(CNN) — Manchester United won its first trophy since 2017 by beating Newcastle United 2-0 and winning the Carabao Cup on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Casemiro opened the scoring minutes after half an hour of play, finishing off a free kick taken by Luke Shaw with a header.
Five minutes later, Marcus Rashford doubled the lead and continued his great moment, after his deflected shot narrowly missed Loris Karius and into the Newcastle goal despite the intervention of the German goalkeeper. It was later ruled to have been an own goal by Sven Botman.
The trophy cements Manchester United’s excellent turnaround under the leadership of Erik ten Hag, who has transformed the club from perennial trophy contenders in just over 10 months.
“It’s an incredible feeling, we’ve been looking for this moment, we, the fans, the club, and we finally got our trophy, we deserve it,” Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes told Sky Sports moments after the final whistle.
“It’s been an incredible period. The first trophy of the season, but we want more. It’s not enough for this club, we want more and we need more because our level deserves more.”
change of course
It was a final that had been coming for a long time for both teams for different reasons.
For Manchester United, the club had not won a trophy since 2017, a long haul for a club of its size.
For Newcastle, the wait is even longer, as they have gone 54 years without winning any major trophy.
It is also the first final for the club since its controversial takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) in 2021.
The PIF – which has an 80% stake in the club as part of a tripartite consortium – is a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the man whom a US intelligence report singled out as responsible for approving the operation that led to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Thousands of fans traveled to London from Newcastle to watch the final, turning the atmosphere at Wembley into a true Cup final.
And to the delight of Manchester United supporters, their local hero and top form man for the team, Rashford, started despite his recent injury. Newcastle could not count on their star, goalkeeper Nick Pope, who saw the red card in his previous match, for which he was suspended.
In the first minutes, and in a boiling environment, there was hardly any difference between the two teams, although Allan Saint-Maximin, from Newcastle, was the closest to scoring after a quick play with his feet.
When it seemed that Newcastle was going to take the lead, Casemiro headed in a free kick from outside the area and beat Karius.
The Brazilian midfielder was signed by manager Ten Hag in a £60 million ($73 million) deal from Real Madrid in the summer and his impact as the heart of the team has been a testament to Manchester United’s rise since arrival from Ten Hag to the club.
Things went from bad to worse for Newcastle minutes later, when some fine play between Rashford and Wout Weghorst brought the English star into the rival box. Although he was able to get a left-footed shot under Botman’s pressure, Rashford’s shot seemed to go wide, so the goal was credited to the Dutch defender.
After the break, Newcastle stepped up their pressure on David de Gea’s goal, with Saint-Maximin and newcomer Alexander Isak doing their best to create scoring chances.
The last two minutes were packed with set pieces, substitutions and counterattacking chances, with Manchester United looking the most likely to score.
In the final seconds, when the result seemed doomed, the Portuguese international Fernandes had a magnificent opportunity to put the finishing touch to a memorable afternoon, but Karius made a great save.
In the end, Manchester United were able to finish off the time remaining, end their six-year trophy-less drought – the club’s longest wait for a major trophy since 1983 – and possibly usher in a new era in the team.
“It’s a mix of emotions. It’s something we’ve been missing as a club,” Rashford told Sky Sports after the game.
“The fact that we got here and won it is a huge feeling. Hopefully it encourages us to keep going. There is a hunger for more finals like this. I have been in finals where we have won and lost. It is very important for us as club and as people, and it is part of our history. We want to keep adding”.
And he added: “We want to participate in a lot of games, and that means we have to stay in the competitions. If we want to win things, we have to keep pushing.”
For Newcastle, it was yet another disappointment at Wembley, where they have lost their last nine games at the stadium, a run that began in the 1974 FA Cup final, extending what is the longest losing streak for a club. in the stadium.