Manchester United progressed into the final of the EFL Cup despite a 2-1 defeat in the second leg of their semi-final clash away to Premier League strugglers Hull City. Coming into this fixture with a 2-goal deficit from the first leg at Old Trafford, an optimistic Hull took the lead via a Tom Huddlestone penalty.
However, Paul Pogba’s smart finish midway through the second half appeared to have vanquished any hopes of the Tigers completing an unlikely turnaround. Oumar Niasse brought Hull’s disadvantage down to a single goal yet again with a tap-in the 85th minute, but United held on till the final whistle to book their tickets to Wembley for 26th February, where they will face Southampton in the final.
Here are the talking points from the game at Hull:
#1 Positive Hull dominate the first half
The first half saw a wholly changed Hull City side take the game to Jose Mourinho’s side. Everton loanee Oumar Niasse was electric, skipping past defenders and coming close to scoring on a couple of instances. Sam Clucas tested David de Gea with a fierce free-kick, while the experienced duo of Tom Huddlestone and Shaun Maloney moved the ball around quickly in midfield to stretch United’s defenders.
They were duly rewarded for their positivity when Marcos Rojo was adjudged to have pulled the shirt of a Hull City player by referee Jon Moss while defending a set-piece. Huddlestone converted from the spot to give Hull hope against a laboured United side.
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling looked well below-par, allowing Hull’s attackers to get into space in and around the box. Though they could not progress in the end, manager Marco Silva would have been highly impressed at the effort his players put in in an attempt to overturn a two-goal deficit.