Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 to lift the 2017 EFL Cup at Wembley courtesy of a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a solo effort from Jesse Lingard.
The red devils looked significant from the word go as they raided the Saints from all angles.It was Paul Pogba who first tested the prowess of Southampton’s shot stopper as he fired a thunder shot from about 23 yards away but the keeper was equal to task as he punched it away.
However,Southampton proved to be a threat whenever they moved forward. Manolo Gabbiadini was the star from the side despite his earlier goal cancelled for offside.
It did not last long when Ibrahimovic converted a free kick from the edge of the box putting united ahead.The lead was doubled later courtesy of Jesse Lingard following a cross from Marcos Rojo.
Gabbiadini came to a spot again netting early in the second half to give the Saints hope again in the battle for glory.He then added one to his tally and second for the Saints as this piled more pressure on the red devils.
It was a moment of magic when the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired home a killer header deeper in the second half to cancel out Gbbiadini’s equalizer and a wining goal of the final for Manchester United at Wembly.
The win sees Jose Mourinho extend his impressive record at wembly in cup finals having won four trophies with former club Chelsea and the latest being EFL with Manchester United at the arena.
Mourinho claimed the season’s first major trophy and ensured success just months after his appointment despite a largely disappointing United performance which was rescued by two-goal inspiration Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 26 goals this season after joining on a free transfer from French giants PSG.
Mourinho was brought into Old Trafford as the manager who is as close to a guarantee of success and trophies as it gets after a silverware-lined career at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid..
United were thoroughly unconvincing at Wembley but Mourinho and his teams invariably find a way to win trophies. And so it proved as Ibrahimovic headed home an 87th-minute winner.
He is a personality of equal stature and confidence, had a point to prove having never played in England and could provide the sort of charisma that had echoes of the great Eric Cantona.
Mourinho, however, is safe hands when it comes to winning trophies and United remain in serious contention for two more in the Europa League and FA Cup – this is a good start but the success-hungry Portuguese will want more.
Manchester United are a long way from their former greatness – but this EFL Cup final proved conclusively that if they are going to get anywhere near that status again Ibrahimovic is the man who is integral to Mourinho’s plans, even at 35.