hard in order to keep tabs on De Bruyne. The Belgian is starting to drop deeper, but it is creating more space in the areas ahead of him.

That said, Chelsea are ensuring that everything remains congested for their opponents. Fernandinho has just attempted to thread a pass into the path of the advancing Sterling, but it would have had to be pinpoint in order to come off.

City are beginning to crank things up a notch, with two inswinging crosses from the right having to be cleared by Chelsea. Again, each of Sarri's men find themselves in defensive positions.

CHANCE!  Finally a chance for City. A floated cross finds Aguero at the back post but after taking a touch, the forward volleys over the crossbar from around 12 yards out.

Chelsea were 4-0 down at this stage in the game at the Etihad Stadium. They have at least given themselves something to work with this afternoon, although they remain second best.

Much better from Chelsea who put together a nice passing move down the left before winning a free kick in a threatening area on the opposite side of the pitch.

Nothing comes from the set piece but Chelsea try to engineer another chance with Palmieri attempting to find Hazard with a lofted through-ball, only for the pass to be collected by Ederson.

SHOT!  City spring back into life and a number of sharp passes lead to a chance for Aguero on the edge of the area, but the forward's shot is deflected and easily dealt with by Arrizabalaga.

YELLOW CARD!  Bernardo Silva beats Palmieri down the right and Luiz comes across to foul the Portuguese before he can deliver a cross from the byline.

Chelsea are starting to push their luck when playing the ball about in their own defensive third but when it pays off, it is effective. City are getting closer with their press and much higher up the pitch, however.

The Blues are also looking to get Kante in behind when the opportunity arises, but the Frenchman has not come close to threatening in an attacking sense since the opening stages.

It is an important nine minutes for Chelsea because they have been extremely disciplined in reaching this stage of the contest without much alarm. They cannot afford to let all of their hard work go to waste.

We are having a bit of a lull in the action, but that is not a bad thing for Chelsea. City continue to probe, however.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola watch on during the EFL Cup final on February 24, 2019© Reuters

Sterling twists and turns on the side of the penalty area and Azpilicueta has to be patient when it comes to making a challenge. The Spaniard manages to do just that and the full-back wins a goal kick.

Chelsea make a couple of mistakes in their own final third and it leads to De Bruyne winning a free kick out of Willian on the right. Chance here for City.

Nothing comes from the initial set piece but the return ball causes havoc in the Chelsea penalty area. It takes an acrobatic clearance from a defender to get the ball away after good work from Laporte.

CHANCE!  Half a chance here for City. Zinchenko's driven half-volley pass finds Otamendi at the back post, but the centre-back cannot get enough power on his shot on the slide.

There will be one of added-on time. Hazard almost created an opportunity for himself, but was eventually crowded out by a number of City defenders.

A free kick from Willian comes nowhere near to finding a teammate, but Otamendi almost diverts the ball into his own net! Nothing comes from the corner after the ball went wide.

HALF TIME:  Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City

The half-time whistle goes at Wembley Stadium and we remain goalless. Man City have had a large chunk of possession and created the few opportunities in this contest, but Chelsea will be delighted with their first-half efforts and deserve to be on level terms.

The best opportunities of the opening 45 minutes have gone the way of Aguero. The Argentine should have done better with a volley at the back post midway through the first half, while he also saw a deflected effort saved by Arrizabalaga down to his left.

Chelsea are yet to force any kind of save out of Ederson, but there were signs at the end of the first half that they were prepared to commit more players forward. Otamendi was fortunate not to put through his own net just before the break.

City are being forced in a change at the break with Kompany being introduced for the injured Laporte.

KICKOFF:  Guardiola's side get us back underway.

SHOT!  Chelsea were able to earn a free kick at one end but City dealt with it well and broke forward. A chance eventually fell to Fernandinho on the edge of the area, but the Brazilian sent his volley over the crossbar.

City are playing the ball about with a bit more pace at the beginning of this second half, presumably in order to prevent Chelsea from keeping their shape.

There had been signs after the restart that Chelsea may be prepared to commit more men forward, but City are dominating again now. It will be interesting to see how long Sarri persists with the current tactics.

