Man Utd are officially back! Winners & losers as Erik ten Hag ends trophy drought with Carabao Cup win

Comments (0)
Man Utd Carabao Cup GFX
The Red Devils secured their first trophy in almost six years at Wembley as they earned a 2-0 win over Newcastle

"They should've got Mauricio Pochettino!" "Antonio Conte was literally right there!" "What's he even done at the top level!"

All of the above were charges levelled at Manchester United when they unveiled Erik ten Hag as their new manager towards the tail end of the disastrous 2021-22 season. How stupid his doubters look now...

On Sunday, United's near six-year wait for silverware came to an end, with a Casemiro header and a Sven Botman own goal giving them a 2-0 triumph over Newcastle at Wembley.

The win capped off a potentially transformative week at the club, with a re-energised Old Trafford crowd roaring their team to victory over runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona in the Europa League.

The job Ten Hag has done in turning this group of perennial underachievers into a side capable of competing on multiple fronts is nothing short of miraculous and, rightly, it will be his name that supporters will be singing as they celebrate in the capital and on the trains back to Manchester this evening.

Put simply, Manchester United are BACK.

GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from Wembley...

  1. WINNER: Casemiro
    Getty Images

    WINNER: Casemiro

    After Rashford's deflected shot doubled United's advantage in the first half, Casemiro - who had just minutes earlier headed his side in front - collapsed into the turf in a fit of pure elation.

    This moment demonstrated that, despite already lifting five Champions Leagues at Real Madrid, beneath the Brazilian's smile, an irrepressible need to win still bubbles away.

    A lack of characters like Casemiro has significantly contributed to United's previous trophy drought. He is the perfect man to lead the club into its glorious new era.

  2. LOSER: Loris Karius
    Getty Images

    LOSER: Loris Karius

    Karius arrived at Wembley with a point to prove.

    Equipped with some beautiful, retro-looking gloves, he lapped into the rapturous Newcastle applause after emerging from the tunnel to warm up. Sadly for the German, who has endured a nightmarish five years, the bad times just kept on rolling against United.

    First, he was beaten by Casemiro's well-placed header, then he could only get a despairing fingertip to Rashford's deflected shot as the Red Devils made it 2-0.

    There were some better moments, including a fine save from Wout Weghorst and an important stop from Bruno Fernandes at the end, but they will sadly be forgotten thanks to that ugly-looking second goal.

    This was his shot at redemption - but it just was not meant to be.

  3. WINNER: Erik ten Hag
    Getty Images

    WINNER: Erik ten Hag

    Blimey. How long ago do those back-to-back Premier League defeats to kick off the Ten Hag era feel now?

    The Dutchman has completely transformed this flailing football club since Brentford's fourth goal went in back in August, and deserves endless credit for getting results so quickly.

    His next task is to use the Carabao Cup as a springboard to further silverware, a tried and tested method exemplified by the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in recent years, and Jose Mourinho before them.

    United fans have been fooled by plenty of false dawns over the past decade. Not this time, though. Ten Hag is the real deal.

  4. LOSER: Newcastle's incredible fans

    In the past few days, it's been impossible not to run into at least a few Geordies in London. It is estimated that around 100,000 Newcastle fans travelled to the capital for their first major cup final since the 20th century, and they certainly made the most of their trip.

    After taking over Trafalgar Square on Saturday, the lucky percentage with matchday tickets transformed the Home of Football into a complete cauldron.

    Their pre-match display, featuring tens of thousands of black and white flags, was genuinely stunning, and they comfortably outsung the United travelling support - until the goals started flowing.

    While they will be plenty of other showpiece events under their controversial new owners, the Toon Army walked away extremely disappointed from this one.

  5. WINNER: Marcus Rashford
    Getty Images

    WINNER: Marcus Rashford

    In the end, it did not go down as his goal, but Rashford still earned his match-winning contribution at Wembley this weekend.

    In the first half, Ten Hag had clearly instructed United to release the England international at every opportunity, and it was a tactic that caused a host of problems for the Newcastle backline.

    Eventually, he slipped through and was decisive, with his effort deflecting up and over Karius.

    Rashford is just so unbelievably electric. It's scary to think what more is to come from him this season.

  6. LOSER: Diogo Dalot

    Look up the phrase 'shaky start' in the next edition of the Oxford Dictionary, and you'll likely find an image of the exasperated expression that was painted on Diogo Dalot's face in the opening exchanges of this match.

    It's hard to blame him too much - Allan Saint-Maximin revels in inducing anxiety into his opposite number. Still, Dalot had a very tricky afternoon in the capital.

    After picking up an early yellow card for a niggly foul, he seemed scared to overcommit to his defending and found himself skinned by Saint-Maximin more than once.

    He was replaced by Aaron Wan-Bissaka at half-time, as United's battle for the number-two shirt continues.