Ryan Mason admitted his side are "four or five years" behind Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions-elect - and it certainly showed at Wembley.
The result doesn't just have ramifications for the north Londoners in the short term as they bid to keep Harry Kane, attract a new manager and finally kick on after a period of terrible stagnation.
Spurs also moved down a peg in the all-time standings for English football's most successful clubs, with City surpassing them into fifth.
Since the 2008 takeover, City have now won 12 major honours - and there could still be two more to follow next month if they win the league and Champions League.
With so much glory squeezed into a short space of time, they are still hunting down four clubs whose success has enjoyed greater longevity.
The most successful clubs in English history (honours won)
10. Nottingham Forest (13)
9. Newcastle United (14)
8. Everton (24)
7. Aston Villa (25)
6. Tottenham Hotspur (26)
5. Manchester City (27)
4. Chelsea (31)
3. Arsenal (48)
2. Liverpool (65)
1. Manchester United (66)
It really is neck-and-neck at the top between United and Liverpool. Last season, it looked as if Jurgen Klopp was on the verge of building a dynasty that would last for some time, but the Reds will end this season without silverware.
United could still move further clear by winning the Europa League.
And while Spurs' illustrious history sees them make up the top six behind Arsenal, Chelsea and City, that will be little comfort to the current crop of players. Heung-min Son was reduced to tears at full-time after a third successive cup final defeat since 2015.
It should be noted the above list includes overall honours. That means that while the likes of Sunderland have won the top flight six times, Sheffield Wednesday four, and Leeds three, they don't feature.
Forest, on the other hand, only reigned supreme once under Brian Clough, but he also oversaw their famous triumphs in the European Cup in 1979 and 1980.
Ultimately, the balance of power doesn't look like changing any time soon and City are still a long way off reaching United - even if they continue picking up silverware at their current rate.News Now - Sport News