Chelsea break down the left through Hazard and the Belgian finds himself one-on-one with Otamendi. However, the defender does superbly to make a tackle inside the area and the chance is lost.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  Aguero has the ball in the back of the net after a sharp turn and finish the area, but he began his run behind Rudiger. It is so, so tight, but VAR agrees with the assistant.

YELLOW CARD!  A poor first touch from Fernandinho sees the midfielder bring down Barkley. An easy decision for the referee.

SHOT!  Luiz has just attempted to score from all of 35 yards. His shot goes nowhere near the target.

Chelsea have got through the hour mark without conceding. Not many would have predicted that before kickoff. It remains an important period for Sarri however. He must decide whether to stick or twist.

Luiz gets forward and links up well with Hazard, but the Belgian's low ball into the middle is cleared by a defender. Better from the Blues.

There are signs that a bit more space is beginning to open up in the middle. Who that suits, I really don't know.

CHANCE!  It nearly suited Chelsea. Hazard breaks free down the left and after getting past Kompany, his cutback finds the run of Kante. However, the midfielder sends a first-time effort from 10 yards narrowly over the crossbar. It's a big chance.

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante reacts after missing a chance during the EFL Cup final against Manchester City on February 24, 2019© Reuters

City respond by getting back on the ball and forcing Chelsea back into their own defensive third. The same thing has happened each time that Chelsea have had any joy at the other end.

SHOT!  Chelsea are warming to the task here. Another well-constructed move ends with a chance for Barkley, but the midfielder sends a tame curling effort wide of the far post.

YELLOW CARD!  City break rapidly and they have men over, but Rudiger dives in to take out David Silva before he can enter the penalty area. It's a certain yellow and the perfect position for a set piece for many of City's stars.

SHOT!  De Bruyne takes responsibility for the shot, but he fires the ball a couple of yards over the bar.

We reach the 75-minute mark and it will soon be time for a Chelsea change and it is not Kovacic. Hudson-Odoi will soon be entering the action.

What an opening for Chelsea. Hazard works his magic in the final third before teeing up Pedro but rather than shoot, the winger attempts a return pass and the ball is diverted behind.

There are no signs of either team being content to settle for extra time. It's not quite end to end, but we aren't far off. Just the 12 minutes to go.

SUBSTITUTIONS! City make a second change and Gundogan is replacing David Silva. As for Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi enters the action to a huge roar with Pedro making way.

Chelsea are spending a lot more time on the ball but it is in their own defensive third. They have to be careful not to over-play it, but they are trying to draw City out.

Barkley gives the ball away and City work it to Gundogan, but Kante gets back to make an important challenge on the edge of the area. This is getting nervy!

Chelsea have had the ball in the right corner for a couple of minutes, but nothing comes from it. City are getting ready to make their third change.

SUBSTITUTION! Sane is the man to be introduced with De Bruyne going off.

A magnificent turn from Hudson-Odoi draws a foul out of Zinchenko on the right. Free kick here in a threatening position.

The ball into the area is poor but Chelsea remained on the attack with blocks and challenges needed to be made to deny Kante and Luiz.

YELLOW CARD!  City then broke forward in numbers and Sterling was cynically upended by Jorginho. Another certain yellow.

SUBSTITUTION! Chelsea make another alteration with Loftus-Cheek taking the place of Barkley.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

YELLOW CARD!  Otamendi is booked for a quite ridiculous tackle on Hazard in the corner. He was never getting the ball. Another chance here for Chelsea...

YELLOW CARD!  Otamendi is booked for a quite ridiculous tackle on Hazard in the corner. He was never getting the ball. Another chance here for Chelsea...

SHOT!  Willian goes for goal from an acute angle and it takes a fine save from Ederson to tip the ball over the crossbar. Nothing comes from the set piece.

Chelsea have every reason to feel hard done by here. Hazard is through on goal but the assistant rules that he is offside. However, it appears that the forward was level. Surely play should have continued and VAR check afterwards if required? A major talking point.

FULL TIME:  Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City

It's off to extra time we go after a goalless 90 minutes.

KICKOFF:  We are back underway. A fourth substitute is allowed in extra time and Danilo has replaced the injured Fernandinho.

