How Man Utd lined up for last Wembley final ahead of Carabao Cup showpiece vs Newcastle, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic | The SunFebruary 25, 2023
MANCHESTER UNITED look to end their six-year trophy drought on Sunday when they take on Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final.
Sorry Red Devils fans, The Match Bangkok Century Cup doesn't count.
United have been chasing the return of the glory days ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
In the past decade they've watched noisy neighbours Manchester City and arch-rivals Liverpool win the league.. as well as Chelsea and Leicester.
And while their long wait for a Premier League title rages on, fans will simply be content with watching club captain Harry Maguire lifting a trophy.
The signs this season under Erik ten Hag have been encouraging.
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United finally look like they've got a boss for the future after the collective failings of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
United briefly showed a killer instinct in the first half of 2017 after getting their hands on the League Cup and Europa League title.
But since then, they've failed to reach a single final.
In fact, the last time a United player strolled out on the Wembley turf for a cup showpiece was six years ago to the day, come Sunday.
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That came in the League Cup win over Southampton.
United stormed to a 2-0 lead before Saints clawed their way back to 2-2 within a three minute period either side of half-time.
It took an 87th-minute winner to see the Red Devils hold the trophy aloft.
But who started for Mourinho's Man Utd that day?
Just TWO current players remain, with David De Gea between the sticks and Anthony Martial starting on the left wing.
Eric Bailly also started in the heart of defence, with the Ivorian away from the club – at Marseille on loan – in 2022-23.
Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo took the full-back spots for the final, with Chris Smalling completing the defence.
Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera sat in the deeper two midfield spots behind Juan Mata.
Jesse Lingard began the match at left wing with Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line.
Ibrahimovic gave United a 19th-minute lead, before Lingard doubled that shortly before the break.
Manolo Gabbiadini pulled on back in added time of the first-half, before grabbing an all-important second after the break.
Mourinho introduced Michael Carrick for Mata at half time to shore up the midfield, only to be left scratching his head after Gabbiadini's leveller.
Scrambling for a winner, Marcus Rashford was introduced for Lingard with 15 minutes to play.
But it was Ibrahimovic, with his second of the game, scoring with just three minutes left on the clock to snatch the win.
Marouane Fellaini replaced Martial in added time to add an aerial presence as James Ward-Prowse and Co pumped crosses into the box.
But United held on, with Wayne Rooney among the unused subs.
Sergio Romero, Daley Blind and Ashley Young also failed to come off the bench in the win.
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Can Ten Hag repeat the feat six years on to the day, this time against Newcastle?
With Rashford, on the bench that day in 2017, in red-hot form, they go into the game as favourites.
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