Zlatan Ibrahimovic Conquers Wembley To Gift Manchester United The EFL Cup
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s quest to win trophies for Manchester United is being realized with stunning proficiency. After scoring late for Man United in their FA Community Shield victory over Leicester City to mark his Red Devil Wembley debut, Zlatan has continued his act by scoring twice, including an 87th minute winner, to lift United over Southampton in the EFL Cup final, 3-2.
The defeat will be agonizing for Southampton supporters and players after they’d seemed to get everything right in the match. Manager Claude Puel had his side setup perfectly and every attack troubled the Manchester United defense to create a breathtaking final.
Manolo Gabbiadini appeared to give Southampton an early lead, but his goal was incorrectly ruled offside by the linesman. That decision will sit with everyone at Southampton for a very longtime to come.
Only minutes later, Zlatan grabbed his first of the match with a fantastic free kick that beat Fraser Forster just inside the post.
Jesse Lingered added a second to put Manchester United up 2-0 in the 38th minute.
However, it was only a matter of time before Southampton got a goal of their own and Gabbiadini scored just before half to bring them back into the game.
Southampton’s attacking intent was evident immediately after the break, Gabbiadini putting the ball in the back of the net for the third time just three minutes after the restart.
The match appeared to be headed for extra time until Zlatan became the hero at Wembley once more. He drifted between Southampton defenders and sent an unstoppable header over Forster in the 87th minute.
It was a cruel defeat for Southampton as they played wonderfully throughout the match, but they could not overcome the force that is Zlatan.
Wayne Rooney, the center of transfer speculation throughout the month before committing himself to United through the season, didn’t make an appearance in the match. He was preparing to come on as a substitute before Zlatan’s goal, which saw Jose Mourinho elect to put on Marouane Fellaini instead.