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Full-time: Manchester United 3-2 Southampton

  • Jose Mourinho becomes the first Manchester United manager to win major silverware during his first season in charge thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 87th-minute winner at Wembley
  • Ibrahimovic arrows in a 25-yard free-kick after Manolo Gabbiadini sees an early goal incorrectly ruled out for offside
  • United extend their lead against the run of play when Jesse Lingard, starting ahead of Wayne Rooney in the absence of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, adds to his Wembley haul with a tidy low finish
  • The prolific Gabbiadini hands Southampton a lifeline in first-half stoppage-time by turning home a low cross from James Ward-Prowse
  • £14m January signing Gabbiadini hooks in his fifth goal in three matches just four minutes after the interval and Oriol Romeu later strikes the post with a header
  • Ibrahimovic emphatically heads Ander Herrera's centre past Fraser Forster from close range to seal his 32nd career trophy
  • Mourinho, who has still never lost an English domestic cup final, joins Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough as a four-time League Cup winner
  • Victory also sees United, who claim a fifth League Cup win in their ninth final, match Liverpool's 44-trophy haul
  • Southampton have still not won a major trophy since defeating the Red Devils in the 1976 FA Cup final
  • Premier League: Tottenham 4-0 Stoke
Manchester United

That just about does it for our minute-by-minute coverage of a pulsating EFL Cup final. Stay tuned to IBTimes UK for post-match reaction from both managers.

We will also be back tomorrow evening to bring you live action from the King Power Stadium as fallen champions Leicester City begin the post-Claudio Ranieri era with a tough home tie against Liverpool.

Until then, goodnight.

Huge cheers for Mourinho after Rooney hoists the trophy aloft.


Rooney leads his United teammates up to receive the trophy. You could be forgiven for thinking that Mourinho had just lost that final, judging by the rather annoyed look on his face.


The dejected Southampton players head up the Wembley steps to collect their runners-up medals.

They will not want to be patronised, but Puel's side put up one hell of a fight this afternoon.


Manchester United win the EFL Cup


Manchester United 3-2 Southampton

A late Redmond shot is charged down and Cedric fells man-of-the-moment Ibrahimovic, allowing United to take more valuable seconds off the clock.

Four minutes of added time for Southampton to find an equaliser. Mourinho was set to send on Rooney before that Ibrahimovic header, but now it is Fellaini who is called upon to replace Martial.

The skipper returns to the bench after hugging assistant boss Rui Faria in sheer jubilation.

Is that the goal that secures United their first piece of major silverware under Mourinho?

An unmarked Ibrahimovic emphatically heads home Herrera's accurate cross from the middle of the six-yard box. Forster had no chance.

Heartbreak for the Saints. Jay Rodriguez replaces Davis.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Goal: Manchester United 3-2 Southampton (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

Ibrahimovic proves his worth in a defensive capacity by intervening to clear Stephens' goal-bound header from a corner.

Bertrand is set free down the left and his inviting low cross evades everyone in the penalty area. Puel appeals in vain for a penalty after Smalling goes over with Long at the near post.

The towering Forster uses his feet to divert Rashford's meaty left-footed strike wide. Ibrahimovic can do nothing from the subsequent corner.

Another low shot from Redmond nicks off Carrick's heel and wide. Rojo heads away Ward-Prowse's latest corner.

With less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Gabbiadini makes way for Long. The Italian rightly receives a standing ovation.

Southampton have been mightily impressive today, but they are beginning to show real signs of tiredness now as the clock ticks down towards the end of 90 minutes.

United are in the ascendancy.

Lingard slices a powerful half-volley agonisingly over the crossbar from close range following good work from the increasingly influential Martial.

That was to be the 24-year-old's final contribution as he jogs off to be replaced by Rashford.

Puel also sends on fit again record signing Boufal in place of Tadic.

Pogba battles his way past Romeu and Yoshida. He receives a lovely pass back from Ibrahimovic and only a strong challenge from Cedric denies him a shooting opportunity.

Redmond lurks menacingly in the box before the ball is knocked backed for De Gea to hastily boot clear.

It looks like Marcus Rashford is going to see the pitch before Rooney as Ibrahimovic crashes a disappointing free-kick into the wall.

Herrera opts to take a quick free-kick from the right and Carrick winds up a long-range shot that is blocked.

