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Season 2022-23
Manchester United (h) Carabao Cup Final


Sunday 26th February 2023, 4.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

 Wembley Stadium

Conditions: Impossible

Programme: £10 - original publicity shots of the cover included Nick Pope and David de Gea, but both were removed following Pope's suspension. The publishers claim that no physical copies of the first design were printed.

Admission: £40 to £150




 Manchester United


0 - 2





black socks -  black looks

33 mins A disputed free kick for a fair challenge on Marcus Rashford by Bruno gave Luke Shaw the opportunity to swing the ball in from the left, Casemiro becoming the latest opponent to expose our set piece frailty, heading home from seven yards out in front of the away contingent. 0-1

Possibly the most optimistic we felt all game...

39 mins Wout Weghorst played in Marcus Rashford on the left hand side of the area and his shot took a deflection off Sven Botman and looped over Loris Karius and into the net.

Initially deemed a Sven Botman own goal,  within hours an EFL review seemingly prompted by Manchester United saw it credited instead to Rashford. That was despite the camera view from behind the goal clearly showing the shot was off-target.

Half time: United 0 Manchester 2*

Full time: United 0 Manchester 2*

(*Daft, but no worse as Sky's continual billing of this tie as Manchester United v Newcastle)

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"Iím pleased with how we played. I thought we were really good between both boxes. But in the boxes is where games are won and lost, and today I didnít think we got the big moments right defensively, and with the chances we did have, we werenít clinical enough.

"I thought we were really competitive. I can't fault the players and what they've given me in this game. The game is decided on big moments and the free-kick, we've not defended it well enough, and they are the moments we'll look back on

It leaves us with a feeling of a defeat in a final and that is never nice. We are desperately disappointed but already for me you look to the future, and you are desperate to get back here and win a trophy.

"To see the supporters, who have been absolutely incredible for us this year, disappointed and hurt, it hurts bad, and the motivation now is to get back here and win them the trophy they deserve.

"Weíve felt nothing but support & love from the fans all weekend long. The scenes coming in on the bus were exceptional - my words donít even do it justice.
We are truly sorry we couldnít win a trophy for them ó but itís a big thank you from me.

It hurts immensely. You feel like you have failed. You feel like you have not achieved what you wanted to, so naturally all the negative sea of emotion hits you, and thatís how it should be in that moment, I donít think there is any other way to feel.

"With defeats, you sometimes you can take positives from it. That is what I want to do. Iím an optimistic person in difficult moments. Thatís what I have to be in the next few days.

On substitutions:

"Bruno (Guimaraes) twisted his ankle. I think he did similar, I canít remember the game, but not too long ago in a match. He was in a bit of pain. We donít think itís serious at the moment, but letís wait and see. Sean (Longstaff) was just a tactical switch, 2-0 down, cup final, I didnít feel we had a minute to waste to chase the game, so we brought Alex(ander Isak).

On the presence of club Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan in the Directors box:

"I think he will have been probably very interested in today as a whole in terms of the atmosphere and the experience, and Iím sure heíll be disappointed to lose, as we all are connected with Newcastle.
From my little embrace with him there when we picked up our medals he was very positive.Ē

Debutant Loris Karius said:

"I was watching the (Newcastle versus Liverpool) game (when Nick Pope was dismissed), obviously, and I didn't realise, maybe, in the first moment that he (Martin Dubravka) was cup-tied (for the final). For example in Germany, I think it's different, 

ut then obviously my phone went off quite a bit, so I knew I would probably be playing the week after. That wakes you up, obviously, in the first moment. I know things can change quickly, but from then on, it was just having

(I was) pretty relaxed (in the run up to this game) because I didn't really read much or pay much attention. I just focused on the training to get in a good rhythm for the game and tried to prepare as well as I could to be ready myself and then you go into the game with a good feeling, so I didn't really pay much attention to everything that was going on; 

"There's always pressure to perform, but I tried to enjoy it. It's a cup final, it's Wembley - it doesn't really get better than this. You have to enjoy these moments and soak it all in, and that's what I tried to do. 

"Five minutes in the first half cost us the game. In the second half, United defended really well, didn't really give us many opportunities. They just brought the game home very well."

They Said

Erik ten Hag said:

You have to celebrate, because it's not business as usual, it's not a common day, we won a trophy and this trophy means something, that's the feeling I get here in the UK.

ďWe have won something, we have to celebrate that but after that point, you have to keep going, because, on Wednesday, itís another game (in the FA Cup) and itís a big game. In our perspective, every game is a big game.

