Once again Arsenal failed to capitalize on their superior possession and chances as Birmingham won their first major trophy since picking up the League Cup way back in 1963.
Obafemi Martins who is currently on loan from Rubin Kazan, grabbed the winner in the final stages of the game following a comedy of errors in the Arsenal box between Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny.
The game itsself was entertaining if unspectacular and after Zigic had given the Blues a surprise first half lead it was Arsenal who dominated and it was no surprise when Van Persie equalised 6 minutes before half time.
Arsenal probably should have put the game beyond Birminghams reach with the chances they had but Ben Foster in the Birmingham goal was in brilliant form and his string of fine saves deservedly earned him man of the match and Birminghams resiliance was rewarded with their 89th minute winner.
Now Arsenal will have to regroup and focus onthe other three trophies they are still competing in, while Birmingham will probably use this as a launch pad to pull away from the relegation zone. They will also play in the Europa League in 2012 whicch will give their fans a rare taste of European football.
The Silverware cleaner at the Emerites stadium has not been overworked of late , however Arsenal will be hoping to end their 5 year wait for a trophy.
They face fellow Premier League side Birmingham City in the League Cup Final and will be hoping to improve on their poor record in these finals having only won 2 of their 6 attempts, including a loss to Swindon Town back in 1969. Birmingham on the other hand have not had the Gunners success and their only major trophy was the League Cup back in 1963 when they beat neighbours Aston Villa 3-1 over 2 legs.
Arsenal have in past seasons not given this competition the respect it deserves, however this year they have looked determined to win it and with a strong squad named for todays final they are justifiable favourites.
Our view is that they will win by the odd goal so ending their trophy drought. They are still in with a chance in all four major competitions this year and like Manchester United and Chelsea in the past the confidence gained by having the first on the shelf could spur them on to bigger an better things.
Manchester United added the 2010 Carling sponsored League Cup to their impressive list of trophy’s following a controversy tinged 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at The New Wembley on Sunday.
Although on the balance of chances United clearly deserved to win it could have been so different had Phil Dowd followed the rules and sent off Vidic for a professional foul on Villa Striker Agbonlahor in the 5th minute, a tackle which led to the penalty which put Villa 1-0 up. One can only assume that Phil Dowd didn’t think it was a goal scoring opportunity, however even Alex Ferguson to his credit admitted it probably should have been a red card. The final decision was no card at all and this again played a part in the second half when Vidic was booked.
Anyway controversy aside it was an entertaining game and once Michael Owen had leveled the scores there was only ever going to be one winner.
The Luckless Michael Owen who had looked sharp during the 1st half succumbed to and was replaced by Wayne Rooney, who inevitably scored the winner and could easily have added a second had his deft header not crashed against the post.
Villa played some nice football but never looked like getting back into the game after Rooney struck and despite bringing on John Carew with 10 minutes left united always looked comfortable and held out for the win they just about deserved.
Manchester United and Aston Villa will compete in this years Carling (League Cup) Final in a repeat of the 1994 fixture which saw Villa win 3-1 and in doing so prevented United from winning the domestic treble.
Villa had a slightly easier path to the Final winning 7-4 on aggregate against a plucky Blackburn Rovers who played their part in a highly entertaining second leg which Villa won 6-4.
Manchester United on the other hand had a much tougher time of it having to comeback from a 2-1 1st leg deficit, which they duly did snatching the victory with an injury time goal from Wayne Rooney.
It should be a great final.