Cometh the hour, cometh Erik ten Hag’s men. Manchester United is in the Carabao Cup final courtesy of five thrilling back-to-back wins. Not to mention that the Red Devils walked away from four of those five games with a clean sheet.
A welcome change of fortune
The last time United lifted silverware was over half a decade ago, in 2017. By any measure, it has been a silverware drought for the trophy-laden club. The Red Devils are among the most decorated and successful teams in England and Europe.
It is manager Ten Hag’s fledgling season as Red Devils boss, and so far, it has been a resounding success. A resurgent United, showcasing all the grit and hunger of United teams gone by, will face Newcastle United this Sunday (16:30 GMT kick-off).
Club captain Harry Maguire walked down memory lane during an interview with Manchester United (via Manchester United). He recalls the road to Wembley vividly.
Third round: 10/11/22 – Aston Villa (H) 4-2 (Martial, Rashford, Fernandes, McTominay)
“It was a great game to be involved in and a great game for the fans. I’m sure the fans really enjoyed that one, it was an entertaining game, like I say.”
“The Old Trafford fans got us through the match, through the tie, and it was a great one to start the run off. “
“It was a really important goal [the equaliser] from Anthony Martial, especially in the cup run, when you look back and you think about the good moments in reaching the final. That is a big moment.”
Fourth round: 21/12/22 – Burnley (H) 2-0 (Eriksen, Rashford)
“It was an important win. I think obviously, I came back from the World Cup, but I was actually going to play in the game. I was ill that day. I’d trained a few times and was going to play but I think Case [Casemiro], that night, may have played centre-half because we had no defenders available. Licha [Lisandro Martinez] and Rapha [Raphael Varane] were still away after the World Cup or having a few days off, so I was due to play, But it was an important game, probably not our best performance but the win was all that mattered and we got through on the night.”
Quarter-final: 10/01/23 – Charlton (H) 3-0 (Antony, Rashford 2)
“Another important win. We knew they’d come here and make it hard. We scored a good first goal and should have seen the game out and got the second goal a little earlier in the game.”
“We controlled the game well but their fans were loud behind the goal, every time they got near the goal, and it made it a little bit nervy and edgy as they brought a lot of loud noise, especially between 60 and 80 minutes.”
“But, yeah, we got a comfortable win in the end, even if we could have made it a bit easier for ourselves. You’ve got to beat what is put in front of you and be efficient.”
“When you know it’s not going to extra time, you have got to be even more aware and wary of counter-attacks as one mistake could have given them an opportunity. The second goal was crucial, like I say, I’d liked us to have got it a little bit earlier to see the game off but we got there in the end and won 3-0, so it was an important win for us.”
Semi-final: 25/01/23 – Nottingham Forest (A) 3-0 (Rashford, Weghorst, Fernandes)
“That was definitely a really impressive performance, away at Forest. I was suspended for the game [for picking up two yellow cards in the competition], so I missed out, but it was a really good and efficient performance.”
“From the first minute, we looked right at it and, for me, it was where the semi-final was won – 3-0 in the first leg away from home.”
“You don’t like speaking about it too early as you’ve also got to see out probably the first half in the second leg but we did that and it was certainly a really impressive performance away at Forest.”
Semi-final: 1/2/23 – Nottingham Forest (H) 2-0 (Martial, Fred)
“We spoke about going into the second leg, we wanted to win the game rather than see it out 0-0.”
“These fans don’t expect to come to Old Trafford to watch us do that. I think it was 0-0 at half-time but we kicked on in the second half and won the game comfortably in the end.”
“It was a good win, a great semi-final from the lads, 5-0 [on aggregate] is very impressive and it has set up a great final.”
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