We opted for three at the back as many had thought, to combat the potent threat of Sergio Aguero. Calum Chambers was the surprise inclusion to make up our central defence, and there was another surprise in our lineup.

Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey started alongside each other. To say this is a rarity is an understatement, and Granit Xhaka, perhaps worryingly, provided the defensive bedrock in midfield.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was back in the lineup, but our new signing didn’t get much of a chance to strut his stuff.

From the start of the first half, it was a tale of two boxers casing each other out in the early rounds. Both teams cautious but probing, but as the time ticked down, City were easing into it as we didn’t squeeze them or test them in any way, aside from a small chance for Auba early on that was snaffled by Claudio Bravo.

City were spending more and more time in our area, but it was a surprise when their first goal came straight from a Bravo kick. He lumped it toward Aguero and Mustafi was in front of him. Inexplicably though, he complained of a foul from the Argentine when he should have been going up for a header. Aguero was free from the flimsy shackles of Mustafi and honed in on goal, free to lob over the stricken Ospina to give his side the lead.

The normal response in a cup final for a side going a goal down is to attack, but this didn’t materialise. Instead, we continued to pass poorly and look to lump a ball over the top for Auba to chase. Not cutting the mustard.

If any side was going to score it was going to be City, but they would have to wait until the second half to do so. Before then, Nacho Monreal went off injured and will be a doubt for Thursday’s game versus City, and Pep’s team held us off at arms length quite comfortably.

The second half saw City transform, but our team didn’t seem to take the hints dished out from City that they would need to up their game.

So City punished us.

Vincent Kompany, returning for this game, found himself in the box to expertly deflect a shot toward goal and completely wrongfoot Ospina, who could do nothing. The criminal for this goal was the awful marking throughout.

The wind was beaten from our sails by this point, and Xhaka and Ramsey - both pointed out by Gary Neville - were tracking back with all the enthusiasm of a fat kid doing cross country exercises. In the rain.

This was a cup final, but while there may have been a modicum of effort from most of our side, aren’t these occasions those when you exert the extra ten percent? When you sweat harder, give more?

None of our side can say they did that, and that isn’t good enough for us fans, nor the club.

City, 2-0 up and cruising, were toying with us. Fans cheering every consecutive pass as we chased shadows. We used to do this, and now we know how it feels. We have done all season.

The gap between us and the top was evident for all to see. City were easily winning, and the most hurtful thing to see? That our players, at least most of them, weren’t running harder or trying more, to at least give this a semblance of respect.

City then went and scored a third, and no one was surprised.

David Silva ghosted into the box and was found by Danilo. A subtle touch and turn brought Silva in on goal and he finished accurately into the far corner to give Ospina no chance - as well as our whole team.

Subs followed, but it was pointless. We would need to change mindsets rather than players, and that was clearly not happening. City continued to attack, we had spells of possession that looked less dangerous than a rubber duck, rinse, lather and repeat.

We’ve seen it all before, you don’t need another 100 words from me to describe how insipid we were. Just remember our loss to tottenham, Ostersunds, Swansea, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, and I could go on.

And that is just this season. We’ve been beaten six times this year already!

We all know the change that needs to be made, or at least the realistic one. Because let’s face it, Kroenke is going nowhere anytime soon. Until Wenger decides to stop ruining his Arsenal legacy, every defeat will hurt a little less - as we will simply expect it a little more each time.

Where’s the optimism you say?

Well, our next opponent…..is Manchester City in the League. With us ten points behind spurs already.

I’m struggling to find any ray of hope for this campaign.