Some may say thrilling, some may say tense, when asked to describe the EFL Cup final. However, I’d just describe it as predictable. After Southampton were flagged for offside for a goal which really wasn’t offsides and looked most likely to score the first goal, not long after Ibrahimovic scored a free kick then Lingard nabbed a second. Gabbiadini scored right before the half to give the Saints hope.
After a Gabbiadini equalizer, Manchester United began to pick up a little bit more pace. Apart from a corner situation which Ibrahimovic had to clear in front of de Gea, United seemed to be in more control of the game. Despite Nathan Redmond looking somewhat threatening down the left flank, Southampton could not find a moment of brilliance like Gabbiadini had in the first half of the game to break down the United defense. As the match progressed, both sides began to wear down and players showed signs of exertion. In the 86th minute, as Martial whittled his way through the edge of the penalty box, Ander Herrera was left unmarked on the right hand side who could deliver the cross to Zlatan. With his typical prowess and finishing, Ibrahimovic slotted his second of the game and third for United to take home the trophy. This was something of an undeserved goal for Southampton, as their defending was spot on throughout the entire game. However, I believe that this is an excellent example of keeping your head in the game, at all times until the whistle blows. A lack of concentration for a fraction of a second was all Zlatan needed to grab his winner.
So, you may be asking, how can all these momentum shifts make it a predictable match? Well, as I watch most football matches, I always say stuff as I think things will happen. For example, if Redmond was on a quick break I would be like “here comes a penalty”. After I saw that Southampton had equalized I made a prediction that aroung the 85th minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic would score and then take to Instagram after the game to mention how he has conquered England or something like that. I’m still waiting on the Instagram post but I got United’s winner spot on.
I think the better team were defeated on the day, but that kind of has been the way Manchester United’s season has gone – the better team often struggles to get the win. Southampton should’ve had a penalty in my opinion, and their counter attack looked lethal especially early in the game but it fell apart after the goals.
It seems Utd have gotten back on the referees good side this season, scoring tons of goals that should’ve been flagged offside and then having a goal against them flagged offside when your-man is 2 yards onside. If they keep getting decisions like this at the rate of Arsenal scoring past the 87th minute you could see an interesting end to the season.
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