ďYou can't win when you're not 100%, so we have to do everything to win this game. But this cup can be the inspiration to give even more, to be even more collective, to have even more togetherness, to put even more effort in to be even better, because we canít be satisfied.

"Yet again this evening, they had the right spirit. It's a very good spirit, they act as a team and fight, give everything. It was not always the best football, but it was effective. Firstly, you have to win the first one

"We will get a lot of inspiration from this, but also more confidence that we can do it. We are still in a start to restore Man Utd to where they belong, which is winning trophies and this is the first one.

"I said before the game, Rafa Varane, Casemiro, David de Gea, they know how to win trophies. You need such lads on the pitch to point the team, to coach them, to organise, not only from a tactical prospect but especially mentally.

"The winning attitude, they have to bring it in the dressing room, in the team in different situations and they've done that."


Following their appearance in 1976, Newcastle became the sixth sides to have played in two League Cup Finals and won neither; alongside Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Southampton, the mackems and West Ham. No team has ever made a trio of fruitless Final forays, yet.

NUFC in Cup Finals - all time:

1904/05 Aston Villa lost 0-2 FAC (No scorer) 
1905/06 Everton lost 0-1 FAC (No scorer)
1907/08 Wolves lost 1-3 FAC (Jimmy Howie)
1909/10 Barnsley drew 1-1 FAC (Jackie Rutherford)
1909/10 Barnsley won 2-0 FACR (Albert Shepherd 2)
1910/11 Bradford City drew 0-0 FAC (No scorer)
1910/11 Bradford City lost 0-1 FACR (No scorer)
1923/24 Aston Villa won 2-0 FAC (Neil Harris, Stan Seymour) 
1931/32 Arsenal won 2-1 FAC (Jack Allen 2)
1950/51 Blackpool won 2-0 FAC (Jackie Milburn 2)
1951/52 Arsenal won 1-0 FAC (George Robledo)
1954/55 Manchester City won 3-1 FAC (Jackie Milburn, Bobby Mitchell, George Hannah)
1968/69 Ujpest Dozsa ICFC 1L won 3-0 (Bobby Moncur 2, Jimmy Scott)
1968/69 Ujpest Dozsa ICFC 2L won 3-2 (Bobby Moncur, Benny Arentoft, Alan Foggon)

1973/74 Liverpool lost 0-3 FAC (No scorer)
1975/76 Manchester City lost 1-2 LC (Alan Gowling)
1997/98 Arsenal lost 0-2 FAC (No scorer)
1998/99 Manchester United lost 0-2 FAC (No scorer)
2022/23 Manchester United lost 0-2 LC (No scorer)

(NB: Charity Shield fixtures deliberately omitted)

NUFC at Wembley - all-time:

This was the sixteenth time that Newcastle have taken to the field at the national stadium:
(Match scoring sequence appears in brackets - we've never led at half time here)

1923/24 Aston Villa won 2-0 FACF (0-0 HT, 1-0, 2-0)
1931/32 Arsenal won 2-1 FACF (0-1, 1-1 HT, 2-1)
1950/51 Blackpool won 2-0 FACF (0-0 HT, 1-0, 2-0)
1951/52 Arsenal won 1-0 FACF (0-0 HT, 1-0)
1954/55 Manchester City won 3-1 FACF (1-0, 1-1 HT, 2-1, 3-1)
Liverpool lost 0-3 FACF (0-0 HT, 0-1, 0-2, 0-3)
1975/76 Manchester City lost 1-2 LCF (0-1, 1-1 HT, 1-2)
1987/88 Liverpool drew 0-0 (won 1-0 on pens) MCT (0-0 HT, 0-0)
1987/88 Tranmere Rovers lost 0-2 MCT (0-2 HT, 0-2)
1996/97 Manchester United lost 0-4 CS (0-1, 0-2 HT, 0-3, 0-4)
1997/98 Arsenal lost 0-2 FACF (0-1 HT, 0-2)
1998/99 Manchester United lost 0-2 FACF (0-1 HT, 0-2)
1999/00 Chelsea lost 1-2 FACSF (0-1 HT, 1-1, 1-2)
2017/18 Spurs lost 0-1 PL (0-0 HT, 0-1)
2018/19 Spurs lost 0-1 PL (0-0 HT, 0-1)
2022/23 Manchester United lost 0-2 LCF (0-1, 0-2 HT, 0-2) 

This was the fourth time that these two sides have clashed in the League Cup:

1976/77 lost 2-7 (a) Irving Nattrass, Mickey Burns
1994/95 won 2-0 (h) Philippe Albert, Paul Kitson
2012/13 lost 1-2 (a) Papiss Cisse
2022/23 lost 0-2 (n) No scorer

