Manchester United have taken a step closer to reaching the EFL Cup final at Wembley as goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini helped Manchester United secure a 2-0 victory over Hull City in the first leg of the semi-final.
Paul Pogba said before the semi-final clash that United’s aim was to win in the first leg. The 2-0 win at Old Trafford means it would take a turnaround of epic proportion in the return leg for United not to feature in the final at Wembley.
The Red Devils were unable to score in the first half due to Hull City’s resilience at the back, but the impressive Juan Mata scored from close range in the 55th minute to ease any lingering nerves.
Paul Pogba was unlucky in front of goal as his well struck free-kick hit the cross bar. But substitute Marouane Fellaini added the second goal with a comfortable header in the 87th minute.
With a 2-goal advantage heading in to the return leg on January 26, Mourinho’s men will be confident of progressing to the final to face Liverpool or Southampton.
Despite the upcoming encounter against Liverpool on Sunday, Mourinho fielded a strong team including Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney but Zlatan Ibrahimovic was absent through illness.
Hull, currently bottom of the premier league, have never reached the semi-final of the EFL Cup but Marco Silva’s men were intent on making life difficult for United from the outset.
The Tigers threatened the United defense in the first half through Harry Maguire’s low shot which was saved by David De Gea, before Markus Henriksen was replaced by Abel Hernandez in the 19th minute due to injury.
Meanwhile, a ninth consecutive win in all competition since 2009 sets the in-form United up nicely for the eagerly anticipated encounter with Liverpool on Sunday.