Crucial defending from Yoshida to snuff out the danger posed by Lingard after a damaging run from Martial.

Southampton fans decide to light up one half of Wembley with their phones, for some reason.

"What the f*****g hell is that?" comes the response.

It looks like Rooney is preparing to come on for United...



Romeu, certainly not what you would call a regular goalscorer, gets up above Pogba and heads Ward-Prowse's corner against the post.

That chance was created after Davis released Cedric with a sumptuous flick down the right channel. Valencia had to turn the ball behind.

Oriol Romeu

Herrera is caught with an elbow by Romeu and goes down clutching his face. That could easily have been a second yellow.

Forster rushes out to thwart Ibrahimovic and a lovely dinked cross from Valencia falls safe after a lack of communication between Pogba and Martial.

Redmond has his name taken for a poor challenge on Carrick.

Southampton are really enjoying themselves here and all the momentum is with them. Redmond comes charging forward once more and attempts to remain on his feet after being tripped from behind by Lingard.

The United man is fortunate not to receive a second yellow card.


What an impact Gabbiadini is making at Southampton. After Rojo gets away with a risky sliding challenge on Yoshida at the back post, the Saints win another corner.

Pogba initially heads high into the air. The ball is then turned back into the box by Davis and Gabbiadini, in front of Smalling, hooks it brilliantly beyond a helpless De Gea.

What a finish. That is now back-to-back braces and five goals in three appearances for the Italian international.

He should have a hat-trick...

Manolo Gabbiadini

Goal: Manchester United 2-2 Southampton (Manolo Gabbiadini)

Ibrahimovic wellies the ball high into the air after Yoshida heads a corner back across goal. ]

De Gea is then forced to beat away a sweetly-struck volley from Redmond at his near post.

The second half is off and running. No changes from Puel as of yet, but a presumably unhappy Mourinho opts to send on Carrick in place of Mata.

The veteran midfielder takes the captain's armband.

And so ends a highly entertaining first 45 minutes. Wrongly denied an early opener, the prolific Gabbiadini has given impressive Southampton hope of a second-half comeback.


United have not been at their best, but still lead courtesy of goals from the evergreen Ibrahimovic and Wembley enthusiast Lingard.

Talking points aplenty.


Manchester United 2-1 Southampton


Southampton give themselves a lifeline on the stroke of half-time after Redmond releases Ward-Prowse down the right.

Gabbiadini gets ahead of Bailly and nips in before De Gea to turn home his accurate low delivery.

Manolo Gabbiadini

Goal: Manchester United 2-1 Southampton (Manolo Gabbiadini)

Two minutes of added time have been signalled by the fourth official.

Rojo gets caught out and Tadic heads to the byline before passing meekly into the side netting under pressure from Eric Bailly.

Controversy as Stephens charges into Martial after being tripped by Lingard and takes out of the French forward. United players immediately surround the referee looking for a red card, but Marriner sticks to his guns and produces yellow.

Good refereeing. The challenge was not nearly as bad as it looked on first viewing.

Lingard is also booked.

Despite arguably being the better side during this opening 40 minutes, Southampton now have a mountain to climb.

Mata, Martial and Rojo combine nicely in a triangle before the latter plays the ball inside to Lingard.

Left in acres of space with Stephens unsure whether or not to come over, the England winger, who scored an extra-time winner in last season's FA Cup final and netted again in the Community Shield victory over Leicester, fires home with aplomb.

He clearly enjoys playing at Wembley.

Jesse Lingard

Goal: Manchester United 2-0 Southampton (Jesse Lingard)

Pogba tries to release Ibrahimovic but his long ball forward is overhit.

Southampton cause more problems from a corner with 10 minutes remaining until half-time. Rojo is alive to deflect Stephens' pass away from goal before centre-back partner Yoshida can prod home from close range.

Southampton do not look disheartened by this first-half deficit. With Pogba nowhere to be seen, Redmond plays an incisive pass through the middle to Tadic.

The Serbian international lets fly with a shot that is saved by the legs of De Gea.

After Dusan Tadic is crowded out, Gabbiadini tees up Ward-Prowse for a powerful low drive that is repelled by a strong hand from De Gea.

Good defending from Yoshida to slide in and clear the danger after Lingard tries to set Ibrahimovic free in the box.

