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Arsenal’s schoolboy defending allows Claudio Bravo to assist Sergio Aguero in League Cup final

Shkodran Mustafi allowed a goal kick to sail over his head, allowing Man City's top scorer a free run on goal

A few people may have suspected Man City’s keeper would register an assist this season.

But they were probably thinking about Ederson, not Claudio Bravo.

Playmaker

Carl Recine
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Playmaker

Schoolboy defending from Shkodran Mustafi allowed City’s second-choice keeper to assist Sergio Aguero for the opening goal in the League Cup final at Wembley.

Bravo, retaining his place after some impressive displays in City’s run to the final, aimed his goal kick straight down the middle and it appeared the ball would land squarely on Mustafi’s head.

But the German defender appealed to the referee for a free-kick after bumping into Aguero.

The Argentine poacher simply stood his ground and you would expect a centre-back to be stronger under a dropping ball.

The bounce fell kindly for Aguero, who lifted the ball over David Ospina with a perfectly executed lob finish.

Bravo kicks long…

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Bravo kicks long…

Mustafi challenges with Aguero – there should only be one winner in an aerial contest

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Mustafi challenges with Aguero – there should only be one winner in an aerial contest

Mustafi appeals for a free-kick under minimal pressure

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Mustafi appeals for a free-kick under minimal pressure

Suddenly Aguero is in on goal

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Suddenly Aguero is in on goal

And with Ospina caught in no man’s land, he opts for the lob (Ignore the ad for Roma v Milan)

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And with Ospina caught in no man’s land, he opts for the lob (Ignore the ad for Roma v Milan)

1-0 to City

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1-0 to City

Typically clinical work from Aguero but Arsene Wenger will surely be asking questions of Mustafi.

One of the first lessons your taught as a centre-back is to not let the ball bounce — it literally is schoolboy stuff.

It’s probably worth a reminder to everyone that players can’t be offside from a goal kick.

Gary Neville on commentary for Sky Sports also questioned Ospina’s positioning and pondered whether Laurent Koscielny or Calum Chambers could have done more to cover their team-mate’s mistake.

Nightmare

Reuters
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Nightmare

Until today, Aguero had never scored in a cup final for City.

How gracious of Mustafi to allow him the honour of breaking that particular hoodoo.


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