EFL Cup: Hull City 2-1 Manchester United (Agg: 2-3)
Titan Premier League club Manchester United have reached their ninth League Cup final - second only to Liverpool who have reached the final 12 times in the history of the competition. Superstar Paul Pogba scored his seventh goal of the season in all competitions at 66 minutes to put United through. Only Swedish celebrity superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored more goals for Man United this season - with 19 goals to date. Next Manchester United host Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup on Sunday. Hull travel to meet Fulham.
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Jose Mourinho has never lost in a League Cup final
Jose Mourinho said he is pleased to be going back to Wembley for the EFL Cup final against Southampton in February. but not pleased with Manchester United's 2-1 second-leg defeat to Hull City. Manchester United progressed to the final 3-2 on aggregate thanks to Paul Pogba's second-half goal at the KCOM Stadium. Oumar Niasse’s late goal at 85 minutes added to Tom Huddlestone's opener from the penalty spot at 35 minutes to put Hull ahead in the second leg of the tie. The Red Devil’s 17-game unbeaten run came to an end against the Tigers, however the result was enough to set up the 26 February EFL Final clash date with the Saints, conquerors of Liverpool in the last four, in a repeat of the 1976 FA Cup final.
"I feel happy. We got to Wembley. We had a difficult draw, difficult opponents, difficult matches but we did it,” said Mourinho. “We are there. We beat three Premier League teams, which is not an easy run to be in the final. We started the game and the game was in the pocket, we were completely in control and then something happened to open the game and we then had to cope with the game being open. We did that well."
"Every competition is important for me,” continued Mourinho. “Every match is important for me. It doesn't really matter which competition it is but Wembley is Wembley. Wembley has, for professionals with passion for football, a special meaning and a special feeling. Of course, I'm happy to be there and happy to bring many thousands of our fans. I think also, for them, this is something that they always remember - going to Wembley." "I just want to say congratulations to my players. It was a difficult road to be in the final and we are in the final. I don't want to say anything else. It is enough, I am calm, I behaved on the bench, no sending off, no punishment so no more words."
Manchester United set up an EFL Cup final against Southampton despite their 17-match unbeaten run ending with defeat at Hull City in the semi-final second leg on Thursday. Jose Mourinho made five changes to his side that led 2-0 from the first leg. Hull’s Tom Huddlestone put the hosts ahead with a penalty after four players tangled after a set-piece, Marcos Rojo's pull on Harry Maguire's shirt was the most obvious offence. Hull, 19th in the Premier League, had their hopes raised of a second domestic cup final in their 113-year history. However United’s Paul Pogba scored from 10 yards. The Tigers' Oumar Niasse struck the woodwork before he turned in David Meyler's cross to increase the stress on both clubs. Former Chelsea boss Mourinho could now move level with Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson on four League Cup wins at Wembley when he leads his Manchester United side in the EFL Cup Final on 26 February. United remain in the hunt for a Champions League qualification berth and are competitive in three cup competitions. The Red Devils beat three Premier League teams on the way to Wembley in Hull, West Ham and Manchester City.
On his 54th birthday, Jose Mourinho changed his lineup. Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were chosen ahead of Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Fans wonder how Mourinho will choose the compete as United bid for a fifth League Cup win. The final is scheduled on the same day United were scheduled to face Manchester City in the league and four days after the second leg of a Europa League tie at Saint-Etienne. Hull have three wins in a row in all competitions at home after the Tigers fought against United at the KCOM Stadium. Robert Snodgrass who has created 30 more chances than any Hull player this season, was left on the bench. Midfielder Jake Livermore has been sold and recent acquisition Ryan Mason faces a long lay-off after fracturing his skull. Hull's players wore shirts with Ryan Mason's name printed on them in the warm-up and the stadium applauded the club's No. 25 in the 25th minute as he continues to recover. Hull’s starting line-up included four players who have each played less than five games this season in Shaun Maloney, Jarron Bowen, Niasse and Josh Tymon. Manager Marco Silva counted on the experience of Tom Huddlestone as key to midfield success. New recruit Lazar Markovic came off the bench to help assist the second goal. With Hull's league position so precarious, Silva has a bigger battle to fight but this win against United showed that even with key names out, he has a squad which may be fit to avoid the drop.
After the semi-finals United will now compete in their ninth England League Cup Final. Manchester United won this competition with Sir Alex Ferguson in charge in 1992, and now a quarter of a century later Jose Mourinho’s side will hope to continue their unbeaten run in the League cup final. "Wembley is Wembley, it is for professionals with passion for football. It has a special meaning, a special feeling," said Mourinho. Man of the match is Ourmar Niasse who had not scored since a Europa League win at Algerian side Skenderbeu with Lokomotiv Moscow in December 2015.
Hull manager Marco Silva was interviewed after his sides win - loss. "It was a good win but not enough for our goal," said Silva. "It is important to win the game but the result in the first leg caused problems for us. It was a good performance again, a good attitude and we controlled the game in large periods against a big team. It is impossible at this moment to feel really happy. The goal we conceded is not a normal goal, we lost control at the vital moment." Wembley Stadium has been home to wonderful goals, incredible drama and amazing upsets. 2017 will mark fifty years on from Wembley Stadium's first ever League Cup Final in 1967 when third tier Queens Park Rangers upset top flight West Bromwich Albion. Since then fans have been treated to Obafemi Martin's late winner against Arsenal, Luton's historic 1988 victory, and John Sheridan denying his boyhood club Manchester United in 1991. Fans will not want to miss the upcoming 2017 EFL Cup Final. The 2017 Final is scheduled to kick off at 16.30 however this is subject to change. Great last minute EFL Cup Final tickets are still available from 1st4FootballTickets.com!