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Zlatan Ibrahimović came to the rescue of Manchester United late in the game as his 87th-minute header sealed a 3-2 victory for Jose Mourinho’s side over Southampton leading to their fifth league cup triumph.
Manolo Gabbiadini appeared to have put the Saints ahead at Wembley, only to see his strike ruled out for offside before goals from Ibrahimović and Jesse Lingard made it 2-0 for the Red Devils. The former Napoli man wasn’t to be kept quiet for long though, as he pulled one back for Claude Puel’s side on the stroke of half-time.
Soon after the restart, Gabbiadini doubled his tally on the day, pulling off a stunning comeback for his team. But United’s Swedish talisman proved to be the difference as he headed home late in the game to lead his team to their first major honour in the Mourinho era. The win meant United overtook Liverpool in terms of the total number of trophies won, with 42 honours to their name, compared to 41 for their bitter rivals.
Here are three main talking points from a true cup final classic from the Wembley Stadium:
Southampton had thought they had taken an early lead when after a mistake by Marcos Rojo on the left-side was capitalized on by full-back Cedric Soares, who put in a lovely ball into the six-yard box, which Gabbiadini tucked home gleefully.
But much to the dismay of the south coast club and their manager and the fans, the linesman had raised his flag on the far side, and as a result, the goal was chalked off for offside. On watching the replays though, it was very evident that the January arrival was well on-side and instead it was Ryan Bertrand, who was offside, but had no impact on the play in the lead-up to the strike and hence the goal should’ve stood.
But the linesman chose to see it differently and the Southampton fans were left to rue as to what it could’ve been had the goal been awarded.