Pogba on target as Manchester United edge past Hull City to EFL Cup final
Manchester United will meet Southampton in the final of the EFL Cup on Feb. 26 despite losing 2-1 to Hull City at the KCOM stadium, going through 3-2 on aggregate.
Jose Mourinho’s men struggled to find their rhythm from the start, and trailed to a Tom Huddlestone penalty before Paul Pogba popped up with the away goal which calmed their nerves.
Oumar Niasse gave Hull late hope but they couldn’t find a third goal to send the tie into extra-time, and United’s 2-0 win at Old Trafford in the first leg proved key.
Sam Clucas had the first real chance of the match in the 12th minute, as his free kick from the edge of the area stung the gloves of David De Gea.
United’s first effort came in the 17th minute as a Marcos Rojo effort deflected off Michael Dawson and behind for a corner.
It was a game of few chances in the opening exchanges, but the home side should probably have halved the deficit in the 26th minute. A looping ball back into the centre from Huddlestone following a corner found Dawson unmarked and in on De Gea, but his first touch let him down and he couldn’t get a shot off. The loose ball ran for Niasse, but he hit his effort tamely at the goalkeeper who palmed away.
Hull were given a route back into the tie in the 35th minute when Rojo tugged Harry Maguire’s shirt inside the box from a corner, and referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot. Huddlestone did not waste the opportunity, drilling past De Gea into the bottom left corner.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost hit back immediately, David Marshall brilliantly pushing the Swede’s effort round the post low down to his left.
The Tigers continued to have the upper had as the half drew to a close, with United looking lethargic and complacent having arrived at the KCOM with a two-goal advantage.
United thought they had a penalty of their own eight minutes after the break when Chris Smalling went down under a challenge from Huddlestone, but this time there was no spot kick.
It was a stuttering start to the second half by both sides, but United effectively put the tie to bed in the 66th minute when Pogba stabbed home the crucial away goal. Marcus Rashford burst dangerously into the area but Huddlestone, desperately trying to make a challenge, only succeeded in pushing the ball into the path of the France international who poked a shot between defenders and past Marshall.
Rojo then almost made amends for giving away the penalty as he crashed a header off the top of the bar from a corner.
Hull almost made it interesting again as the woodwork was rattled at the other end, this time Niasse smashing a powerful effort onto the bar.
But Niasse did get on the scoresheet in the 85th minute, netting his first goal since arriving on loan from Everton when converting David Meyler’s superb centre.
Hull couldn’t find a third goal in the dying moments, meaning United would head to Wembley.