Capital One Cup Final
2 Mar 2014 - 2:00 PM
Manchester City put paid to Sunderland's brave battle for a first major trophy success in 41 years with a 100-second spell that turned the game on its head.
Sunderland took the lead after 10 minutes through Fabio Borini, and then spent the next 45 minutes keeping City's lavish attacking resources at bay.
And if City could have cited the lion's share of possession as a testament to their dominance, they did little to worry the Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone thanks to some high-quality defending from Gus Poyet's men.
But Yaya Toure undid Sunderland's efforts with a superb lofted drive from 25 yards, and then just seconds after Sunderland kicked off, Samir Nasri made it 2-1 with a sumptuous finish from the edge of the area.
The victory gives Manchester City their first trophy under Manuel Pellegrini - who are still in contention for a historic quadruple, even if their participation in the Champions League hangs by a thread.
Sunderland may console themselves with the fact they are one game from a return to Wembley - they travel to Hull City in the Sixth Round of The FA Cup next Sunday - but will rue the moments of madness where they threw away their long-held lead.
The Wearside club had started with far more dynamism than the pre-match favourites, City, and were backed by a hugely vocal red-and-white half of Wembley Stadium.
But it still came as a surprise when Sunderland took the lead through on-loan Liverpool striker Borini.
City were pressing forwards into the opposition half when Fernandinho dwelled a second too long on the ball and was dispossessed by Lee Cattermole.
Cattermole picked out Borini just inside the City half, and launched a one-man counter-attack. City seemed well set with Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis in position, but both were slow to react as Borini bustled into the box, and after a fortunate ricochet, was able to fire across the face of Costel Pantilimon and into the bottom-right-hand corner of the next.
That sent Sunderland's fans into raptures, but while they may have expected a City onslaught, it was slow to materialise, and Borini could have made it 2-0 on 40 minutes, only to be denied in the act of shooting by Kompany.
City looked a different side after the break, however, with Samir Nasri and David Silva looking brighter by the minute.
And then on 55 minutes Toure collected a square pass 10 yards outside the Sunderland area, and sent a shot on a perfect parabola into the top-left-hand corner.
Nasri then completed a remarkable turnaround, picking up Sergio Aguero's left-wing cross and firing past Mannone with a perfectly placed drive.
Such moments can break a team's will but Sunderland responded well, pressing City back and forcing a series of set-pieces.
City defended stoutly, however, with far more conviction than in the first half, and put the game beyond doubt in the last minute through the substitute Jesus Navas.
Fernandinho won the ball for City and set Toure loose, and with team-mates easily outnumbering the Sunderland defence, the Ivorian picked out Navas, who finished with style.
Manchester City (4-4-2): Costel Pantilimon; Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Martin Demichelis, Aleksandr Kolarov; Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, David Silva (Javi Garcia, 77); Sergio Aguero (Jesus Navas, 58), Edin Dzeko (Alvaro Negredo, 87).
Substitutes not used: Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy, James Milner.
Goals: Yaya Toure 55, Samir Nasri 56, Jesus Navas 90.
Sunderland (4-1-4-1): Vito Mannone; Philip Bardsley, John O’Shea (C), Wes Brown, Marcos Alonso; Lee Cattermole (Emanuele Giaccherini, 77); Adam Johnson (Craig Gardner, 60), Jack Colback, Ki Sung-Yueng, Sebastian Larsson (Steven Fletcher, 60); Fabio Borini.
Substitutes not used: Oscar Ustari, Ondrej Celustka, Santiago Vergini, Ignacio Scocco.
Booking: Marcos Alonso
Goal: Fabio Borini 10