Shaun Goater got his birthday wish after Manchester City lifted the Carabao Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Unanswered goals from Sergio Agüero, Vincent Kompany, the captain and man of the match, and David Silva swept City to a convincing 3-0 triumph to make Goater’s 48th birthday all the more sweeter.
“What a Birthday I’ve had @ManCity winning 3-0,” Goater said in a tweet with an attached photo of him celebrating with Agüero, the City and Argentina striker. “Great evening in a cozy bar and then a few photos after. Happy Birthday to me.”
The former North Village and Bermuda forward praised City manager Pep Guardiola in a postgame interview with the English Football League.
“Pep Guardiola was brought here to win trophies and this is the first one available and he’s able to win that so he will be hugely, hugely happy with this,” Goater said. “This will build huge momentum. The players had belief but the belief has just gone up another notch.
“The team performed really well. Fortunate to ride a bit of luck early on. But at the end of the day, we won the trophy and I think the players will go on with a lot of confidence.”
Goater said City’s comfortable win exceeded his expectations.
“I thought it would’ve been a lot closer, but we’ve come away very comfortable winners,” he said. “Arsenal are no easy team to beat. But City made a convincing win of it so a lot of credit goes to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.”
Goater, who scored 84 goals in 184 appearances in five years with City, also featured on Football Today TV.
“I thought the boys really started to come together in the second half,” he said.
“I thought the whole game was really good, and I would as a City fan. But when we think about the players, Kompany, I’m really pleased for him because he’s really struggled with injuries but he pops up with a vital goal that makes City be more comfortable.”
Goater also touched on Agüero’s sublime lob that opened the scoring at Wembley and Silva’s neat finish that put the game beyond Arsenal’s reach.
“What a finish! [Agüero] makes it look simple because he’s a quality striker. It’s just a beautiful lob and perfectly executed,” Goater said. “David Silva tends not to put away most of [his] chances inside the box but this one he takes well. It’s struck like a striker.”
City, who hold a commanding 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League, will renew rivalries with Arsenal when the two sides meet for the second time in five days at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.