LONDON — Manchester City's old guard combined to give manager Pep Guardiola his first trophy at the club with a 3-0 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup final on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva scored the goals that demonstrated the enduring value of the veterans at City despite Guardiola recruiting more than $600 million in fresh talent in around 18 months.
The victory at Wembley Stadium, aided by Arsenal's brittle defending, allowed City to quickly restore order after Monday's surprise exit from the FA Cup at Wigan.
The pursuit of a quadruple was extinguished by the third-tier side, but City is now one step closer to a treble. The Premier League seems a formality, with a 13-point lead and a game in hand over Manchester United. A place in the Champions League quarterfinals also looks certain with Basel beaten 4-0 in the last-16 first leg.
For all the investment in players during the decade under Abu Dhabi ownership, the return in silverware has been scant at City.
Since winning the Premier League in 2014, only the League Cup has been collected — twice now.
Guardiola was hired to turn City into the trophy factory that Barcelona became from 2008-12, and he is starting to deliver in the second half of his second season in charge.
For Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, this is the latest chapter of gloom in a season that saw the FA Cup defence end at the first hurdle and the team slump to sixth in the league.