Herrera joins Romeu in the book for a rather innocuous foul on Redmond. That looked harsh.


His 25th goal of the season in all competitions...

Who else but Zlatan?

After that Romeu foul on Herrera, Ibrahimovic steps up to arrow a brilliant free-kick over diminutive Southampton captain Steven Davis and into the bottom corner.

A stretching Forster moved a little too late and was subsequently unable to keep the ball out.

First blood to United. That is a particularly bitter pill for Puel to swallow after Gabbiadini's perfectly good goal was incorrectly ruled out.

Can his team muster a quick response?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Goal: Manchester United 1-0 Southampton (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

United look to reassert control as the Southampton fans launch into a hearty rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In".

Oriol Romeu, who has enjoyed a very impressive season indeed, picks up the first yellow card of the afternoon for a needless and mistimed sliding challenge on Herrera.

Redmond cuts inside Valencia before dragging a low shot well wide of the near post. It's been a confident opening from the Saints, who should be 1-0 ahead.

Oh dear. Replays clearly show that Gabbiadini was being played on by Smalling's foot. Bertrand certainly was offside, but he was hardly interfering with play.

That is a very poor decision and a huge let-off for United. What an early boost that would have been for Southampton.!

Gabbiadini, drifting in behind Smalling, has the ball in the net once again after terrific work from full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Cedric Soares. However, the referee's assistant quickly flags for offside.

Manolo Gabbiadini

Redmond has started this game in lively fashion. The skillful forward works his way into the centre before unleashing a low effort that deflects wide off Herrera.

United successfully clear a couple of quickfire corners.


United are dominating possession just at the moment as Southampton decline to employ a full-pitch press.

Ibrahimovic looks to create room for a shot, but Lingard is penalised for handball.

Paul Pogba, often accused of not living up to his lofty billing in these big matches, exchanges passes with Ibrahimovic before testing Fraser Forster's reflexes with a stinging drive from distance.

James Ward-Prowse gets the better of Valencia and whips in a dangerous low cross that fizzes menacingly beyond Gabbiadini, Chris Smalling and Rojo.

With United in traditional red, Southampton have opted to don their white third shirts today rather than the black and silver change strips.

Here we go then. Referee Andre Marriner gets the first major cup final season of the season underway.

Let's hope for a cracker.

The teams have emerged from the tunnel. With pre-match handshakes complete, it's time for the national anthem.


The atmosphere is building with five minutes remaining until kick-off...


United and Southampton last met in August, when Ibrahimovic, who will today be hoping to secure a 19th career trophy, marked his Old Trafford debut with both goals in a 2-0 win.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Now there's an added incentive if ever I saw one...


So how did both teams reach this year's EFL Cup final?

3-1 victors over League Two outfit Northampton Town in the third round, United, winners of 43 major trophies in total, progressed through to the last eight thanks to Juan Mata's winning effort against Manchester City and later brushed aside West Ham before edging past Hull on aggregate despite a narrow second-leg defeat.

Southampton have been faced with fellow top-flight opposition throughout the competition, knocking out struggling Crystal Palace and Sunderland and taking advantage of a thoroughly under-par Arsenal. Nathan Redmond and Long then scored a goal in each leg to secure a 2-0 semi-final victory over Liverpool.

It's been quite a journey for the Saints, it must be said. They are only the second team in League Cup history to advance all the way to the final without conceding a single goal. Their defensive nous should be sorely tested today.

Excitement and anticipation no doubt lingers in the air as Saints fans make their way up Wembley Way...

Southampton fans
Southampton fans

Puel's only previous appearance in a major domestic cup final came back in 2001, when his AS Monaco team, bidding to win the Coupe de la Ligue, lost 2-1 to Lyon courtesy of an extra-time winner from Patrick Muller.

Speaking ahead of this afternoon's clash, the pragmatic Frenchman said...

Of course it's important for us and it's important for Manchester also It's been a very good journey and interesting to see the philosophy of the club. It's a good moment for the fans and I hope we can give them pleasure and joy at this match.

I know the last time Southampton can win a cup was in 1976 against Manchester. It's a long time and it would be fantastic to take a good result.

I think it's important and I can understand of course all the good atmosphere around the team and the fans. But it's important for us to keep focused and with a good concentration about the game and not what happens after the game. We have to keep the good attitude and good spirit.

