Manchester United football club has recorded its first major trophy win under Jose Mourinho after defeating Southampton 3-2 in the English Football league cup final this evening.
Jose Mourinho, started the match with the 4-2-3-1 formation, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic spearheading his attack, Mata, Lingard and Martial the supporting trio behind the striker while Rooney who recently rejected a mega deal move to China, had to opt for a place on the bench.
Southampton, meanwhile have not enjoyed success in terms of trophies in recent years but started with England goalkeeper Ben Forster and a strong back-line of Cedric, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand.
Southampton (4-3-3): Forster; Cedric, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand; Romeu, Davies, Ward-Prowse; Tadic, Redmond, Gabbiadini.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Ibrahimovic.
Southampton’s coach, Puel instructed his players to put the opposition under pressure and that’s what they started doing from the beginning of the game.
United in the 6th minute after some early pressure, started to get their groove back and enjoyed some possession, then Cedric in the 10th minute got past the byline and passed to Gabbiadini who scores.. Goal???? No, no goal.. The linesman raises up the offside flag ..Was it a wrong decision by the referee? Mourinho looked relieved at the official’s decision.
Southampton continued with their attacking display and you could sense Bailly and Smalling were becoming nervous. Oriol Romeu fouled Herrera and was then yellow carded. Zlatan Ibrahimovic stepped up to take the resulting free kick.
Gooooaallllll! Man U’s enigmatic striker opened the scoring for the Reds in the 19th minute with a curling free kick. What a marvelous beauty!
Southampton who hadn’t really tested De Gea between the sticks, but then Ward-Prowse tries his luck with a strike on goal from around 25-yards which De Gea saves on the 28th minute.
United enjoyed a period of sustained possession but Southampton started to defend vigorously behind the ball, this was turning into jungle football, the alas…. Goallllllll!!!!! Jesse Lingard places the ball smoothly into the bottom corner after some wonderful interplay from Mata, Martial and Rojo.
Man U 2-0 Southampton.. It started looking like a foregone issue for Man U, but Jose Mourinho was seen looking bullish, he knew from experienc that anything could happen in a final.
Goallllll!!!!! Southampton get back into this, just before halftime. Ward-Prowse drifted into the right wing at the 46th minute and Rojo sloppily gave him space, his cross into the center goes to Manolo Gabbiadini, who directs the ball into the net.
Man U 2-1 Southampton. Halftime!
United came back for the second half and introduced veteran Michael Carrick in place of Juan Mata.. Southampton shock Man U again and its Manolo Gabbiadini again.
De Gea was shell shocked as Davis crossed into the box and Gabbiadini latches on to the bouncing ball with a nice one time volleyed finish into the bottom right corner. Man U 2-2 Southampton…48th minute..
Southampton let loose! They go ham on Man U, making attacking forays upon forays upon forays…The ball hits the woodwork, De Gea saves, Carrick shoots from a resulting free kick but it’ blocked. Dušan Tadić leaves and Sofiane Boufal is introduced into the game, Marcus Rashford comes in for Lingard, Gabbiadini the goalscorer leaves for Shane Long.
Both sides start chasing for a last minute goal… Zlat!!!!!!!!!
Zlatan Ibrahimovic heads a wonderful masterpiece into the net after receiving a wonderful cross from Ander Herrera in the 87th minute. Two goals today from the 36 year old Swede…He truly came to England and has conquered, just like he did in his previous clubs. Southampton pressure Man U, but its all over. Man U win their first major trophy under Jose Mourinho and he’ll hope there is more to come…
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Zlatan Ibrahimovic said:
‘I came to win, the more I win, the more satisfied I get,’ Ibrahimovic told Sky Sports.You appreciate it [winning cups] more the older you get. At the beginning it’s fun. Now I’m older its about collecting trophies. This is what I predicted. Everything I saw has happened. Too many i couldn’t do it but I keep going and I am enjoying the game.’
More photos below…