Manchester United edges out Southampton to win fifth League Cup at Wembley Stadium
The sometimes infamous Jose Mourinho has once again found a good fit at English power house, Manchester United. Mourinho, or “The Special One” as he is commonly referred to as, came in with high expectations, especially after a disappointing last season at Chelsea F.C. The loving relationship between Mourinho and the Blues ended after the then defending champions failed to even qualify for the Europa league, during the Leicester City Cinderella story season.
This past weekend, Mourinho and Manchester United went up against Claude Puel’s Southampton F.C. in a lead changing EFL cup final. With this win, United, commonly referred to as “The Red Devils”, is now the English Premier League team with the most trophies in their cabinet, beating out Liverpool by just one.
The match opened with a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. On a free kick outside the 18 yard box, the Swedish international and teammate Paul Pogba kept their eyes on the prize, with both players looking very interested in placing it in the back of the net. It was Zlatan however, who took it calmly and gave Manchester United an early lead. The 35-year-old legend ages with grace and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Ibrahimovic, or Zlatan as he normally goes by, shows that age is indeed just a number.
The second goal came from Jesse “Dabber man” Lingard. The English winger got into place inside the yard box and was supplied a well-timed pass from Marcos Rojo.
The Argentine defender found Lingard roaming in the box. With the composure of a veteran, Lingard slotted the ball into the right side of the net to give The Red Devils a comfortable two-goal lead.
The lead may have been too comfortable, as Manolo Gabbiadini responded and sent out a message to all supporters in red jerseys.
Right before the halftime period, and immediately after the second half begun, he scored not just the first goal, but the equalizer. The Italian winger gave the boys of St. Mary’s hope as the score was levelled once again.
Gabbiadini scored his first goal from a cross given by James Ward-Prowse. From the right side, Gabbiadini approached the well-placed cross and finished with his right foot. His second came from a headed ball. He volleyed the ball and left David De Gea, the Manchester United goalie, standing still.
Zlatan sealed the game for Manchester United in the end after the ball landed on his feet. He then led the break away. He ran with the ball and distributed it to his teammates. Ander Herrera sent the ball back to him, and he got a well- placed header into the net. This happened in the late hours of the game that eventually ended 3-2 in favor of The Red Devils.
With the victory, Jose Mourinho has now won the league cup four times, a record shared by the likes of Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson. He had a reflective attitude after the game.
“It’s the first one plus the Charity Shield. For the development of the team, there is nothing better than to do it with the feeling of trophies. But now we have Bournemouth in the Premier League, then Rostov in the Europa League, and we have Chelsea in the FA cup and we have so much to play for,” Mourinho said on the teams effort.
He wasn’t cheering, nor was he excited, but when asked, the Gaffer responded: “If you remember my last one here with Chelsea against Tottenham I was unemotional too. Winning is always special and today I don’t get emotional when I win.”
Although Manchester United fans rejoice, supporters of other teams play it down because the EFL cup is one of the smaller trophies in English soccer.
The Red Devils go up against Chelsea next in the F.A cup, where both Titans of English football will hope to get one step closer to cup glory. They go up against Bournemouth F.C. on Saturday, March 4. 2017 at Old Trafford.