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First trophy of Ten Hag era as Man United down Newcastle at Wembley

First trophy of Ten Hag era as Man United down Newcastle at Wembley

Casemiro’s header and an own goal from Sven Botman saw Manchester United come out on top at Wembley
Manchester United picked up their first piece of silverware since 2017 as they beat Newcastle 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final.

Erik ten Hag has overseen an incredible turnaround since a disastrous start to the season, with Man United now impressing across all competitions, and the Dutchman has the first trophy of his reign to show for it after a successful afternoon at Wembley.

Newcastle were arguably the better side in the first-half, yet found themselves trailing by two goals at the break. Casemiro headed the opener from a free-kick, before a Sven Botman own goal, from a Marcus Rashford strike, doubled the advantage.

That proved to be enough, as Newcastle’s push for a way back into the match failed to produce the goal that would have really changed the complexion. Their last major trophy came in 1955 and the wait goes on. For Man United, it’s a first addition to the trophy cabinet since the Europa League six years ago.

Man United had Rashford fit to start in a big boost to their chances, while Loris Karius made his first competitive start for an English side since that infamous 2018 Champions League final, with Nick Pope and Martin Dubravka unavailable.

The Magpies made a sharp start at Wembley, looking to take advantages of any tired legs after Man United’s midweek exploits against Barcelona. It was a stop-start encounter at times, with a number of injury stoppages hampering things.

Allan Saint-Maximin was a constant threat and had a big chance to open the scoring after beating Diogo Dalot in the box, but his strike was saved by David de Gea and Bruno Guimaraes hammered over from the rebound.

A couple of minutes later, Newcastle were behind. Rashford won a free-kick out wide, Luke Shaw clipped the ball into the box and Casemiro, just about onside, was on hand to flick a header home.

That really livened Man United up, and they had a second before the break. Wout Weghorst slid the ball through to Rashford who drove into the box and got a shot away, one that deflected off Botman and looped beyond Loris Karius. The trademark celebration from Rashford came out, but it went down as an own goal.

Eddie Howe turned to Alexander Isak at the start of the second-half as he threw caution to the wind, and it ensured there was an end-to-end feel to the final with plenty of space on offer.

Saint-Maximin regularly got into dangerous positions but failed to deliver with his final ball, while Joelinton had two shots blocked in a matter of seconds by some desperate Man United defending.

The required moment of inspiration did not materialise though, and Man United increasingly offered a threat on the counter. Rashford was denied by Karius, before substitute Marcel Sabitzer blazed a couple of efforts over the bar.

It mattered not though as those in red held firm right through to the final whistle, lifting a trophy that serves as proof of the rapid progress made this season under Ten Hag.

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