Pep Guardiola claimed his first trophy in English football as Manchester City powered to a 3-0 win over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final.
Sergio Aguero set the Premier League leaders on the way to victory with the opening goal before second-half strikes from the outstanding Vincent Kompany and David Silva finished off the Gunners at Wembley.
It was an emphatic response from City after their bid for a quadruple came to an end with a shock FA Cup defeat by League One Wigan last week.
Although it was not visible during the game, City boss Guardiola stirred some controversy pre-match by again wearing a yellow ribbon, despite recently attracting a charge from the Football Association for doing so. It has been considered a political gesture in support of jailed Catalan independence activists.
As is customary, City dominated possession but Arsenal, having surprisingly reverted to a back three, were in no mood to let them dictate matters early on and that made for a scrappy opening.
It was Arsenal who had the first clear-cut chance after a break by Jack Wilshere. The ball broke to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but Kyle Walker put him off with a sliding challenge and Claudio Bravo saved with his feet.
A lot of City’s success this season has been based on neat interplay but they showed they can vary their style when necessary and did so effectively to negate Arsenal’s pressing tactics and take the lead after 18 minutes.
In a rare example of City going route one, Bravo cleared downfield and, after Shkodran Mustafi allowed the ball to bounce over his head, Aguero had a run on goal. Mustafi paused to his cost, appealing for a foul, and had no chance of stopping the Argentine as he calmly lobbed over the advancing David Ospina for his 199th goal in City colours.
The Gunners’ defensive problems increased as Nacho Monreal was forced off injured and Kompany headed over. Kompany also showed his defensive prowess by calmly easing Arsenal’s record signing Aubameyang off the ball to end a dangerous run.
City went close again before the break after Ospina palmed away an Aguero cross but Kevin De Bruyne fired into the side-netting.
Kompany shot wide early in the second half but City had a scare after a mix-up between Walker and Bravo almost let in Aubameyang, but the forward fouled the keeper in his haste. Arsenal soon rued that missed opportunity as Kompany doubled City’s lead just before the hour, turning in Ilkay Gundogan’s low shot from De Bruyne’s cleverly taken corner.
That broke Arsenal and Silva ended the contest by finishing a slick move with a lethal left-footed strike after 65 minutes. Arsenal supporters started heading for the exits, with ironic chants of “There’s only one Arsene Wenger”.
City played out time, even allowing Gabriel Jesus, back after two months out injured, a late taste of the action.
Guardiola, who won 21 trophies at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, enjoyed opening his account in England. “It’s important to win titles because maybe it will help us to win the next games in the Premier League, and win the league,” said the City manager, whose side return to league duty on Thursday against, coincidentally, Arsenal.