In what was a brilliant display of the individual charisma of the super-manager Jose Mourinho and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the red devils sealed their first major trophy this season.

The new chapter in the managerial stint of Jose Mourinho reached its maiden crescendo as Manchester United defeated Southampton 3 goals to 2 to win the EFL cup at Wembley Stadium this Sunday. The Red Devils, in spite of being dominated by the Saints for most part of the game, emerged victorious, thanks to the Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brace and Lingard’s strike.

Ibrahimovic opened up the scoring chart as he netted a beautiful free-kick into the corner just after 19 minutes of the game, scoring his 25th goal this season. At 38 minutes, Lingard extended the ManU lead to two to nil as he slotted the Rojo pass elegantly in the bottom corner of the net from 16 yards. In no time the Saints got their well deserved goals as Gabbiadini found the net on the either halves at 45th and again at 48th minute to level the match. Finally, it was the talisman in Zlatan who broke the deadlock in the 87th minutes, standing tall above all and powering his header past Forster from six yards to seal United’s first silverware this season.

At the end of the night, it was loud and clear that the Southampton side were better of the two. They defended deep and attacked with all might. In spite of being denied a legitimate goal which clearly wasn’t an offside, Manolo Gabbiadini and company played a complete game, neutralising the United’s defence multiple times over the 90 mintues. Even Mourinho, addressing the press post-match, agreed that had the game gone into the extra time, the results could have been different. But what made Manchester United the champion was the resilience which the Mourinho-Ibrahimovic era has ushered into the team.

This wasn’t a game that Moyes or Van Gaal, or for that reason, Van Persie or Rooney could have won. This needed personal heroics, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, champion, winner and all-round hero, gave United just that as he lifted the 32nd trophy of his illustrious career and the maiden silverware at Old Trafford. Way to go!


Nikhil Kumar
[email protected]


Image credits: ibtimes.co.in