Late, dramatic, leaving you tense and excited at the same time. Manchester City have won their first piece of silverware this term, the Capital One Cup trophy, following an unpredictable 120 minutes and eventual penalty shootout against Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool side at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. They'll be hoping it's the first of a few titles this season - as they still have a good opportunity to clinch the Premier League and possibly even Europe's elite club competition, the Champions League too.
Anxious opening, unsurprisingly
Both sets of players could be excused for some Wembley nerves going into the encounter, and neither were able to retain possession or create any clear-cut chances in the early exchanges. Play ground to a halt in the 15th minute when Emre Can and Mamadou Sakho clashed heads when both jumping for the same ball, with the latter looking visibly groggy upon getting up.
The best opportunity of the half fell to none other than City talisman himself, Sergio Agüero after 23 minutes. He weaved his way past Lucas Leiva, span past Sakho but saw his effort bounce off the post as warning bells were ringing for the Reds - they were inviting too much pressure and a player like Sergio, doesn't need a second invitation. Sakho was understandably upset when he was substituted minutes afterward, at the discretion of the medical staff - with Kolo Touré coming on in his place in the 25th minute. At the half-time interval, both sides were slightly frustrated that they hadn't gone into the break with a lead to protect especially having created a few half-chances each, but there was still plenty to play for in the second 45.
Fernandinho opens the scoring
It was not long after the break that City found themselves in-front, just two minutes into the second-half. Fernandinho drilled an effort low and hard after an overlapping run and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was seemingly helpless as the shot snuck underneath him - giving the sky Blues a much-needed goal. Liverpool scrambled for a reply, with James Milner blasting wide after an incisive through ball played toward his path by Philippe Coutinho.
On the hour mark City should have doubled their lead, a ferocious counter-attack saw David Silva's cut-back sliced narrowly wide from six yards out by Raheem Sterling. Not long afterwards City were denied a penalty, Alberto Moreno with a leg he left dangling out sent Agüero to ground, referee Michael Oliver was visibly not interested in claims for a spot-kick as the Citizens were understandably fuming.
Reds strike back late on
City were now firmly in control of the game with Fernando bossing the midfield as Liverpool struggled to break down Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otámendi, the two defenders providing second-choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero with very little to deal with. 71 minutes gone and Alberto Moreno was replaced by Adam Lallana. Yet again Sterling was presented with a good chance but was unable to capitalise, Aguero's cross scuffed just wide. Divock Origi replaced an ineffective Roberto Firmino soon after. Disaster for City struck in the 83rd minute though, after the ball bobbled around the penalty area, Lallana struck the post and the ball eventually fell to Coutinho, slotting home to level the scores.
City with a near instant reply, Fernando's shot from close range was blasted against Mignolet - City for the first time in the match having some pressure to deal with. Nerve-shredding stuff to finish, no soon as a Liverpool counter-attack ended City replied with their own, winning a corner City had their effort scrambled off the line by Mignolet!
Play resumed with Jesús Navas replacing Fernando and Pablo Zabaleta coming on in place of Bacary Sagna. A cagey opening to the first-half of extra time Otamendi giving the ball away to Sturridge in a dangerous position, Kompany thankfully clearing up. Just as the first half came to a close Mignolet was on hand yet again to turn an Aguero effort wide from close-range, with many wondering whether the Belgian was just in superb form or City lacking clinicality?
With the second-half uneventful, penalties loomed. In almost fairytale fashion it was Caballero who shone in the penalty shootout, the Argentine managed to save three of Liverpool's five penalties. Despite Fernandinho hitting the upright with his spot-kick, Navas, Agüero and Yaya Touré all managed to find the net - needless to say pandamonium ensued after the Ivorian slotted home.