NUFC v MUFC last 10 meetings:

2022/23 lost 0-2 (n) LC (No scorer)
2022/23 drew 0-0 (a) PL (No scorer)
2021/22 drew 1-1 (h) PL (Allan Saint-Maximin)
2021/22 lost 1-4 (a) PL (Javier Manquillo)  
2020/21 lost 1-3 (a) PL (Allan Saint-Maximin)
2020/21 lost 1-4 (h) PL (OG)
2019/20 lost 1-4 (a) PL (Matty Longstaff)
2019/20 won 1-0 (h) PL (Matty Longstaff)
2018/19 lost 0-2 (h) PL (No scorer)
2018/19 lost 2-3 (a) PL (Kenedy, Yoshinori Muto)

There was a debut for Loris Karius, whose only previous pitch time for the club was a 45 minute shift against Al-Hilal in the kickabout staged in Saudi Arabia last December (Mark Gillespie played the other 45 minutes in that game). As was the case that day, he turned out here clad in what looked like fireman's gauntlets - harking back to Jack Fairbrother's habit of donning policeman's gloves.

It was two days short of two years since the German-born custodian last made a competitive senior appearance in his career; playing for Union Berlin at home to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.

(There was one familiar face in front of Karius, both he and Kieran Trippier having played for Manchester City U23s in 2010. Neither went on to play a senior competitive game for City).   

Karius is the first Magpie to make his competitive debut for Newcastle in a final, but the second to have done so at in a game of any description at Wembley Stadium. The first was loan flop Antonio Barreca, who appeared off the bench in the closing stages of the PL fixture against Spurs in February 2019. Spurs were temporary tenants following the demolition of White Hart Lane.

That goalkeeping "situation" in full:

Suspended: Nick Pope began the season in goal, picked up a one game ban versus Liverpool.
Cup-tied: Martin Dubravka played twice in the LC for MUFC while on loan earlier this season.
Ineligible: Karl Darlow was loaned to Hull City following the LC Semi-Final second leg.
Started: Loris Karius signed in September 2022. He had never played a game until today.
Substitute: Mark Gillespie made all three of his NUFC appearances in the LC during 2020. 
Injured: Jude Smith was the first choice U21 goalkeeper but currently unfit. He's 19.   
Cover: Max Thompson is the current first choice U21 goalkeeper. He's 18.  

Due to the aforesaid two appearances, Martin Dubravka is eligible to receive a winner's medal, but it's unclear whether he will be offered one - or accept it. Competition rules allow for 30 medals to be provided to the winning side, with any additional ones available to be purchased. 

Dubravka is one of 27 players to have featured for the Red Devils during their six Carabao Cup fixtures and was present at the Final.

PS: Echoing our 1999 FA Cup Final defeat loss to the same opposition, the Manchester United scorers wore shirts with the same numbers: 18 (Scholes/Casemiro) and 10 (Sheringham/Rashford). 

Steve McClaren was on the MUFC bench for both, having travelled and wide during the intervening period while his former boss, the Govan Beelzebub was also inevitably in attendance.

PS: David De Gea kept his 181st clean sheet for the Old Trafford side in the final, setting a new record for his club and eclipsing Peter Schmeichel.


Hello darkness my old friend

Eddie Howe spoke about the admiration he'd gained for Newcastle fans as he learnt more about the club, but that knowledge was expanded in an unwanted direction during 90 sobering minutes at Wembley on Sunday.

A desperately disappointing Final defeat may have been new territory for him, but the grim reality of finishing second yet again was only too familiar to the legions of black and whites at one end of the ground.

The scoreline replicated our most recent pair of losses here in 1998 and 1999 and the sense of deja vu was genuine as the Magpies again looked committed but in dire need of inspiration. In truth neither side turned up; we did everything we could, while they did everything they needed to.

Newcastle opened brightly without summoning up a genuine scoring opportunity aside from one Allan Saint-Maximin effort and the first time that their opponents flexed their muscles, they took the lead.

33 minutes had passed when a disputed free kick gave Luke Shaw the opportunity to swing the ball into the area from the left flank and Casemiro headed past debutant 'keeper Loris Karius. Within six minutes the crucial second goal had arrived, as Marcus Rashford's shot took a deflection off Sven Botman and looped over and into the net. 

And that really was that; a Dan Burn miss, a few scrambles and a late Joelinton header that barely troubled David de Gea, although substitute Jacob Murphy was unlucky with a shot from distance in the dying seconds. At the other end Karius made a couple of decent stops to keep the score within manageable proportions but while we were never overrun, the feeling that the opposition could have raised their game on demand persisted.  

