At the beginning of the season, when Manchester United lost 4-0 to Brentford in the Premier League (after losing 2-1 to Brighton at home the week before), few supporters would have predicted winning a great deal any time soon.
How things have changed. This Sunday’s Carabao Cup final follows a scintillating victory over Barcelona in the Europa League on Thursday, in which United held one of Europe’s top teams at bay across both legs of the tie. Marcus Rashford has scored 24 goals in 36 games since that painful Brentford defeat. The team’s form has not been stronger for some considerable time.
The sustainability of this incredible transformation under Erik Ten Hag’s leadership faces a crucial test this weekend, as we take on the chance of winning our first silverware since 2017. A win would be fabulous, and couldn’t fail to boost confidence at a time when Manchester United is now discussed by commentators as a serious contender for the Premier League title.
Going to the game? A few of us are lucky enough to be at Wembley on Sunday, and others will be enjoying the game with family and friends at home, in the pub or at one of our members' socials. We'd love to share your pictures of your Carabao Cup final experience, wherever you're watching it (especially if we get a good result)! Tag us on social media - we're on instagram here and twitter here :). #rainbowdevils
What are your predictions for Sunday’s game? Let us know in the comments below.
As Wembley approaches, we take a look back at the journey to Manchester United’s first cup final in two years…
Manchester United 4 – 2 Aston Villa
10th November 2022
United showed resilience and reversed their fortunes against Aston Villa, days after a meeting at Villa Park in the Premier League ended in a 3-1 defeat, with a dramatic Old Trafford victory against the Lions on 10th November. Our opening game in the third round of the EFL Cup began with a fairly listless and goalless first half, followed by a ferociously fought second in which both teams repeatedly leveraged the upper hand.
United equalised twice through goals by Martial and Rashford, before two assists by Garnacho were driven home by Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay to secure the Reds’ place in the round of 16.
Manchester United 2 – 0 Burnley
21st December 2022
The second of three home draws saw us secure a solid win against Burnley in the team’s first game back after the World Cup.
United broke the deadlock with Eriksen’s second ever goal for the club, built on a fabulous assist by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. This was soon followed up by another from Marcus Rashford, who slammed the ball into the Stretford End net after running in possession from the half way line.
Manchester United 3 – 0 Charlton
10th January 2022
The Carabao Cup quarter final was a comfortable but stylish win for United. A first half goal from Antony from outside the box was followed by Marcus Rashford’s brace in injury time, with the final goal scored in the 94th minute.
Charlton manager Dean Holden, a lifelong Manchester United supporter, commented “I have stood and sat in every corner of this stadium over the years but never once did I think I would stand in the technical area”. He was complimented by Ten Hag on his team’s performance and invited to observe Manchester United in training at Carrington. Classy.
Nottingham Forrest 0 – 3 Manchester United / Manchester United 2 – 0 Nottingham Forrest
25th January 2023 / 1st February 2023
United took on Premier League opposition for the first time since the third round of the Carabao Cup competition in this two-legged semi-final against Nottingham Forrest.
A notched-up difficulty level and the absence of Christian Eriksen through injury didn’t prevent Ten Hag’s team from cruising to victory in both games though, with two convincing wins securing United’s place at Wembley.
Rashford, Weghorst and Fernandes all netted goals in the first leg at the City Ground, whilst Anthony Martial and Fred both scored in the second, where United dominated the game with 73% possession. The second leg at Old-Trafford also marked the return of Jadon Sancho, who received a hero’s welcome and put in a strong performance after a period away from first team action.
What are your predictions for Sunday’s game? How do you think United will perform against Newcastle? Let us know in the comments below…