Manchester United are set to play the Carabao Cup Final against Newcastle United on Sunday evening. The Reds have witnessed immense improvement in their stride this season under new manager Erik Ten Hag and they will aim to mark it with the jubilancy of mid-season silverware.
United reached this stage by expressing a dominant form in their previous games in the competition when they have kept a total of four clean sheets. The Reds continued their formidable form from this season and drubbed Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest 5-0 over the two legs of the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Manchester United have a massive opportunity on their hands to lift a trophy which they haven’t done so since the Jose Mourinho era.
Club reporters met with captain Harry Maguire to grab his assessment of the road to the cup final and also to know about his own thoughts about Manchester United reaching this stage.
On the third round
Skipper Harry Maguire expressed his thoughts on the win against Aston Villa during November last year which became the primary step to the road to the cup.
"“It was a great game to be involved in and a great game for the fans. I’m sure the fans really enjoyed that one, it was an entertaining game, like I say. The Old Trafford fans got us through the match, through the tie, and it was a great one to start the run off. It was a really important goal [the equaliser] from Anthony Martial, especially in the cup run, when you look back and you think about the good moments in reaching the final. That is a big moment. When you go behind at Old Trafford, you want to respond quickly, otherwise their team gets deeper and deeper and more and more compact and together, so it’s hard for us to break them down.”"
On the fourth round
Harry Maguire pointed out the importance of the win versus Burnley in the fourth round of the tournament. It was a return of club football from the World Cup and he couldn’t feature in it because of a minor illness.
"“It was an important win. I think obviously, I came back from the World Cup, but I was actually going to play in the game. I was ill that day. I’d trained a few times and was going to play but I think Case [Casemiro], that night, may have played centre-half because we had no defenders available. Licha [Lisandro Martinez] and Rapha [Raphael Varane] were still away after the World Cup or having a few days off, so I was due to play, But it was an important game, probably not our best performance but the win was all that mattered and we got through on the night.”"
On the Quarter Final
The skipper commented on the comfortable win against Charlton in the Quarterfinal and how his side took the occasion seriously to avoid any mishaps.
"“Another important win. We knew they’d come here and make it hard. We scored a good first goal and should have seen the game out and got the second goal a little earlier in the game. We controlled the game well but their fans were loud behind the goal, every time they got near the goal, and it made it a little bit nervy and edgy as they brought a lot of loud noise, especially between 60 and 80 minutes. But, yeah, we got a comfortable win in the end, even if we could have made it a bit easier for ourselves. You’ve got to beat what is put in front of you and be efficient. When you know it’s not going to extra time, you have got to be even more aware and wary of counter-attacks as one mistake could have given them an opportunity. The second goal was crucial, like I say, I’d liked us to have got it a little bit earlier to see the game off but we got there in the end and won 3-0, so it was an important win for us.”"
On the semis:
At last, Maguire remarked on the drubbing of Nottingham Forest and how Manchester United kept their composure even after having the lead from the first leg.
"“That was definitely a really impressive performance, away at Forest. I was suspended for the game [for picking up two yellow cards in the competition], so I missed out, but it was a really good and efficient performance. From the first minute, we looked right at it and, for me, it was where the semi-final was won – 3-0 in the first leg away from home. You don’t like speaking about it too early as you’ve also got to see out probably the first half in the second leg but we did that and it was certainly a really impressive performance away at Forest.”“We spoke about going into the second leg, we wanted to win the game rather than see it out 0-0. These fans don’t expect to come to Old Trafford to watch us do that. I think it was 0-0 at half-time but we kicked on in the second half and won the game comfortably in the end. It was a good win, a great semi-final from the lads, 5-0 [on aggregate] is very impressive and it has set up a great final.”"
All quotes are obtained from the official report on the Manchester United website.
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