In what was a heavyweight EFL Cup showdown on Sunday afternoon, Manchester United ended their six-year wait for a piece of silverware as they claimed a 2-0 victory against Newcastle at Wembley.
Making the trip to the capital after picking up some perfect momentum following their 2-1 win against Barcelona, Erik ten Hag has quickly written himself into Old Trafford folklore as Casemiro and a Sven Botman own goal helped United lift a first trophy since their Europa League success under Jose Mourinho back in 2017.
Only continuing on what has been a stellar purple patch since returning from the World Cup’s winter break, the Red Devils simply had too much for a Newcastle squad who were making their first trip to Wembley in 27 years.
However, heading into the half-time break chasing a 2-0 deficit and without Nick Pope between the sticks, Eddie Howe’s side largely failed to get much of a grip on proceedings.
On an afternoon when Manchester United rightfully claimed this season’s EFL Cup, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Wembley.
Ten Hag is building to dynasty
While Manchester United might have opened ten Hag’s tenure with back-to-back Premier League defeats, the Premier League giants have come roaring back in some style.
Booking their Europa League last-16 ticket earlier in the week as they claimed a thrilling 4-3 aggregate victory against Spanish giants Barcelona, the former Ajax boss has only seen his side gain a string of praise since returning from the World Cup break.
With some around Old Trafford even starting to belive that they could mount a shock title charge over the coming months, ten Hag has made it clear that he wants to bring multiple pieces of silverware back to Old Trafford following Sunday’s success at Wembley.
Ending their six-year wait to lift a trophy, there is no doubt that the mood in Manchester United’s camp is at the highest it has been in recent memory.
More than deserving of Sunday’s EFL Cup after breezing their way to the final following a 5-0 aggregate romp against Nottingham Forest, United have laid down a major marker to the rest of England’s elite.
Implementing a new mindset and racking in the rewards, it appears that United are back to their fearsome best.
Casemiro is United’s new midfield icon
While some across the Premier League might have been shocked to see Manchester United pay £70million for Casemiro last season after the 30-year-old decided to end his tenure with Real Madrid, the Brazilian ace has proven to be one of the signings of the season.
Lifting five Champions League trophies during his iconic stint in the Spanish capital, Casemiro’s experience and winning mentality has been a huge factor behind United’s success this season.
Making his return from a three-match domestic suspension on Sunday afternoon, ten Hag’s midfield talisman opened the scoring in the 33rd-minute with a wonderful glanced heading past Loris Karius.
Becoming a key part of ten Hag’s plans and already cementing his spot as a fan favourite at Old Trafford, Casemiro has certainly offered United something that they have been missing since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure a decade ago.
With the Brazilian international making it clear that he wants Sunday’s EFL Cup success to be the first of many trophies that he gets to lift at United, it is hard to find a more important signing that rivals Casemiro over recent years.
Newcastle’s date with destiny comes at a tough time
While Manchester United might have made the trip to Wembley riding what has been an extended wave of momentum, Newcastle opened Sunday’s showdown in the midst of a recent wobble.
Although Howe’s side might have stunned many across the Premier League prior to the World Cup’s winter break, the former Bournemouth boss has seen his side fail to match a similar level over recent weeks.
Despite booking their EFL Cup final ticket after clinching a 3-1 aggregate victory against Southampton earlier in the month, Newcastle have now won just one of their last seven Premier League matchups and they have shown some issues in the final third.
Failing to pick up what would have been a welcomed boost last weekend as they slumped to a 2-0 loss at home against Liverpool, the top-four dreamers now face a real uphill struggle in their bid to secure a famous Champions League spot this season.
Mustering just a pair of shots on target at Wembley and with attacking talisman Callum Wilson bagging just a single strike since opening 2023, Howe will simply be looking to take the positives away from what has been a stellar EFL Cup run on the whole.
Manchester United: Dea Gea, Varene, Martinez, Shaw, Fred, Casemiro, Antony, Fernandes, Rashford, Weghorst
Subs: Maguire, McTominay, Wan-Bissaka, Sancho, Sabitzer
Newcastle: Karius, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Almiron
Subs: Anderson, Isak, Ritchie, Murphy, Willock
Goals: Casemiro (33′), Botman OG (39′)
Yellow Cards: Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Fred, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro – Newcastle: Joelinton, Botman, Schar
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: David Coote
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!