Manchester United 3-2 Southampton (FT)
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18:54 – END
That’s a wrap from me this evening at Wembley Stadium, but keeps your eyes peeled on Shoot’s website for reaction to Manchester United claiming their fifth League Cup.
Many thanks for joining me!
— Daniel Church (@DJChurch94) February 26, 2017
United’s fifth League Cup win has seen them move into second on the all-time winners list, alongside Chelsea and Aston Villa.
Liverpool hold the record with eight final wins.
In his fourth League Cup final, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho retains his 100 per cent winning record, having won three times with Premier League rivals Chelsea previously.
He is now level with Brian Clough (4) and Alex Ferguson (4) on the most number of League Cups won by a manager.
Mourinho has still never lost an English domestic cup final in his career. Remarkable.
18:24 – MANCHESTER UNITED ARE THE 2017 EFL CUP CHAMPIONS
A brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, either side of Jesse Lingard’s finish, helps The Red Devils edge past Southampton 3-2 at Wembley after an inspired double from Manolo Gabbiadini.
18:23 – FULL-TIME: Manchester United 3-2 Southampton
Ibrahimovic’s 87th minute header proves to be the winner! Jose Mourinho’s men are the 2017 EFL Cup champions.
18:17 – 90 mins
Final change for United, on comes Marouane Fellaini for Martial.
As for The Saints, Jay Rodriguez replaces Steven Davis.
18:14 – 87 mins
GOAL! Manchester United 3-2 Southampton (Ibrahimovic)
Whatever Gabbiadini can do, Ibrahimovic can do to. Perhaps, even better, by winning the League Cup!
Ibrahimovic heads home United’s third goal and the Swede’s second of the evening following Herrera’s delivery from the right.
18:12 – 85 mins
Ibrahimovic brilliantly threads through Rashford, but the substitute’s powerful effort is kicked behind for a corner kick by Forster.
18:10 – 83 mins
Man of the match, so far, Gabbiadini is replaced by Shane Long – Southampton’s second change of the match.
Saints fans are on their feet as the Italian leaves the turf.
Splendid cup final performance from the former Napoli man, who now has five goals in his first four appearances for the south coast outfit.
18:09 – 82 mins
Redmond wriggles his way down the left-flank, gets a lucky bounce off Eric Bailly, before his effort is deflected behind for a corner… Which comes to nothing.
18:04 – 76 mins
First change from Saints boss Claude Puel, Tadic coming off for Sofiane Boufal.
18:04 – 76 mins
Second change for United, Marcus Rashford replaces goalscorer Lingard.
Before being replaced, the winger could have restored United’s lead, but he rifled his half-volley well over the bar after controlling Martial’s deep cross.
Ibrahimovic just tried to repeat his opening free-kick from 25 yards out, but it is straight at the wall.
Just over 18 minutes remain in the 2017 EFL Cup final. Extra-time will commence if the score remains 2-2.
17:50 – 63 mins
Cedric is played in delightfully down the right-flank in De Gea’s penalty box, but his driven cross eludes any Saints team-mates and Antonio Valencia turns it behind for a corner.
A set piece in which Romeu rattles the woodwork with a fine header against the post!
Southampton are on the ascendancy.
17:43 – 56 mins
Redmond receives a yellow card for Southampton
Gabbiadini’s brace this evening makes the Italian Southampton’s first-ever player to score two goals at Wembley.
17:36 – 49 mins
GOAL! Manchester United 2-2 Southampton (Gabbiadini)
Saints’ New Year sensation is at it again! Gabbiadini has a second goal of the game after expertly spinning and striking the ball past De Gea, under pressure from Chris Smalling.
Thrilling cup final here at Wembley.
17:35 – 48 mins
Maya Yoshida swings back in a Dusan Tadic corner, teeing up Nathan Redmond at the back post, but De Gea saves his stinging volley with an outstretched arm. Crucial.
Second-half is underway at Wembley Stadium!
One change at half-time between the sides, Michael Carrick replaces Juan Mata.
FACT: Jose Mourinho has never lost an English domestic cup final in his career.
— Shoot! (@_shootfootball) February 26, 2017
Phew! What a blistering first-half Ladies and Gentleman…
However, Southampton will feel aggrieved as Manolo Gabbiadini should have had a brace already.
His first effort was NOT offside. Should in fact be 2-2, rather than 2-1 to United.
A let off for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Manchester United 2-1 Southampton
Goals from Ibrahimovic and Lingard has given United a narrow lead at the interval after Gabbiadini’s late first-half effort for The Saints.
17:16 – 45+1 mins
Manchester United 2-1 Southampton (Gabbiadini)
James Ward-Prowse is laid off down the right-flank, before driving in a low cross for the January signing to scramble the ball under De Gea’s body in the United goal.
17:10 – 40 mins
Saints centre-half Jack Stephens goes into the book for a dangerous looking lunge on Anthony Martial.
United fans calling for a red card, but referee Marriner is having none of it.
17:08 – 38 mins
GOAL! Manchester United 2-0 Southampton (Lingard)
Jesse Lingard doubles The Red Devils lead just seven minutes before the interval with a tidy finesse finish past Forster into the far corner.
17:02 – 32 mins
Save, again, from United’s De Gea as the Spaniard keeps out Dusan Tadic’s long-range effort with his legs.
Saints piling on the pressure.
16:58 – 28 mins
De Gea makes a super stop to his right to deny Steven Davis levelling the cup final for Southampton from 25 yards out.
16:54 – 24 mins
Ander Herrera is the first United player to receive a yellow card after tripping Nathan Redmond on the halfway line.
16:50 – 20 mins
GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Southampton (Ibrahimovic)
Following Romeu’s foul, Zlatan Ibrahimovic brilliantly steps up to beat ‘keeper Forster at his far post with a 25-yard free-kick.
