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Manchester City survive scare to land first trophy of English season

updated 7:45 PM EST, Sun March 2, 2014
Manchester City took the honors in the first Wembley final of the English domestic season with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland. Manchester City took the honors in the first Wembley final of the English domestic season with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland.
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Manchester City triumph at Wembley
Manchester City triumph at Wembley
Manchester City triumph at Wembley
Manchester City triumph at Wembley
Manchester City triumph at Wembley
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester City win English League Cup at Wembley
  • Beat Sunderland 3-1 in all Premier League clash
  • Sunderland led through Fabio Borini strike
  • Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas scored City's goals

(CNN) -- Manchester City captured the first trophy of the English domestic season Sunday as they recovered from a goal down to beat Sunderland 3-1 in the League Cup final at Wembley.

Fabio Borini gave the underdogs a deserved early lead until second half goals from Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas settled an exciting final.

Sunderland, in the relegation zone in the English Premier League, gave Manuel Pellegrini's expensively assembled team an almighty shock by not only going ahead but dominating the proceedings until City woke up after the break.

"The first half was not up to standard, but the second half was brilliant," was the verdict of captain Vincent Kompany as his team eye a treble in England after years of domination by neighbors Manchester United.

Read: Pardew fined for head-butt

Manchester City's last trip to Wembley had ended in bitter disappointment in last season's English FA Cup final and the sack for Roberto Mancini.

When Borini latched on to a fine pass from Adam Johnson and eluded Kompany before firing the Black Cats ahead, it looked for a while that the nightmare might be repeated.

Sunderland continued to look dangerous in counter attacks and might have gone further ahead, but after the break the tide changed.

In the 55th minute, Pablo Zabaleta rolled the ball back to Toure and the Ivory Coast international beat Vito Mannone from long range with a glorious effort.

Almost from the restart, Nasri had put City ahead for good as he swept home Aleksandar Kolarov's deflected left-wing cross.

Read: Pellegrini banned for three games

It was the cue for City to bring on Navas in place of Sergio Aguero, who was returning to the side after injury.

Gus Poyet introduced Craig Gardner and Steven Fletcher, the latter missing a chance to equalize in the dying moments.

The ball was quickly switched upfield and Toure found Navas who scored a clinching third.

City could return to Wembley in the FA Cup, having reached the quarterfinals and have been strongly challenging for the English Premier League title.

But a home defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of the last 16 has damaged their chances in the European Champions League.

In the English Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur maintained their push for a Champions League spot with a 1-0 home win over Cardiff City to close up in fifth spot.

Roberto Soldado broke his EPL goal drought by scoring in the first half to leave the visitors firmly rooted in the bottom three.

Christian Benteke scored twice in Aston Villa's 4-1 win over struggling Norwich, while Swansea and Crystal Palace battled to a 1-1 draw.

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