Ten Hag captures his first prize with United at Wembley: win League Cup
Erik ten Hag has taken his first prize as Manchester United manager. The League Cup was won at a packed Wembley after a regular win over Newcastle United: 2-0.
The goal scorers actually tell the story of the resurrection of United, which had not won a top prize since 2017.
Casemiro and Weghorst
Casemiro headed in from a free kick after more than half an hour, the midfielder who moved from Real Madrid to Old Trafford last summer at Ten Hag’s intercession. Another acquisition, Wout Weghorst, was the striker for Marcus Rashford’s 2-0 moments later, whom they may never have seen as well as they have under Ten Hag’s strict reign.
Watch the reactions of Erik ten Hag and Wout Weghorst below:
Over seventy million euros for the thirty-something Casemiro, crammed with five Champions Leagues at Real Madrid, among other things. And the unpolished Weghorst dragging in the striker, after the departure of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. The successes silence all criticism; this United is once again competing with the big boys in soccer.
Eliminating FC Barcelona in the Europa League was already a signal, with this cup Ten Hag also has something tangible in his hands.
The final was really not one in which only United wanted to usher in a new era, that was perhaps much more true for opponent Newcastle United. With the hundreds of millions of euros from Saudi Arabia flowing in since a year, the team underwent a true metamorphosis.
Bad luck for Botman
Dutch man-marker Sven Botman was one of the big purchases, for just under forty million. With him in defense, the club has a remarkably low number of goals against in the Premier League, but on the hallowed turf of Wembley, he was unlucky when Rashford’s 2-0 goal saw him change direction and land in the goal.
That moment would have been an opportunity for goalkeeper Loris Karius to distinguish himself with an unparalleled reflex, but grabbing for the deflected ball he fell backwards and had to concede. And that in his first major final since his blunder in the Liverpool goal during the Champions League final five years ago.
David de Gea did claim that heroic role at the other end. It was still 0-0 when Allan Saint-Maximin belittled his opponent Diogo Dalot, but his hard effort was boxed out of the goal by the Spanish goalkeeper. And a few minutes later it was touch and go on the other side.
After gaining the lead with United’s two goals in quick succession, things did not get exciting again. Weghorst was kept from making it 3-0 by Karius, as were Rashford, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes in the second half.
Sure, the League Cup is only England’s second cup tournament and not nearly as prestigious as the FA Cup or Premier League wins. But this prize does mark the new era Ten Hag has begun in Manchester.
And support for his rigorous approach will only grow.