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Manchester United won their first trophy since 2017, defeating rival Premier League club Newcastle United 2-0 in the EFL Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Man United’s last title was the Europa League six years ago, but a two-goal victory over Newcastle clinched Erik ten Hag’s first trophy since taking over as head coach last summer.
Newcastle were looking for their first major trophy since 1955, but Eddie Howe’s side were two goals behind at the break, with Casemiro scoring before Marcus Rashford had a shot deflected beyond Loris Karius by Sven Botman.
Man United co-owner Avram Glazer was in attendance at Wembley amid continued ownership speculation at the club, which is still on course for a quadruple this season thanks to their participation in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Despite concerns over an injury suffered against Barcelona in the Europa League, Rashford was named to the starting lineup, while Diogo Dalot and Antony were introduced following Thursday’s European clash with the La Liga leaders.
Newcastle’s major team news featured Karius, who made his debut for the club and first competitive game in 728 days owing to the absence of Nick Pope (suspended) and Martin Dubravka (ineligible).
An Attacking Opening Half at Wembley
Both teams committed players forward in early attacks in the English capital, with Rashford and Antony shining for Man United, while Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron were engaged for the Magpies.
Dalot received the game’s first yellow card in the ninth minute for hacking Saint-Maximin to the ground, putting the Portugal international in a tricky situation with a lot of football yet to play.
Wout Weghorst created the opening chance of the game in the 13th minute when he exploited some space inside the Newcastle area, but the on-loan Manchester United striker was unable to beat Karius.
In the 15th minute, Dalot produced a dangerous low cross into the Newcastle box, but Fabian Schar just about did enough to complete the clearance, before Karius calmly kept out an effort from Antony.
In the 32nd minute, Man United goalkeeper David de Gea produced a huge stop to keep out a low effort from Saint-Maximin after a low Sean Longstaff cross caused issues inside the Red Devils penalty box.
Casemiro headed a Luke Shaw free kick into the back of the net in the 33rd minute to give Ten Hag’s team the lead.
The goal stood after a lengthy VAR review for apparent offside, with the 20-time English winners breaking through in the EFL Cup final.
While the visitors attempted to retaliate, Almiron hit the crossbar in the 38th minute, but Man United scored less than a minute later.
Rashford demonstrated his health in the build-up to kickoff, and the forward assisted the Red Devils in taking a two-goal lead when he collected a pass from Weghorst before beating Karius, with a deflection off Botman complicating matters for the Newcastle goalkeeper.
The Magpies had a chance to cut the deficit in half in the 43rd minute when Dan Burn glanced an Almiron cross towards goal, but his effort was just wide of the post, before Karius saved a thunderous Weghorst drive late in the first period.
Second Half Chances go Begging for Both Sides
Man United had a chance to score a third goal early in the second half when Rashford found Fred right outside the Newcastle box, but the Brazilian hit the post before Karius saved Antony’s drive.
With Dalot on a yellow card, Aaron Wan-Bissaka came on at halftime, and the Englishman made key crucial interceptions amid a period of pressure from Newcastle.
Bruno Fernandes’ long-range shot was deflected high of the crossbar, before Karius stopped from Weghorst from the resulting corner, with Man United pressing for a third goal that would have effectively ended the game.
Newcastle were applying pressure at the other way, but Howe’s men were struggling to create clear chances, with Manchester United protecting their penalty box incredibly effectively.
Saint-Maximin was a continuous threat, but Wan-Bissaka was up to the task, with the right-back excellently adapting to the tempo of the game after coming on at the halftime.
Lisandro Martinez saved Joelinton’s strong drive as the Red Devils dropped further and deeper, necessitating two replacements.
Scott McTominay and Marcel Sabitzer came off the bench for Manchester United 20 minutes from time, with Fred and Weghorst exiting the pitch at Wembley, allowing Rashford to run down the middle.
In the 72nd minute, De Gea did well to make contact on a dangerous Trippier cross before Casemiro cleared inside a crowded box, but the offside flag was raised, and Karius denied Rashford down the other end.
The pressure from the Magpies continued in the latter moments, but Man United held firm, with De Gea doing admirably under pressure; Wan-Bissaka had an opportunity to make it 3-0 four minutes from time, but Karius stopped his low effort.
Late on, Jacob Murphy barely missed the target with a wonderful low strike, before De Gea stopped late from Joelinton, but it was not to be for Newcastle, who will now focus on their Premier League top-four campaign.
Man United have won the League Cup for the sixth time in their history, and they are still competing in the FA Cup and Europa League in what might be a very successful first season under Ten Hag.
The Red Devils will play West Ham United in the fifth round of the FA Cup at home on Wednesday, while Newcastle will continue their Premier League campaign away to champions Manchester City the following weekend.
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