Rarely was a Carabao Cup final been as anticipated as Sunday’s clash at Wembley between Manchester United and Newcastle.
For Man United, the focus was on picking up a first piece of silverware since winning the Europa League in 2017, while Newcastle have not won a major domestic trophy since 1955.
Manchester United entered the game on a high after knocking Barcelona out of the Europa League in midweek, as the club continues to impress on all fronts.
Before the match, there was concern over the fitness of Marcus Rashford, who has 16 goals in 18 matches since the World Cup. However, he started and that itself was a huge morale-booster.
The Red Devils didn’t let down their fans by beating Newcastle in a match that didn’t scale great heights.
Manchester United took control on 33 minutes, as Casemiro rose to head home from Luke Shaw’s free-kick. There was a VAR check but the Brazilian was ruled to be narrowly onside.
Later, a Sven Botman own goal, from a Marcus Rashford strike, doubled the advantage.
In the process, Erik Ten Hag became the first Dutch manager to win the League Cup.
He become only the second Manchester United manager to win a trophy in their first season, replicating the achievements of Jose Mourinho.
He’s the fourth Dutch manager all-time to win a domestic cup final in England after Ruud Gullit – 1997 FA Cup with Chelsea, Guus Hiddink – 2009 FA Cup with Chelsea and Louis van Gaal – 2016 FA Cup with Manchester United.
David De Gea kept his 181st clean sheet and he is now the goalkeeper with the most in Manchester United history!
Newcastle United have now lost five straight major finals (1974, 1998 and 1999 FA Cup finals, 1976 and 2023 League Cup finals) since winning the 1969 Fairs Cup final against Hungarian side Ujpest.
Newcastle have also now lost their past nine matches at Wembley, extending the longest-ever losing run by a team at Wembley in history.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has apologised to the Toon fans after losing this afternoon’s final at Wembley.
“We did everything to get back in the game,” he said. “We had chances but couldn’t take them and that’s why we lost.
“No complaints with how we played, obviously the scoreline doesn’t say that, and that’s where football can be cruel.
“Individually and collectively I thought we played well but it just didn’t happen in the box and we need to work on that.
“I can’t take positives from losing but I can from the performance. They’ve been committed and give everything for the club.
“I’m sorry we couldn’t deliver for the fans today.
“The competition we are in now is at a very high level and we need to bridge that gap. Games are decided by small margins so we need to improve and hopefully we can enjoy more days like this.”