Unlike his earlier referee baiting, mild xenophobia and unconvincing attempt at replicating Fergie's mind games with Rashford's fitness, Erik ten Hag's post-match comment that you can't win when you're not 100% was sadly on the mark.

The form book wasn't to be upset and a team who are increasingly failing to defy gravity and falling to earth were eclipsed by one firmly in the ascendancy and with that vital momentum. We simply didn't look to have anything more in the tank (or on the bench), while the other lot were merely steady and a level above. Look back at the form before our 1998, 1999, 2000 trips here and the Cardiff excursion of 2005 it's all the same, diminishing. Today's has just come a few months earlier.

The inevitability of this outcome didn't make it any easier to take though; far from it. Regardless of those "ahead of the timetable" truisms about us being here, this was a genuine opportunity to end those decades of underachievement. The good fortune of successive cup draws this season is mirrored by an absence of European football and the inconsistency of a clutch of supposed rivals and betters. None of those things may be to our advantage next time round.

As part of a travel group with an age range from 9 to 79, there were conflicting emotions throughout the day. Anticipation and optimism gave way to more familiar emotions of fear and emptiness. While it is hopefully the first of many for some, this could be the last time, quite literally, for others.

It may well better to be here, finishing second, than in Mike Ashley's don't dare to dream existence but there was remarkably little solace in that thought standing on a station platform with the sound of someone else's celebration as a backdrop. Desolation row indeed.

There is a narrative that in the new world of NUFC these momentous days will become commonplace and that is a powerful and persuasive argument, given the quantum leap in our fortunes and aspirations since October 2021.

For all of the pride and defiance on show here though, the dreams, the flags and the songs, we left empty-handed. Again. Great times may lie ahead but old habits die hard and we remain wedded to tales of past days via the exploits of Jackie Milburn, Bob Moncur, Alan Gowling and Robert Lee. 

Some new heroes are still required and for all of the expectation and effort, no new chapter was written today under the arch that replaced the twin towers.

The swirl of social media threw up a whole range of comments about the level of support during the game from the Newcastle fans present, some making unfavourable comparisons with the noise levels and liveliness of the usual 3,000 or who turn up on the road in the Premier League.

Without descending to the talkSPORT heated debate level, there's merit in that and for some folk there was an element of bucket list/day tripper to the day while other more committed or lively followers were elsewhere.

What seems logical to us though is that this was a h
ome crowd transplanted from SJP to Wembley with all of the shortcomings that entailed, including enthusiastic flag waving and a drop off in vocal support if there's nothing tangible on the pitch to cheer. 

If nothing else, being two goals down at half time at least didn't produce any booing that we heard, although there were undoubtedly some that never returned to their seats after half time. Now that is mental but commonplace every other week away from home, regardless of what some might say.

As for the lot at the other end, many timed their entrance impeccably for the teams appearing, spent the afternoon piping on about Alan Shearer and the Glazers as their mega money purchases did their stuff and then nonchalantly sauntered away. It's just jealously, as it all seems so bastard easy.

They even held the (free) scarves aloft in "You'll Never Walk Alone" fashion at one point - something that would once have been unimaginable given the loathing of all things Anfield-related.

An intrusion of football is probably overdue at this point and we're not alone in expressing
concern over Callum Wilson's lack of impact since the World Cup. If this really is him in peak condition, then we're in bother. Out of sorts doesn't cover it.

With Almiron reverting to being a mere mortal and our set pieces still no threat whatsoever, a recalibration is required. The introduction of Alexander Isak may not have improved our scoring ratio, but it at least upped the tempo and his running with the ball will unsettle inferior sides.  

Similarly the contents of the bench don't inspire, but like the clutch of players out on loan are on borrowed time as we try to shake off the baggage of previous regimes. This remains a considerable work in progress, the integration of Anthony Gordon into the side a priority before the next round of transfer to'ing and fro'ing and a decision to be made at left back now the hype has died down. 

On that subject we'd cheerfully wave goodbye to duplicitous Dubravka and retain Karius and no, we don't regret for one moment the departures of Jonjo Shelvey and Chris Wood to balance the books. Neither would have altered the outcome today.


PS: Without descending into maudlin sentimentality, it's difficult to take part in a showpiece game like this without reflecting on the absence of fellow travellers. Suffice it to say that regardless of whether they lived to a ripe old age or were taken too soon, a thought was spared for them today and a glass was raised. They are not forgotten and our day will come. Surely.

Page last updated 11 March, 2023