Monday 27 February 2023

Casemiro 10;Martinez 9: Reds star as United win Carabao Cup at Wembley

Manchester United faced their most testing week for many a year but passed with flying colours as we knocked Barcelona out of Europe and then won the Carabao Cup at Wembley.
It may have 'only' been the League Cup, but it was the first trophy of the season and a chance for Erik ten Hag to collect silverware only nine months into the job at Old Trafford. This will act as a springboard, a launchpad to propel United to further success and you can bet this will be merely the first of many. 

Despite having only two days to prepare in comparison to a week for opponents Newcastle, United controlled the final and won at a relative canter. 

Everything ten Hag touches turns to gold: his substitutions work to perfection, his signings have been brilliant and his mentality monstrous. Up ze Reds!

Here is how each played rated as the team roared to a sixth League Cup success.

David de Gea - 8

Had little to do apart from one low save from Allan Saint-Maximin and a late Joelinton header. The clean sheet ensures he has now eclipsed the legendary Peter Schmeichel as the keeper with the most shutouts in the club's illustrious history. A second League Cup win for our Spanish Dave.

Diogo Dalot - 5

Always looked to have a difficult afternoon in store against the pace and trickery of Saint - Maximin. An early booking didn't help his cause and was given a stern examination by Newcastle's dangerman. Subbed at half time - but he has his first Reds winners medal.

Raphael Varane - 8

A defensive masterclass from the World Cup winner and one of the best defenders in world football. Won everything in the air and was calmness personified. Rolls Royce of a player. 

Lisandro Martinez - 9

Last-ditch challenge on Fabian Schar prevented Newcastle from going ahead. Got kicked in the head twice but epitomises this side with his bravery, courage and ability. One of the signings of the season. Easy to see why he is already a cult hero here.

Luke Shaw - 8

First trophy of his career having missed out on the cup double of 2017 under Jose Mourinho. Crossed superbly for the opener and excelled both defensively and going forward. What a season this man is having. Is there a better left back in the country right now?

Casemiro - 10

Put United ahead with a thumping header and ran the game thereafter. Strong, composed, influential on and off the ball and popped up everywhere. His leadership and winning mentality has permeated through this side. A simply magnificent master of his craft. What a player. The perfect performance.

Fred - 7

Picked up a booking in the first half but controlled the game in a Brazil-centric midfield. Energetic and combative as usual, Fred is a reliable big game player and never lets you down. 

Antony - 6

Toyed with Dan Burn on more than one occasion and linked up well with Dalot. Drifted in and out of the game a bit but is so important to the structure and balance of this team. 

Bruno Fernandes - 7

Absolutely tireless performance as he defied fatigue to cover every blade of grass. He plays 90 minutes three times a week but his level never drops. Neat and tidy without having a seminal impact on the game.

Marcus Rashford - 7

Was an injury doubt coming into the final and United's talismanic figurehead was not at his dynamic and explosive best. That said, he still got his goal and has now won four major honours with his boyhood club. 

Wout Weghorst - 6

A decent performance from the loan frontman. Played a part in the second goal by assisting Rashford and nearly scored himself with a screamer. His best work came from a deeper role - his pressing is relentless and his work rate insatiable. 


Aaron Wan - Bissaka (for Dalot ht) - 8

An absolute colossus against ASM in the second half. Never gave him a sniff, got forward superbly and would be a contender for man of the match had he played the full 90.

Scott McTominay (for Weghorst 69) - 6

Came on to re-energise the midfield and kept things ticking over. Solid if unspectacular

Marcel Sabitzer (for Fred 69) - 7

A very impressive cameo. Came on at a time when Newcastle were pressing and helped to restore the equilibrium. I like the look of him.

Jadon Sancho (for Antony 83) - 6

Had little time to impose himself on the match but made a few darting runs in the closing stages

Harry Maguire (for Rashford 88) - N/A

Came on to lift the trophy but had no time to make an impact


Erik ten Hag - 10

Got everything right with his substitutions, game management and preparation. You simply cannot fault him. Bald is best. 

No comments:

Post a Comment