Manchester United crowned EFL Cup champions

Manchester United crowned EFL Cup champions

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th minute winner to award Jose Mourinho with his first ever major trophy at Manchester United.

Southampton were the stronger team over 90 minutes but Manchester United were more clinical in front of goal. Manchester United overtook Liverpool to become the most successful team in English football history, whereas the saints were unable to add to their solitary one major trophy.

Jose Mourinho became the first ever Manchester United boss to win a major trophy in his first season with the club. The former Chelsea manager also won his fourth EFL Cup, which takes him level with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough.

Ibrahimovic scored twice and Jesse Lingard also scored for his second consecutive major final to guide Manchester United to their fifth League Cup. The 35-year-old has now won 32 trophies during his career, winning silverware in Holland, Italy, Spain, France and England.

Saints had an early goal wrongly ruled out for offside when Gabiaddini converted from close range. The red devils went onto grab two first-half goals through Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard.

Manolo Gabiaddini scored before and after half-time to deservedly draw Southampton level at Wembley. The Italian, who joined Southampton in the January transfer window, has scored 7 goals in his first 4 appearances in England.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was awarded man of the match, had the last word in the EFL Cup final with an 87th minute header. The former Swedish international has scored 26 goals in all competitions this season and 76 goals in his last 89 professional club appearances.

Tactical Analysis

Southampton were the better team during the 90 minutes and deserved to win the match. They were unfortunate to have an early goal wrongly disallowed for offside when Gabiaddini temporarily thought he’d given the underdogs the lead.

Saints started extremely well and were playing with great energy on the front foot. Cedric won a duo with Rojo to steal the ball and delivered a low cross into the six yard box. Bertrand was in an offside position but Gabiaddini was being kept onside by Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

Manchester United took the lead against the run of play when Ibrahimovic struck a magical free-kick beyond Fraser Forster in the 18th minute. Romeu gave a cheap foul away from around 30 yards out and this cost them after a very promising start to the first half.

The first goal knocked the stuffing out of Southampton and they initially failed to recover from Manchester United’s opening goal. The red devils were forming some very impressive attacks and doubled their lead with a low accurate finish by Jesse Lingard.

Southampton improved towards the end of the first half and were rewarded when January signing Manolo Gabiaddini pulled one back. The Italian international scored his 7th goal in his first four matches in England to equalise shortly after the break.

They were playing admirably and with such energy, which was making it very difficult for Manchester United to defend against them. Romeu struck the post with a header in the second half and the full-backs were bombing forward to create opportunities.

However, Manchester United proved they had the clinical edge in front of goal when Ibrahimovic rose to convert a free header with three minutes of normal time remaining. Southampton failed to clear their lines and Herrera lifted a cross into the lethal Swedish man to head past Forster.

Jose Mourinho looked emotional during his post-match interview and admitted his difficulty to maintain his composure due to the modern-day pressure on a football manager. Ibrahimovic also told press his good relationship with Jose Mourinho lured him to Old Trafford in the summer.

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