Manchester United secured the first piece of silverware of the Erik Ten Hag era today, after the Red Devils beat Newcastle 2-0 at Wembley in the final of the Carabao Cup.
Despite Newcastle starting as much the brighter of the two sides, the first chance would fall to Man United’s goal-shy striker Wout Weghorst who scuffed his effort into the arms of Loris Karius from 12 yards out.
On the half-hour mark Newcastle got their first real sight at goal when French attacker Allan Saint-Maximin showed some brilliant footwork in the area before forcing David de Gea into a decent save at his near post.
After the emotion of their victory over Barcelona on Thursday Erik Ten Hag will have known he needed big moments from his big-game players at Wembley today, and on 33 minutes that is exactly what he got. Luke Shaw whipped a delicious free-kick into the area and five-time Champions League Casemiro winner rose highest to glance home that crucial first goal.
On 39 minutes the hard-working Weghorst slipped Marcus Rashford in behind the Newcastle defensive line, and when the 25-year-old shot it deflected off Sven Botman and deceived the unfortunate Karius before nestling in the roof of the net.
Newcastle dominated territory and possession during the second period but so well marshalled was United’s backline by the brilliant Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez that the Magpies were unable to ever really threaten De Gea’s goal and the Red Devils held on for their first trophy since 2017.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣ #CarabaoCup winners: Manchester United 🏆🤩 pic.twitter.com/7EbRHBihqe
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 26, 2023
Speaking afterwards Ten Hag was delighted to seal his first trophy as Man United boss as he looks to restore the club to its former glories.
“Yet again the right spirit, we have a very good spirit to fight and give everything. It was not always the best football but it was effective,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports.
“First you have to win the first one and that is what we did today. You can get inspiration from this and more confidence that we can do it.
“We are still at the start of restoring Manchester United to where they belong and that is to be winning trophies. This is the first one.
🚨🇳🇱 Ten Hag: “This is the club for me. I love Manchester United.” pic.twitter.com/MqycZLCUGB
— UtdPlug (@UtdPlug) February 26, 2023
“They [the players] are good and connected and they also challenge each other and it is a good dressing room and in the moment it is difficult they help each other out. It is the best a manager can get.
“I just want to win. We invest from the start with the staff. They did an incredible good job with the players. The staff and players are together. There was a hunger and desire for trophies because Man Utd stands for trophies.
“Raphael Varane, Casemiro and David de Gea know how to win trophies and you need such lads on the pitch to point the team. They have the winning attitude they have to bring it in the dressing room, in difficult situations and that is what they have done.”
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