16:48 – 18 mins
Saints’ Oriol Romeu is the first player to go into referee’s Andre Marriner’s book for a foul on Ander Herrera.
Replays from the press box show Southampton should be in front!
Gabbiadini was onside. It was defender Ryan Bertrand who was in an offside position.
16:41 – 11 mins
Southampton thought they had taken the lead through Manolo Gabbiadini, but his effort has been ruled out for offside.
16:39 – 9 mins
Nathan Redmond is the first Saints star to have a pop at David De Gea’s goal, but the winger drags his shot well wide of the mark.
16:34 – 4 mins
Paul Pogba unleashes the first shot of the afternoon, but it is straight at goalkeeper Fraser Forster from 25 yards out.
We are underway at Wembley Stadium for the 2017 EFL Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton…
The teams are on their way out! The battle for the first piece of major silverware of the 2016-17 season is nearly upon us.
Oh, go on then! Here is one final plug…
The teams are out at Wembley and warming up.
Just over 20 minutes until kick-off!
This is Southampton’s first appearance back at Wembley Stadium since winning the Football League Trophy in March 2010 against Carlisle United.
For all you Saints fans, here is where that starting XI are now…
Manchester United last lifted the League Cup back in 2010.
But where is The Red Devils’ 2010 winning squad now, I hear you ask.
Click here for three reasons why Manchester United will win the 2017 EFL Cup final.
And, click here for three reasons why Southampton will win the 2017 EFL Cup final.
(We like to be fair!)
Meanwhile today is Southampton’s second League Cup final, after losing their previous attempt against Nottingham Forest in 1979.
So, having failed to lift the trophy before, The Saints will become the 24th different club to win the League Cup.
Manchester United have won this competition four times (1992, 2006, 2009 and 2010) and are today appearing in their ninth final.
Only Liverpool (12) have appeared in more League Cup finals than The Red Devils.
A fifth Cup win will see them move into second on the all-time winners list alongside Chelsea and Aston Villa.
And here is today’s official matchday programme…
— Daniel Church (@DJChurch94) February 26, 2017
Sofiane Boufal is fit enough to be named on Southampton’s bench after recovering from an ankle injury.
However, new signing Martin Caceres will have to wait for his Saints debut, as boss Claude Puel has decided to partner Jack Stephens with Maya Yoshida at the heart of defence.
So, Henrikh Mkhitaryan isn’t named in the matchday squad after suffering a hamstring injury against Saint-Etienne in midweek.
Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick is named on the bench after a calf problem, whilst defender Phil Jones misses out with a foot problem.
Wayne Rooney is also among the substitutes.
Both clubs will receive approximately £1m in gate receipts from the final. The competition as a whole has provided clubs with £25m in gate receipts alone this season.
Fans are beginning to filter into the stadium now.
If you are inside Wembley Stadium this afternoon, why not send us a snap of yourself to @_shootfootball
And, if you are interested, here is a snap of the official teamsheet…
— Daniel Church (@DJChurch94) February 26, 2017
Southampton starting XI…
The teams are in!
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 26, 2017
Manchester United starting XI…
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 26, 2017
That is six changes manager Jose Mourinho has made following Wednesday’s UEFA Europa League win over Saint-Etienne, with David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial starting this afternoon.
Including today’s final, the EFL claim nearly 1,500,000 people have attended matches in the EFL Cup this season.
The highest recorded live audience of the competition so far includes Jose Mourinho’s side, as the Manchester United v Manchester City tie in the fourth round attracted around 1,576,000 worldwide spectators.
It is thought that today’s final will be shown live in nearly 200 territories and will available to as many as one billion people worldwide.
Victory in today’s League Cup final will guarantee the winners a place in the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League next season.
Liverpool currently hold fifth place in the Premier League standings, which is also a route into the second-tier European competition next term.
Manchester United are just one point behind The Reds, but Southampton are way down in 13th, 19 points adrift of fifth place.
Right then, with kick-off fast approaching, let’s have some score predictions!
Richard is brimming with confidence, predicting a 2-0 win for The Saints, and another clean sheet to add…
— richard geddes (@richardgeddes83) February 26, 2017
Who agrees, and who disagrees?
Team news is expected to filter out around an hour before kick-off…
But, for United, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to miss out with a hamstring injury, which he suffered on Wednesday in the UEFA Europa League against Saint-Etienne.
Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick is a slight doubt with a calf problem, whilst defender Phil Jones (foot) faces a late fitness test.
As for Southampton, they are hoping forward Sofiane Boufal can recover from an ankle injury to feature in this afternoon’s League Cup final.
However, manager Claude Puel is definitely without long-term absentees Charlie Austin, Virgil van Dijk, Jeremy Pied, Matt Targett and Alex McCarthy.
Defender Martin Caceres could make his debut for The Saints after joining on a free transfer last week.
Today’s clash concludes the 57th year of the competition, where 23 different football clubs have lifted the League Cup.
Manchester United have won this competition four times (1992, 2006, 2009 and 2010), whilst Southampton lost their previous League Cup final, against Nottingham Forest back in 1979, but they did defeat The Red Devils to claim their only major trophy, the 1976 FA Cup.
The match officials have already arrived at Wembley Stadium…
— EFL Cup (@EFLCup) February 26, 2017
Andre Marriner is our referee this afternoon, with Richard West and Stuart Burt his assistants.
Kevin Friend has been appointed as fourth official, while Matthew Wilkes is the reserve assistant referee.
Hello and welcome to Wembley Stadium!
This afternoon, Manchester United and Southampton will battle it out for English football’s first major piece of silverware in the form of the 2017 EFL Cup final.