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Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 2
Casemiro (33’minutes), Rashford (39’minutes)
Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United won their first trophy as they beat Newcastle United in the League Cup Final at Wembley. Silverware has finally been delivered to fans hungry for success after six long years in the wilderness. They will be hoping it is the first trophy of many.
United won the game before the half-time whistle with a headed goal from Casemiro and Rashford’s deflected shot. Newcastle had started strongly and, for twenty minutes, looked the better side. However, they failed to turn that initial superiority into goals. Ultimately, they managed two shots on target in ninety minutes. United were clinical in comparison.
Just past the half-hour mark, after a neat interchange of passes, Casemiro strode out from midfield and picked a pass out to Rashford on the leftwing. Rather than risk him breaking towards the box, Guimaraes cynically fouled the England international. From the freekick, Shaw swung a beautifully inviting ball into the box. Casemiro connected, putting it past the helpless keeper. VAR equivocated, but Casemiro was onside, and the goal stood. Newcastle sensed their chance might be gone. Moments later, with half-time fast approaching, it was.
Rashford plucked a ball from the air for Weghorst. The Dutchman pushed forward to the edge of the box and then played a ball through for Rashford. His shot came off Botman and looped over Karius into the back of the net. The scoreboard will say there were six minutes between the goals, but most of that was a VAR check. In truth, the goals came as a one-two punch, one after another. They had floored Newcastle, and the contest was effectively over, bar the shouting before half-time.
In the remaining minutes before half-time, Weghorst could’ve scored a third. His shot from a distance brought out a decent save from the keeper. In the dying moments, Newcastle’s frustration threatened to boil over. After watching Antony beat Byrne for the third or fourth time, Joelinton was so incensed that he attempted to kick the young Brazilian out to touch. Then, failing that attempted foul, he grabbed another Brazilian, Casemiro, by the neck from behind and threw him to the ground. That was the end of the Newcastle fight-back.
The second half was comfortable for United. Wan-Bissaka came on for Dalot, who had been yellow-carded early in the first half. The change subdued Newcastle’s biggest attacking threat, San-Maximin, completely. For the remaining minutes, United limited Newcastle to a few half-chances. The more they attacked, the more gaps they left and United could’ve easily scored a couple more.
By the final whistle, Newcastle must’ve felt undone by a knock-out one-two while never landing a glove on United.
Manchester United’s trophyless barren spell is over. Though the least of the domestic honours, the League Cup is the first for this manager and his team. It should reinforce the belief of the manager, players and fans that this Manchester United are the now real deal.
Karius, Tripper, Botman, Schar, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Wilson
Subs: Gillespie, Lascelles, Ritchie, Targett, Isak, Manquillo, Murphy, Willock, Anderson
De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw, Fred, Casemiro, Fernandes, Antony, Rashford, Weghorst.
Subs: Heaton, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Sabitzer, Sancho, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Garnacho.