Manchester City won the League Cup for a third consecutive season by beating Aston Villa 2-1 on Sunday, providing the club with a moment of celebration as they fight to protect their reputation off the field.
City looked to be cruising to victory when Sergio Aguero and Rodri scored in the opening 30 minutes at Wembley Stadium.
But Mbwana Samatta pulled one back with a header before halftime to ensure it was a more competitive final than anticipated between a team fighting relegation from the Premier League and the most expensively assembled squad in football history.
The holders' depth was clear in their ability to only deploy one of the game's most influential players, Kevin De Bruyne, from the bench in the second half among eight changes from the side that beat Real Madrid in the Champions League midweek.
The playmaker helped City see out the game and give Pep Guardiola his sixth major trophy in his fourth season in charge.
It is a season where the Premier League trophy is almost certainly going to be surrendered to Liverpool. But a first Champions League title for City remains a possibility just as the club fights a two-season ban from European competitions for breaches of UEFA financial regulations.