Mustafi a pushover as Arsenal fail to turn up in Carabao Cup loss to City
Arsenal were hammered 3-0 by Manchester City in the third League Cup final defeat of Arsene Wenger's reign.
The other two were at least close. In this match, Arsenal were comprehensively outclassed by a City side that didn't even need to find their top gear. Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva left Arsenal adrift, and the gulf between the two teams made this painful viewing for Gunners supporters.
There were no positives for Arsenal in this game. The more cynical members among their fan base might suggest the one good thing is that Arsenal's defeat might make Wenger's departure more likely come the summer.
Ultimately, Arsenal failed to turn up in a final. That's a rather damning indictment of this team. The most frustrating aspect for Wenger will be the fact that City weren't even close to their best, and were it not for a terrible mistake from Shkodran Mustafi, Arsenal might have gone in at half-time level.
The League Cup is the one domestic trophy Wenger has never won. This may well have been his last opportunity to complete his medal collection.
Manager rating out of 10
4 -- This was a bad day for Wenger. While his decision to pick a back three was the sensible option, systems become somewhat redundant when your players don't have the requisite degree of focus or commitment. He seems unable to motivate his players, which is a huge problem with only one plausible solution: his departure.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David Ospina, 5 -- Had a couple of nervy moments but wasn't as bad as most of his outfield colleagues. The Colombian was caught between two stools somewhat when rushing out before Aguero's goal.
DF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- The Spaniard has had some outstanding games at Wembley in recent years, but this was not one of them. Leroy Sane ensured he had a difficult afternoon, while he looked isolated on the right flank when going forward.
DF Calum Chambers, 4 -- The former Southampton man was rewarded for being easily turned against Ostersunds FK with a start in the League Cup final. He responded by being turned easily again shortly before Silva lashed home City's third. Chambers looks like a young man whose career is headed in the wrong direction.
DF Laurent Koscielny, 5 -- Arsenal's skipper was probably the best among their back three, but it looks like he is well past his best. Achilles problems have caught up with him, and he no longer has the recovery pace that was once his trademark.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 3 -- His "defending" on City's first goal was simply unacceptable. He barely competed with Aguero, and when he felt he'd been fouled, he seemed more interested in appealing than attempting to prevent a goal.
DF Nacho Monreal, 5 -- Appeared to injure his back diving. That just about sums Arsenal's day up.
MF Granit Xhaka, 4 -- What a flop Xhaka has proved to be. There is a good player in there, but in this Arsenal team, he looks like a disaster. Xhaka did not have the dexterity to survive City's press, so he ended up strolling side to side, avoiding the ball.
MF Aaron Ramsey, 5 -- In the first half, the energetic Ramsey was arguably Arsenal's best player. However, perhaps because he was returning from injury, he faded badly in the second half.
MF Jack Wilshere, 6 -- Of all Arsenal's outfield players, at least Wilshere played with his customary commitment. He drove forward and looked to make things happen. While other players hid, he seized responsibility. It would be an exaggeration to say he played well, but he did play with courage.
MF Mesut Ozil, 5 -- Arsenal invested a lot of money to keep Ozil in January. It's reasonable to expect some return on their investment in big games. However, he was as quiet as anyone on the field.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 5 -- The former Borussia Dortmund man ought to have given Arsenal the lead; one can't help but wonder what sort of game we might have seen had he tapped home that early chance. He provided Arsenal's only real outlet on the day, but had only occasional sniffs of goal.
DF Sead Kolasinac, 5 -- Came on for Monreal but didn't make much impression on the game.
FW Danny Welbeck, 5 -- Replaced Chambers but was as ineffective as in any of his recent appearances.
MF Alex Iwobi, NR -- Barely got a touch of the ball after replacing Ramsey.
James McNicholas is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @gunnerblog.