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  • Writer's pictureBy Dan Evans

How they rated: Manchester United cruise to victory in Wembley showpiece


Manchester United ensured the Geordie invasion of the capital ended in failure as two goals in the space of six first-half minutes secured their sixth league cup success.


Although Newcastle had the better of the game for long spells, a Casemiro header from a Luke Shaw free kick was quickly followed by Sven Botman deflecting a Marcus Rashford shot into his own net.


Eddie Howe’s men battled valiantly to get back into the game after the interval, but it was ultimately Erik ten Hag who tasted Wembley glory and secured his first trophy as Man United boss.


Here’s how we rated both sets of players.


Manchester United


David De Gea 7


Largely untested despite Newcastle’s control over possession but made one trademark instinctive save from Allan Saint-Maximin at close-range when the game was still goalless. Still does not look entirely comfortable when trying to build attacks from the back.


Diogo Dalot 4


Struggled massively to get to grips with Saint-Maximin after receiving an early booking for a trip on the electric Frenchman. Bamboozled in the build-up to De Gea’s decisive stop. Dragged off at half-time by Ten Hag.


Raphael Varane 7


A typically assured performance from a man who is more than familiar with occasions such as these. Dovetailed well with Lisandro Martinez to stop Newcastle getting any joy through the middle, even when Alexander Isak was introduced alongside Callum Wilson. His first trophy in England takes his career tally to 20 major honours.


Lisandro Martinez 8


The diminutive Argentine continues to confound early-season expectations that he would struggle with the physicality of English football. Defended every ball played into his box bravely, with one particularly vital block with his head as Wilson attempted to steer home a second-half cross.


Luke Shaw 7


A delightful set-piece delivery for the opening goal was the obvious highlight of a relatively straightforward afternoon for the full-back. Miguel Almiron rarely threatened to trouble him in the way that Saint-Maximin was causing havoc on the opposite side.


Casemiro 8


Continues to be a difference-maker for Ten Hag’s United. Perhaps did not have the influence on proceedings that has made him such a welcome addition to the Premier League but leapt magnificently above Fabian Schar to open the scoring and was a calming presence when Newcastle briefly threatened to overrun the midfield early on.


Fred 7


A solid yet unspectacular showing from a player whose use to this United side has rarely been greater than under Ten Hag. Replaced by Marcel Sabitzer with 20 minutes still to play.


Antony 7


Showed some nice trickery in the first half, with one particularly nice skill to tie Dan Burn in knots once the two-goal lead had been established. Impact on the game as a whole was minimal though and was substituted for Jadon Sancho in the final ten minutes.


Bruno Fernandes 6


A quiet afternoon for one of the shining lights of Ten Hag’s tenure so far. His team’s inability to hold onto possession for long spells meant he rarely had opportunities to be decisive in the final third. Was denied by Karius when well-placed to put the icing on the cake in injury time.


Marcus Rashford 7


The second goal will not go down as his but it was little surprised his effort ended up in the net given the run of form he is on. Tested Karius with a stinging shot after the break. Was largely well-marshalled by England colleague Kieran Trippier, yet will be as relieved as anyone to end United’s six year wait for a trophy.


Wout Weghorst 6


Linked well with Rashford in the build-up to Botman’s own goal but was rarely involved otherwise. Only denied a brilliant goal from the edge of the box thanks to a Karius save in the first half. Replaced by Scott McTominay with 20 to play.


Subs


Aaron Wan-Bissaka (came on at half-time) 7


Fared far better against Saint-Maximin than Dalot, the man he replaced at the break. A couple of excellent blocks prevented the winger delivering balls into the box after a team-mate had been left for dead.


Marcel Sabitzer (came on after 69 minutes) 6


Offered a different presence in midfield after coming on and tried his luck from the edge of the box on a couple of occasions. Has a trophy under his belt less than a month after signing at Old Trafford.


Scott McTominay (came on after 69 minutes) 6


Shored up midfield but the game already felt beyond Newcastle regardless. First honour for the club since winning Jose Mourinho’s player of the year in 2018.


Jadon Sancho (came on after 82 minutes) n/a


Harry Maguire (came on after 88 minutes) n/a




Newcastle United


Loris Karius 7


Will possibly take some blame for the Botman own goal but could do nothing about Casemiro’s opener and made a number of good saves in both halves. Good to see him playing again.


Kieran Trippier 7


A strong performance from the former Tottenham man. Halted a number of United counterattacks and provided a series of dangerous deliveries from the right flank. Unfortunate to be on the losing side


Fabian Schar 6


Made a vital block from a Dalot cross early on and put his body on the line on more than once occasion. Outjumped by Casemiro for the opener though in what was a key moment in the outcome of this game.


Sven Botman 6


Similar to his partner at the back, reacted well to some balls played into the box but played a decisive part in the moment that truly took the game away from his side.


Dan Burn 6

Dealt well with the tricky Antony for long spells and continues to show that being enormous is no barrier to being a good full-back.


Sean Longstaff 6


Played a good ball into the box for the Saint-Maximin chance in the first half. Hooked at half-time as Newcastle tried to chase a game that had already gotten away from them.


Bruno Guimaraes 5


Failed to influence the game during Newcastle’s good early spell and never looked himself after going down with a knock midway through the first half. Replaced in the final ten minutes as Howe appeared to admit defeat.


Joelinton 6


A bustling performance from the athletic forward turned midfielder. Lack of quality on the ball probably did not help in trying to break United down and was booked for dragging Casemiro back as frustration took hold.


Miguel Almiron 5


Had a brilliant early chance to set up a goal on the counter but fluffed the final pass. Never looked likely to re-find the scoring form that made him one of the most feared attackers in England before Christmas.


Callum Wilson 5


Well looked after by both Varane and Martinez. Struggled to get himself involved and make the most of the havoc that Saint-Maximin was wreaking. Replaced in injury time.


Allan Saint-Maximin 7


Was the most exciting element of a game that meandered for long spells. Dribbling was brilliant as ever but ultimately failed to take Newcastle’s best chance. Influence waned in second half and was substituted late on.


Substitutes


Alexander Isak (came on at half-time) 5


Rarely threatened to inspire any sort of comeback after half-time introduction. Hard to know how Howe best fits him into his team.


Jacob Murphy (came on after 79 minutes) 6


Did well to halt an ominous-looking United counter and whistled a loing-range shot just wide in the final minutes.


Joe Willock (came on after 79 minutes) 5


Hardly involved.


Matt Ritchie (came on after 90 minutes) n/a


Elliot Anderson (came on after 90 minutes) n/a

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