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United, Southampton eye cup success

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 By Alex Crook

Gabbiadini heroics to no avail as Southampton suffer EFL Cup heartbreak

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner discusses Southampton's heartbreaking defeat to Manchester United.

Southampton's hopes of winning a first major trophy in 41 years ended in a heartbreaking and controversial 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in Sunday's pulsating EFL Cup final at Wembley.

Saints wrongly had a Manolo Gabbiadini goal ruled out for offside before United took a two-goal lead against the run of play through a Zlatan Ibrahimovic free kick and Jesse Lingard's precise low shot.

In-form Gabbiadini struck either side of half time as Southampton launched a brave comeback, only for Ibrahimovic,...

Heroes & Villains: Zlatan Ibrahimovic wins again as Sunderland keep sinking

Craig Burley breaks down Cesc Fabregas and N'Golo Kante's impact as Chelsea went 11 points clear atop the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho insists Zlatan Ibrahimovic's success since his decision to move to England is down to him.

Man United won a trophy, Chelsea padded their lead at the top of the Premier League, and Sunderland look like their luck will finally run out. Iain Macintosh looks back at the Heroes & Villains.

HEROES

You just knew it would be him. Manchester United could wobble, they could squander their lead, and they could take the game to the very brink of extra time, but you knew, on some deeper, molecular level, that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would save the day. There was no one United fans would rather have...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads Man Utd to EFL Cup title, but other stars must step up

Paul Mariner and Sebastian Salazar discuss Man United's capture of the EFL Cup trophy, and if Southampton deserved more.

LONDON -- He may have been playing to the gallery by living up to his egotistical, self-centred reputation, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a point with his response when asked whether he thinks Manchester United are on the verge of "something special" after their dramatic EFL Cup final victory over Southampton on Sunday.

"I came," Ibrahimovic said. "That is special."

The Swedish centre-forward scored two goals in United's 3-2 win at Wembley, one of the classic finals since the stadium reopened in...

 By Nick Miller

Ibrahimovic nets twice as Man United win thrilling EFL Cup final vs. Saints

Paul Mariner and Sebastian Salazar discuss Man United's capture of the EFL Cup trophy, and if Southampton deserved more.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic rose to the occasion with a dramatic game-winner to seal the League Cup title for Man United.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic rose to the occasion with a dramatic game-winner to seal the League Cup title for Man United.

LONDON -- Three thoughts from Manchester United's 3-2 victory over Southampton at Wembley Stadium, which sees Jose Mourinho's side lift the EFL Cup trophy.

1. Manchester United win the EFL Cup

Where would Manchester United be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic? It's a question that, when this season as a whole is considered, might be tough to answer. But on this occasion, they would be without the EFL Cup, won in a thrilling encounter against an excellent Southampton side at Wembley.

Ibrahimovic scored...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

EFL Cup final tale of the tape: Man Utd have the edge over Southampton

The Boys from Exploding Heads are here to assure you that the League Cup final is definitely not pointless.

The last time Manchester United faced Southampton in a Wembley showpiece was 1976's FA Cup final, a sun-drenched May afternoon won by a Bobby Stokes goal that United fans of a certain age swear to this day was offside. That was Southampton's last (and indeed only) major trophy and it was won as a second division club. United, for their part, had been in that division the previous season, a club in the doldrums after their glories in the 1950s and 1960s.

United's current version of being in the...

 By Alex Crook

Claude Puel, Southampton capable of an EFL Cup final shock vs. Man Utd

The Boys from Exploding Heads are here to assure you that the League Cup final is definitely not pointless.

Antonio Conte has rightly been applauded for bringing Chelsea out of their post-Jose Mourinho slumber and turning them into champions-in-waiting with a minimum of fuss. But if Claude Puel stops Mourinho from getting his hands on his first trophy as Manchester United boss in Sunday's EFL Cup final, he should be named manager of the year ahead of Conte.

Despite the sales of key trio Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Victor Wanyama in the summer, Puel has already made history in his maiden season on...