Manchester United 3-2 Southampton
The Red Devils scrape past the Saints via a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic winner. The first trophy of the season goes to Jose’s men, with a possibility of three more.
As it happened…
DISALLOWED GOAL (GABBIADINI – 11’)
The first goal of the game came from the underdogs, which was wrongly disallowed – right-back Cedric’s low cross tapped into the net by Gabbiadini, who would have made it 4 goals in his first 3 games for the Saints. The Italian was in fact onside, but Ryan Bertrand, who was behind him – offside. Mourinho’s men got away with that one, and Southampton were encouraged then to press on and give United more problems to deal with (mainly in the form of low crosses).
1-0 (IBRAHIMOVIC – 19’)
A moment of cup-final magic from who else but Zlatan. He makes it his 25th goal of the season from a free-kick. Curled around the wall and into the bottom left corner. What a strike.
2-0 (LINGARD – 38’)
Jesse Lingard had been quiet all game, but manages to double their advantage. Martial, Mata and Rojo played some nice football on the left wing. The ball is cut back to Lingard on the edge of the box and he has an easy job to side-foot the ball into the back of the net. Questionable defending from Southampton, Lingard was given way too much time, and they find themselves 2-0 down.
2-1 (GABBIADINI – 45+1’)
Finally, Southampton have something their own way. Ward-Prowse plays a lovely ball through for Gabbiadini to tuck into the net, through the legs of De Gea. This time he makes it 4 goals in 3.
2-2 (GABBIADINI – 49’)
It’s that man again! No one has ever scored a hat-trick in a league cup final before… that should have been changed today, perhaps not. Southampton right back in it, Mourinho not looking happy. Goal from a corner which United do not clear properly. United looking by far the worse team out there, but with world-class players that they have in their team, that can change in an instant.
3-2 (IBRAHIMOVIC – 87’)
As predicted, United’s class comes through despite the Saint’s best efforts to take it to extra time. Bertrand and Yoshida give the Red’s number 9 too much space in the box, and Zlatan punishes them. He gets United out of trouble once again, a reoccurring theme this season, his 26th whilst no other player is even in double figures.
Manchester United match-winner earns his 32nd trophy in his career. Speaking to Sky Sports, he says: “This is a team effort. I came to win and I am winning. This is what I predicted. To many I could not do it. My friend, I keep doing it, I’m enjoying it in England.” You can’t help but feel sorry for Southampton tonight from a neutral point of view – they dominated the game for perhaps 80 minutes of it, and were punished with a few moments of magic from top class players. Typical Jose fashion really. Had Southampton’s disallowed goal have gone in this could have been a very different story, but the first trophy of the season goes to Manchester United.