Money can buy you a lot of things; cars, jewellery and fancy clothes.
On Sunday 2 March, Manchester City once again proved that money can buy you trophies. It was the Capital One Cup final between relegation-threatened Sunderland and the aforementioned Manchester City.
Unlike their opponents City find themselves in a four-way title race between current leaders Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.
The difference between Sunderland and City was something of a David vs. Goliath type of scenario.
However, Sunderland were first to find the back of the net through loanee Fabio Borini. For a while Sunderland seemed to be playing a good counter-attacking game. Gus Poyet’s men absorbed the Citizens' attack with discipline and tight defensive play.
However, it all fell apart for the Black Cats in the second half where Manchester City were able to run away with a 3-1 victory and capture their first cup of the season.
It all came undone for Sunderland thanks to a moment of sublime individual genius from City’s Yaya Touré.
The Ivorian, found a sliver of space just outside the penalty area and fired a curling shot into Sunderland’s goal. The shot came from nowhere and Touré even seemed to be off balance when he struck the ball. Vito Manone, Sunderland’s keeper, didn’t see the ball before it was too late and was helpless as the ball found its way to the back of his goal.
This is what money can buy, moments of sheer brilliance from a single individual. Touré, who was named African player of the year in January, has been in fine form for his club this season, netting 13 goals and four assists.
His goal was the catalyst that changed the game in City’s favor. A minute later teammate Samir Nasri put another past Manone and Jesus Navas put in a third later in the match to effectively seal the victory.
Trophies haven’t exactly been rolling in since Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi consortium took over at the Etihad in 2008. An FA Cup in 2011, a Premier League title in 2012 and a Community Shield have not exactly been the return the Manchester City ownership would have expected with the level of financial support given.
Creating an existential conundrum for City; does buying seemingly top quality players actually translate in immediate and unsubstantiated glory?
A League Cup certainly doesn’t immediately answer this question, but the fact that City is still in the running for the Champions League, the Premier League title and the FA Cup. Winning all three will prove to be a daunting task but the possibility exists and its certain that Pellegrini and the Manchester board are eyeing such glory.
City want to reap the rewards for their investments and on Sunday they proved that what they are doing is working. Last Sunday’s victory over Sunderland was resounding proof that money does indeed by trophies.
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