Reacting to being told that victory over Southampton would see him become the first United manager ever to win a major trophy during their maiden campaign at the helm, Mourinho had this to say during a pre-match press conference...

First of all, you are right with 'if', 'if' and 'if' is a big thing in football. But I think it is more important the club than myself and I have so many good things in my career that I wouldn't be influenced by a little detail.

The important thing is the club and obviously the club won a trophy [the FA Cup] last season. Let's try to win another one this season. Plus the quality and dimension of our football is very important and I realised that by the fans' reaction, their happiness is very important, their empathy with the way the team plays.

So it will be good for the group, it will be good for the club. It will also be good for me, obviously. At the beginning of my career I was looking more towards myself and towards my personal achievements, if you can say that. I am in a period when I am more and more and more a club man.

Puel, meanwhile, names the same side that cruised to an easy 4-0 Premier League win over relegation fodder Sunderland last time out.

As expected, Yoshida and Stephens are trusted to attempt to contain the considerable threat of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Caceres named alongside Boufal on the bench.

Striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who has scored three goals in two appearances since completing a £14m January switch from Napoli, leads the line ahead of semi-final hero Shane Long.

Mourinho makes six changes in total from that slender victory in France, with David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial all restored to the starting XI.

Jesse Lingard

Sergio Romero, Ashley Young, Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini and Carrick drop to the bench, while Jesse Lingard is preferred to Rooney as a replacement for Mkhitaryan. The skipper is named as a substitute, however.

Jones does not make the cut.


The teams are in...

Much of the pre-match talk as far as Southampton are concerned has revolved around a potential baptism of fire for former free agent defender Martin Caceres, who arrived at St Mary's 10 days ago on a short-term deal that will run until the end of the season.

Virgil van Dijk is out with an ankle injury, while Charlie Austin, Alex McCarthy, Matt Targett and Jeremy Pied also remain sidelined. However, record signing Sofiane Boufal could be in line to make his first appearance since early February.

"I was surprised by his good physical fitness, because he can come on the training camp with a good level, good quality," Puel said of former Uruguayan international Caceres, whose last season at Juventus was ruined by an achilles injury.

Martin Caceres

"He worked hard on his fitness during his injury, and I don't know if he can participate at the beginning of this game but he can give good opportunities and solutions."

It could well be that the Saints, who sold wantaway captain Jose Fonte to West Ham in January and recently embarked upon a warm weather training camp in Spain, keep faith in the centre-back partnership of Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens while including Caceres as a substitute.

What is today's team news, I hear you cry? We will provide details of the official lineups just as soon as they are released, but first let's reveal who likely won't be playing any part in this final.

Henrik Mkhitaryan is definitely out for United, with the rejuvenated Armenian playmaker having limped out of Wednesday night's 1-0 Europa League last-32 second-leg victory over Saint-Etienne at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with a hamstring injury.

Rashford and Mkhitaryan
Getty Images

However, Michael Carrick has been passed fit after being substituted with a calf problem and captain Wayne Rooney could start following his own muscle issue and confirmation that he would not be seeking a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League after all.

Phil Jones (foot) remains doubtful having not kicked a ball in anger since 1 February, although Juan Mata is available for selection after returning from Spain. The 28-year-old had briefly returned home for the funeral of his maternal grandfather.

Good afternoon and a very warm welcome indeed to IBTimes UK's live coverage of the 2016-17 EFL Cup final at Wembley Stadium as Jose Mourinho looks to claim his first piece of major silverware since succeeding the much-maligned Louis van Gaal as Manchester United boss last summer.

Hoping to spoil the self-proclaimed 'Special One's' chances of equalling British managerial luminaries Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson as a four-time winner of this competition and end his 100% record in English domestic cup finals is Southampton.

Claude Puel and Jose Mourinho

The Saints, who return to Wembley for the first time since their 2010 Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat of Carlisle United, have only reached one previous League Cup final to United's eight, going down 3-2 to Clough's Nottingham Forest back in 1979. Their only reputable cup triumph came under Lawrie McMenemy three years earlier, when Bobby Stokes ' late goal secured a famous 1-0 victory over United in that year's FA Cup showpiece.

Can Claude Puel's side produce an upset today to stop the Red Devils from claiming their fifth League Cup crown? Stay with us throughout the afternoon to find out.