Clinical Manchester Utd win League Cup in heartbreak for Newcastle

LONDON — Manchester United crushed Newcastle United’s hopes of a claiming a first domestic trophy for nearly 70 years with a clinical 2-0 victory in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

A header by Casemiro followed by an own goal by Sven Botman late in the first half silenced the hordes of Newcastle fans who flocked to the capital full of optimism as Manchester United went on to lift the trophy for a sixth time with relative ease.

Much of the build-up was about Newcastle’s first appearance in a major final since 1999 and an uptick in their fortunes instigated by Eddie Howe since a 2021 Saudi Arabia-led takeover.

But Erik ten Hag’s resurgent United side showed them how far they still need to go as they claimed the club’s first trophy since winning the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017 — their longest wait for silverware since 1983.

There was little between the sides in a scrappy first half but the English season’s first silverware was effectively decided in the space of six minutes towards halftime.

Newcastle were stunned when Brazilian Casemiro met a superb Luke Shaw free kick in the 33rd minute to head past Loris Karius, the goal allowed to stand after a VAR check for offside.

Six minutes later Newcastle were left totally deflated when the in-form Marcus Rashford was played in down the left and his shot deflected over a helpless Karius for what initially appeared to be his 17th goal since the World Cup. However, it was credited to the unfortunate Botman.

United, who beat Barcelona in midweek to reach the last-16 of the Europa League and are still in contention in the Premier League title race, were not at their best but managed the game expertly once they got their noses in front. — Reuters