Manchester United defeat Southampton 3-2 in EFL Cup
Manchester United faced Southampton in the 2017 English Football League Cup Final on Monday morning at Wembley Stadium, defeating the Saints 3-2 in a mouthwatering clash that left fans on their feet. Manchester United superstar striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace on either side of Jesse Lingard’s world-class goal. Soutthampton’s two goals were scored by Manolo Gabbiadini. Southampton hero Gabbiadini’s brace almost earned his side the League Cup final victory against Jose Mourinho’s super-star packed giant club Manchester United after completing a remarkable journey from a mechani’s job changing tires in Italy to the Wembley showpiece in London. Only eight years after becoming a car mechanic while playing for Italian club Atalanta in his teens, Gabbiadini stunned Saints’ fans at world-famous Wembley Stadium by almost delivering a shock EFL Cup victory only to be denied by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a questionable offside call by a referee.
“I kept going there because engines are my passion,” said 25 year-old Gabbiadini. “I was proud to go to work. It was more fun than a job.” Gabbiadini netted on his debut against West Ham. The following week he scored Southampton’s first two goals in their 4-0 victory at Sunderland. “Gabbiadini is a good technical player. It is important to play high up the pitch and have many options. He is always available and gives good solutions behind the defense with good runs,” said Southampton boss Puel. Ibrahimovic was key to the Red Devils winning their second trophy of the season to add to his enormous trophy haul. In every season since 2001, Ibrahimovic has picked up at least one winner's silverware. His header against Leicester in the Community Shield back in August secured him a first trophy in England, taking his career total to a colossal 30.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Honors
Ajax 2 league titles, 1 Dutch Cup, 1 Dutch Supercup
Juventus 2 league titles (later taken away due to Calciopoli scandal)
Inter Milan 3 league titles, 2 Italian Super Cups
Barcelona Fc 1 league title, 1 Spanish Supercup, 1 UEFA Supercup, 1 World Club Cup
AC Milan 1 league title, 1 Italian Supercup
Paris Saint-Germain 4 league titles, 2 French Cups, 3French League Cups, 3 French Supercups
Manchester United 1 Community Shield, 1 EFL Cup
To date Ibrahimovic has earned 13 league titles in 15 seasons since leaving his native Sweden for Eredivisie titan club Ajax. Ibra won a Dutch Cup, two French Cups, three French League Cups, a Dutch Super Cup, the Spanish Super Cup twice, the Italian and French Super Cups three times each, a European Super Cup, and a World Club Cup during his stint with Barca. Ibra can now add the EFL Cup to his collection of silverware. “This is what I came for,” Ibra after the win. “I came to win and I am winning. I just have to keep going, but the more I win the more satisfied I get. Ibrahimovic’s contract expires at the end of the season, although there is a one-year extension clause. Swedish striker Ibrahimovic has refused to commit his future to the Manchester United even after his goals helped United win the League Cup in his first season at United and debut campaign in the Premier League. Ibra scored United’s first goal and their winner in their 3-2 victory over Premier League rivals Southampton at Wembley on Sunday as they lifted their first trophy under new Portugese manager Jose Mourinho who has worked together with Ibra previously at Inter Milan. His double against the Saints took his tally for the campaign to 26 goals and helped him win the 30th major trophy of his illustrious career.
“Let’s see what happens,” replied 35 year old Ibra when asked about his plans for next season. “I think in your career you have moments. I did not come to England before because it was not the moment. I came when I thought it was the moment and the moment was there. If we speak about the coach Mourinho, England, the Premier League, the club has to thank him because he called me and asked me to come here, otherwise I would not have been here. Even my two kids wanted to see me play at United. I had my mind somewhere else. Before, everything was coming on top of the table, then Jose called. I have a special relationship with him. When he called it was basically, ‘tell me what number I should wear’. My mind was not here. Then my kids started to bump my head and Jose called, then I am here. I know I look good. I feel fresh. I feel good. I feel like an animal. I feel like a lion. I feel in good shape. I train hard. I will stop on top. I will not play one game by being Ibrahimovic and for what I did before. If I don’t perform, if I don’t bring results, I will not play. I will play as long as I can bring results.”
Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola did not comment about Ibra’s future plans with United. “I never speak about contract details with the press, I think that’s something between the player, the club and myself,” he said. “I think we should keep it that way and just enjoy the moment and we’ll see what happens next year. I don’t disclude anything. Anything can happen and we will see what happens. We’re now concentrated on the next cup. This was a very important cup and very emotional for him, for me and for Mourinho too. Knowing how he is and what kind of person and man he is on and off the field, he can do it anywhere. He’s the only player in the world who can be successful on Mars or the moon.”
Ibrahimovic is so good, United manager Mourinho joked that Red Devils fans should go to Ibra’s house and make a stand to ensure he signs the contract extension he is stalling on.
“I never bank for a player to sign a contract,” said Mourinho. ”I never bank for a player to play for me. One day Zlatan decided to go to Barcelona and I was very sad and did nothing to try to stop him to go. So I don’t bank for players. But, if needed, I think maybe United fans can go to the door of his house and stay there all night. If needed, I think they will go for sure. We all want and all believe that he’s going to stay with us one more season.” Buy the very best Manchester United Premier League tickets, Man United FA Cup tickets, and Man Utd Europa League tickets from 1st4FootballTickets.com to watch all the exciting action in upcoming matches! Watch Zlatan Ibrahimov in his debut season for Manchester United!
EFL Final 2017 Goals
Manchester United Goals: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 19, Jesse Lingard 38, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 87
Southampton Goals: Manolo Gabbiadini 45, Manolo Gabbiadini 48
EFL Final 2017 Squads
Manchester United and England skipper Wayne Rooney was on Mourinho’s squad list as a sub only days after confirming he will stay with United despite enticing interest from the lucrative Chinese Super League. Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed out after suffering an injury in United’s midweek Europa League clash at Saint Etienne. Midfielder Juan Mata was set to miss the EFL Cup final since he was in Spain since Thursday after the death of his grandfather, but returned in London in time to join Mourinho’s starting squad.
“He has told us and I think everyone realizes how important it is,” said Mourinho. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a League Cup final…a final is a final and you never know when you will play one again. So you have to take advantage of the chance and try to win it. If you lose it’s a bad feeling.”
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Rojo; Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Ibrahimovic. Subs: Romero, Blind, Young, Fellaini, Carrick, Rooney, Rashford.
Forster; Soares, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand; Davis, Romeu, Davis; Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond; Gabbiadini. Subs: Hassen, Long, Rodriguez, Caceres, Boufal, Hojbjerg, McQueen.
Referee Andre Marriner