Manchester United lifted the 2016/17 EFL Cup following a dramatic 3-2 victory against Southampton. United’s first two goals came from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (19’) and Jesse Lingard (38’) respectively, while Zlatan also scored the winner in the 87th minute.
On the other hand, Southampton made a superb comeback from 2-0 behind through Manolo Gabbiadini’s double (45’+1’ and 48’). However, Gabbiadini could become the first ever EFL Cup final hat-trick scorer but his early goal (11’) in the match was denied due to a wrong offside decision.
Southampton could take an early lead in the match with their deserving goal but it was denied due to a wrong offside decision. Gabbiadini netted the ball from Cedric’s pass who (Gabbiadini) was not at offside position; actually Redmond was at offside position who was behind the Italian. But linesman’s wrong judgment missed the opportunity for Southampton which ultimately proved a big turning point of the match.
On 19 minute, Ibrahimovic put Manchester United ahead by 1-0 through a superb free-kick. Taking that free-kick from the 25yards distance, Ibrahimovic curled that delivery at bottom left corner to beat the opponent goalie (Fraser Forster). It was Southampton’s first goal conceding in the 2016/17 EFL competition.
Then De Gea made couple of good saves in the first half which made more delay to open the scoreline for ‘The Saints’.
Lingard extended the lead for ‘The Red Devils’ on 38 minutes. A good team-game resulted Rojo to produce a ball for the English man who placed the ball calmly at the bottom right corner.
Just before the end of the first half (45’+1’), Southampton finally opened their scoreline. Ward-Prowse put a great cross for Gabbiadini who netted successfully from very close range to make 2-1 the scoreline.
In the first half, Southampton was better on the ground than Manchester United.
Saints scored the equalizer goal in early second half. Beginning with an attacking motivation, Gabbiadini netted second time in the match on 48 minutes. United tried to clear a corner but Davis got that who made a headed pass to the Italian forward who netted that with a brilliant half-volley.
On 63 minutes, Romeu was unlucky to score a deserving goal as his header following after a corner hit on the bar.
Just before replacing with Marcus Rashford, Lingard (76’) had a chance to score his second goal of the day. It was a great chance for Lingard but he surprisingly shot over the bar.
Just 3 minutes before the 90-minute, Ibrahimovic netted the most valuable cup winning goal. Herrera’s excellent cross found the former Swedish international who headed to secure United’s 5th EFL title.
Southampton was tactically better on the field but United never gave away their control on the match.
Here are look out some important stats of this EFL cup final:
- It is Manchester United’s 5th EFL title which is joint second most for a club (Aston Villa and Chelsea have also won this competition for 5 times each). Liverpool has the record with 8 EFL trophies.
- Jose Mourinho became the first Manchester United manager to win a trophy in debut season of the club.
- Jose Mourinho also became the joint most successful manager to win EFL cup. Mourinho has won this trophy for 4 times (3 for Chelsea and 1 for Manchester United) which is equal with Brain Clough and Alex Ferguson’s record (both won 4 times each).