SHOT!  City have had the better of the opening stages, but a long spell of possession ends with Danilo firing high over the bar from distance.

SUBSTITUTION! Chelsea make a third switch with Higuain being introduced for Willian.

This is a tense game, but a competitive one at that. Chelsea will have impressed a lot of people today.

Hudson-Odoi is given the chance to run at Zinchenko and the youngster is able to win a corner for his side. Nothing comes from the initial set piece, but Ederson eventually has to react well to claim Hazard's volleyed cross.

SHOT!  Hudson-Odoi and Hazard are heavily involved as Chelsea put together a neat attack, but Jorginho's eventual shot from the edge of the area is curled wide of the post.

SHOT!  More good play for Chelsea sees a chance created for Hazard on the edge of the area, but the Belgian shoots harmlessly over the bar.

HALF TIME IN EXTRA TIME:  Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City

KICKOFF:  We are back underway.

City have - once again - started the faster of the two sides, but Chelsea appear to be content to sit deep for now. The Blues still have one substitution left if they choose to use it.

CHANCE!  How have City not scored here?! Sterling does superbly to get to the byline and tees up Aguero, but the forward's effort towards an empty net hits the foot of Azpilicueta and Chelsea somehow makes another block and survive!

Just the eight minutes to go now. There are a few signs that Chelsea are beginning to tire. You would think that Kovacic will be introduced soon.

Chelsea have a flurry forward but a deep cross from the right goes over the head of Higuain and City have a goal kick.

SHOT!  City almost win it after a stumble from Rudiger. Aguero uses the defender to try to curl the ball into the far corner, but Arrizabalaga gets down to his left to make the save.

Arrizabalaga has been struggling with cramp or a recurrence of his hamstring problem over the past five minutes, and Caballero is about to be introduced!

The goalkeeper has insisted that he is fine, but he does not look totally convincing! Sarri wants to bring him off, but the Spaniard is refusing!

There will be three minutes of added-on time. Sarri is absolutely furious with his goalkeeper who is refusing to budge. It's not a good look for Chelsea.

I've never seen anything like this before. Sarri is raging and is tugging at his top and slamming water bottles around.

We are going to have another minute or so due to that exchange.

FULL TIME:  Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City

It's penalties! Arrizabalaga owes his boss a performance here...

The two managers are making decisions about their penalty-takers. Rudiger is having to keep Sarri away from Arrizabalaga...

Right then, it's time for the shootout. Chelsea will take the first kick.

Chelsea 0-0* Manchester City - Jorginho misses! Jorginho tries his usual elaborate run up, but Ederson guesses the right way down to his left!

Chelsea *0-1 Manchester City - Gundogan scores! Gundogan sends Arrizabalaga the wrong way.

Chelsea 1-1* Manchester City - Azpilicueta scores! The Chelsea right-back finds the top corner. What a penalty.

Chelsea *1-2 Manchester City - Aguero scores! Arrizabalaga guesses right and should save Aguero's spot kick, but lets it go underneath him!

Chelsea 2-2* Manchester City - Emerson scores! Ederson guesses right here too, but only palms the ball into the net!

Chelsea *2-2 Manchester City - Sane misses! Arrizabalaga redeems himself with a save to his right!

Chelsea 2-2* Manchester City - Luiz misses! Now Luiz hits the post! What drama.

Chelsea *2-3 Manchester City - Bernardo Silva scores! Arrizabalaga dives to his right but Bernando Silva goes down the middle. Chelsea are on the brink.

Chelsea *2-3 Manchester City - Bernardo Silva scores! Arrizabalaga dives to his right but Bernando Silva goes down the middle. Chelsea are on the brink.

Chelsea 3-3* Manchester City - Hazard scores! Hazard must score and he nonchalantly dinks his penalty into the top corner!

Chelsea *3-4 Manchester City - Sterling scores! City win it if they score here, and they do just that. Sterling's penalty hits the underside of the crossbar and goes into the top corner.


Man City hold their nerve from 12 yards to claim the trophy which they also won last season. It's harsh on Chelsea, but missed efforts from Jorginho and Luiz have proven costly.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this game, but stick around for all of the reaction for Wembley Stadium.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.

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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero celebrates his first goal against Chelsea on February 10, 2019
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