A Brief Review of This Year’s Carabao Cup Final – Was the Win Expected?
The final of the 2023 Carabao Cup came and went in favour of Manchester United. Were there any doubts? Actually, there were a ton. United haven’t won a major silverware in ages, and the trophy that they once considered a Mickey Mouse title now marks the start of a new and successful Red Devils era.
Manchester United defeated Newcastle soundly by 2:0, as Casemiro and Marcus Rashford provided the goals. It was Ten Hag’s first major success as United’s manager but, at the same time, Eddie Howe’s first major finals in his career. There are many takeaways from this game that we have to consider, and the result is the least important one of them.
Unsung Heroes in Manchester
The board finally decided to listen to Ten Hag and allowed him to bring the signings he needed. Even though everyone expected additions like Frenkie De Jong and Cody Gakpo, they ended up with Casemiro and Wout Weghorst. The Brazilian midfielder is slowly becoming Manchester’s best signing of the season. At the same time, Weghorst may not be the forward they wanted but he is the forward they needed.
Casemiro was by far the best player on the pitch. Besides scoring a goal, he pressed and compressed Newcastle’s attack. Alleviating the pressure in the most important minutes of the game. On the other hand, Weghorst was not able to find the back of the net yet again. But he added an assist, which was his third in all competitions after joining the team.
This Is Just the Beginning for Newcastle
Don’t forget that Newcastle was a Championship club only a few years ago. Last season, they were dead bottom at the half-season mark. With the possibility of becoming the richest club not playing in a top league in Europe. But Eddie Howe actually did what he promised to do.
The Magpies did spend big, but they didn’t go and spend money on superstar players. They made additions to strengthen the parts of the squad they needed. The likes of Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Bruno Guimaraes, and Dan Burn are not the biggest names in the world of football. But they are exactly what the Geordies needed to make them a Champions League club.
Reaching the final of the League Cup was never on their radar. But it is a moral booster. It allowed them to get the much-needed experience to continue developing in the right direction.
Could Nick Pope Have Made a Difference?
The story leading up to the game was about the absence of Nick Pople due to a reckless red card. And the blacklisted Loris Karius needing to start the game. Karius will forever go down as the keeper who blew the chance for Liverpool to lift the 2018 Champions League trophy against Real Madrid.
So him starting yet another important final brought flashbacks to a lot of fans. However, the story was completely different. Karius was by far the best Geordie on the field. You don’t believe it? Check the stats and player ratings!
He earned the best score of all the Newcastle players. So if you want to blame anybody for the loss, you shouldn’t point fingers towards Karius. However, we still don’t see him starting any games ahead of Pope or Dubravka any time soon. But it is a move in the right direction, and a showcasing that will surely benefit his career.