Football League Cup Semi-final, Game 1: Manchester United 2-0 Hull City
Premier League giant club Manchester United continued their winning run as they defeated Hull City at Wembley in the first leg of their two leg tie in the EFL Cup semi-finals with goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini. United have won their past nine games in all competitions - their best run since an 11-game winning streak in February 2009. Juan Mata has scored in three of his past four League Cup matches - two goals for Man United, one goal for Chelsea.
Manchester United 2-0 Hull City
Man Utd goals: Juan Mata 56, Marouane Fellaini 87
Before the match, José Mourinho chatted with the media about his opponents and Hull boss Marco Silva. “I’m happy with a small step to Wembley. If we win the match, I’m happy. I think it’s very difficult against a Premier League team to have a fat result. I think they will come very well organized, to defend and try something in counter. I don’t think the game will be easy for us. My objective, our objective is to win the match,” said Mourinho. “I think he’s an intelligent guy and a good coach. I think he will come to try to take the tie open to the second leg. Obviously he will try to compact the team, to defend, and for sure it’s always the same everywhere, 99% of the time, the previous manager is not guilty of the bad results, but when the new manager comes there is normally an impact. They will have this extra motivation. So I’m waiting for a difficult match really.”
Manchester United’s Juan Mata opened the match scoring in the second half. Late sub Marouane Fellaini followed up with United’s second, a late goal at 87 minutes, his first since April as United continued their dominance of this EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Wembley. And Mourinho’s first Wembley final with United is only one winning game away. United could have defeated Hull so completely that the return leg two weeks from now would be only a formality. The late goal from Fellaini means United have a good lead to take to the Kcom stadium on Jan 26 against Hull City. Marco Silva’s squad Hull City side are so depleted that he could only name six on the bench. Hull were unable to stop Juan Mata from scoring the first goal and looked to have settled for a one-goal margin of defeat until Fellaini got the second. To celebrate Fellani embraced Mourinho so passionately that he almost knocked him over. Midfield defenders Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggled to unlock Hull with a five-man midfield as Mourinho’s side dominated the first half,
Man United captain Wayne Rooney moved level with Sir Bobby Charlton at the top of United's all-time scoring chart with his 249th goal for the club against Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday, meaning he had the chance to claim the outright record against Hull. Roo came close to scoring goal number 250 inside the opening 10 minutes
Henrikh Mkhitaryan tried to slip the ball to Rooney no doubt giving him a chance to score his record goal. Unfortunately Marcus Rashford assumed the ball was for him. Mkhitaryan seemed so determined to pass to Rooney that he was second-guessed and the ball intercepted. The best chance of the evening for Wayne Rooney to reach ta historic record 250 career goals for United came six minutes in the second half. Paul Pogba sent a ball down the right and Rooney took it masterfully with his right foot, heading into the area at full steam and sending a shot just beyond Jakupovic’s far post. The striker was replaced with Anthony Martial just before the hour. Rooney’s next chance to grab the historic goal will be in the visit of Liverpool this weekend.
There was an early injury to Markus Henriksen who went off with his right arm in a sling after 19 minutes with what looked like a shoulder or collarbone injury after he bounced off Pogba and landed off balance. Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was absent through illness for the first time this season. The second goal for United came when Martial won the ball and Matteo Darmian picked out Fellaini at the back post for a header past Jakupovic to give United a win that puts them within range of the League Cup final. Last summer rumor had it that Juan Mata would not last long at Manchester United with Jose Mourinho as manager, but it appears that Mourinho is determined to stick by the Spain midfielder and he has been rewarded with a high quality performance from Mata this term. Mata’s goal against Hull City in the first leg of this EFL Cup semi-final was his 33rd in all competitions in 3 years since being sold by Mourinho at Chelsea. Combining goals and assists Mata has the same total (53) as Philippe Coutinho and David Silva at Liverpool and Manchester City.
After the victory, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho talked to the press again. "Maybe I didn't prepare the team right. I didn't give them enough intensity, and we had to change that at half-time. Maybe I should pay more attention to the dynamic of the game,” said Mourinho. "We have to improve for Sunday. Today our performance was enough to win, but Sunday we all have to improve." Hull City manager Marco Silva talked about being new on the job. "There's only been four training sessions with me and with many, many things to change, I'm happy with the work my players did during this game," said Silva.
de Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Darmian, Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Rooney, Mkhitaryan, Rashford. Subs: Martial, Lingard, Carrick, Blind, Romero, Fosu-Mensah, Fellaini.
Jakupovic, Huddlestone, Maguire, Robertson, Meyler, Mason, Clucas, Tymon, Snodgrass, Henriksen, Diomande. Subs: Hernandez, Maloney, Weir, Marshall, Bowen, Clackstone.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Spanish international goalie David De Gea gets credit for the clean sheet. Juan Mata was named Man of the Match. Next Manchester United play Premier League rivals, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on Sunday with a win for the Red Devils possibly taking them into the top five. Hull next host Bournemouth hoping to move off the bottom of the table. The Tigers have not won a Premier League match since 6 November.
EFL CUP TICKETS
The English Football League Cup, or EFL Cup was formerly known as the Capital One Cup or Carling Cup is one of the most exciting football cups in the UK. The EFL Cup final takes place at Wembley Stadium in London. The current English Football League Cup champions are Manchester City after defeating Liverpool on penalties in the thrilling 2016 EFL Cup Final at Wembley. Liverpool are winners of the cup a record eight times and finalists in 2016.
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On January 11, Southampton will host Liverpool at St. Mary’s Stadium. Then on January 25, Liverpool host Southampton at Anfield Road in the return tie. On January 26, Manchester United travel to clash with Hull City at KC Stadium in their return match. The EFL Cup Final 2017 will be played at Wembley Stadium in London on February 26. Great guaranteed EFL tickets and EFL Final 2017 tickets are still available at a variety of prices from 1st4FootballTickets.com.
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