Carabao Cup final: Ian Wright says former club Arsenal 'lacked fight'

Arsenal players
Sunday's result was the biggest win by one Premier League team against another in a League Cup final since 2006

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright says the players lacked "fight and determination" in their Carabao Cup final defeat by Manchester City.

Arsene Wenger's side lost 3-0 at Wembley as Pep Guardiola picked up his first trophy as City manager.

Wright, who scored 185 goals for the Gunners, said it was an "insipid performance" from Arsenal.

"Everybody's recognised it's about leadership and characters, and Arsenal don't have them," he told BBC 5 live.

Wenger responds to criticism after League Cup final defeat

"Against Manchester City it was always going to be a tough ask. They have been magnificent all season, but it was disappointing the way Arsenal played. There was a lack of fight, lack of determination.

"It's a final and players were walking. You don't want to see the team you support in a final put in such an insipid performance.

"Whatever we say about Alexis Sanchez and what he was like in the dressing room, he felt he had to leave because he wanted to win, and be in a dressing room of people who want to win."

Sergio Aguero's 18th-minute opener highlighted Arsenal's problems, as Shkodran Mustafi failed to deal with a long ball from City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Vincent Kompany and David Silva scored in the second half to seal the win for City.

And Wenger believes a lack of "concentration at key periods" could continue to cost his side.

"For large periods we defended well, but we lost concentration and against good teams you pay," he said.

Arsenal are out of the FA Cup and well adrift in the Premier League, but are in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Arsenal suffered a third League Cup final defeat since last winning the trophy in 1993

"It's not the application that was missed, it was the concentration at key periods that was missed," Wenger continued. "The second goal was a big goal in this game and, for me, it was 100% offside.

"We analyse all the games in a very mathematical way. We didn't give too many chances away, but we gave away easy chances, and didn't create enough for ourselves."

The Gunners - who are 27 points adrift of leaders City in the Premier League - will face AC Milan in the last 16 of the Europa League in March.

"You have to accept being criticised when you lose games," said Wenger. "But I believe we have to recover quickly.

"We got to the final, we lost, so now we have to focus on the next Premier League game."

'We were outstanding'

City secured the first part of a potential Treble with a dominant display, just six days after their chances of a Quadruple were ended by League One Wigan Athletic.

"The first half we were not good, there were a lot of mistakes," said Guardiola. "In the second half we played with a lot more courage and personality - we were outstanding."

City are 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League and have a 4-0 first leg lead over Switzerland's Basel in their Champions League last-16 tie.

"It was so important to win this one, because we played 10 v 11 for 45 minutes [against Wigan] so it wasn't easy. But now we concentrate on the Premier League, where we will try to win the rest of our games, and the Champions League, too," added Guardiola.

Manchester City
Manchester City's 3-0 win over Arsenal is their biggest ever cup final victory, as well as the Gunners' biggest ever loss in a cup final

'Massive result against any opponent' - what they said

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker: "It's been a long time coming for me and I'm glad to get my first trophy. I was nervous coming into it, without a trophy win here before, but thankfully we've come out on top today. We didn't have the best of seasons last year, so it was important for us to get this trophy under our belts."

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne: "I'm very happy we won it, we deserved to win. Now we go onto Thursday. We have had a good season already, and now we need to keep going. We have this one in the bag and now we have to maintain the same focus in the Premier League and the Champions League. The potential for this club is amazing, and the way we play is probably one of the best in the world."

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero: "For me and for the team it is always a special trophy. We are happy and I am very happy. We were better than them and now we have to focus on the next game and think about the Premier League."

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany: "It was a difficult game, but as much space there was for us and Arsenal, we did well and controlled the space and I am proud of the team. Winning 3-0 at Wembley is a massive result against any opponent. Before the game, I thought I was going to score. I came close during the game so there was some luck on the day, but also self-belief."


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