After winning the EFL Cup final by beating Southhampton 3-2 at Wembley, Manchester United sealed their mark in history by matching Liverpool’s record of 44 trophies. The man of the night was by no doubt Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored two decisive goals at the start of the first and at the end of the second half. Still, it was an exciting, high scoring, evenly balanced match.
”It’s all about winning for me. I came to win and I am winning”, said Ibrahimovic to Sky Sports after grabbing his 19th major cup and his 32nd overall. “That’s why we bought him” said Pogba.
A visibly emotional Jose Mourinho said “It’s not about me. That’s why I’m not celebrating with them”. Yet, his eyes do not lie. He realises he’s the only manager in the history of Man United to win a trophy in his first season.
Man United started the game running the ball aggressively and comfortably, with Pogba shooting at the 3rd minute but finding Foster to save it. However, a few minutes later Southhampton started counterstriking. Gabbiadini nearly had a score but it was ruled offside, when in fact he was clearly ONSIDE.
At the 19th Ibra nailed his 25th goal of the season off a free kick. A wonderful play indeed but a nice gift too from Oriol Romeu of the Saints, who got a yellow card after an ugly challenge.
United’s Lingard stroked it into the bottom corner at the 38th. At 2-0 the dances seemed to be finished. Jack Stevens delivered a rough tackle and got a yellow card too. As the atmosphere between the two teams got heated for a few minutes, it was clear Southampton was falling under the pressure.
But no despair for Saints supporters yet: Gabbiadini found the net through the legs of DeGea just before halftime to make it 2-1.
Mourinho got his team ready for the second half by substituting Juan Mata with Michael Carrick. They were not ready for Gabbiadini though, who closed the gap and became the first Southampton player to score two goals at Wembley.
While Saints’ fans were going wild in the stands, at that moment it seemed neither of the two teams dominated possession. Southampton was getting a slight edge at 405 touches compared to Manchester’s 375.
The Saints however were going at full speed, whereas United looked a bit spent compared to their energetic start. Just before the game ended though, Ibracadabra , served by a nice assist from Herrera, got the final say and the win for his team with a clutch score at the 87th minute.