Manchester United head to Wembley despite loss

By William Maxwell

Manchester United will face Southampton in the final of the EFL Cup, despite losing to an inspired Hull City performance.

The tie opened very cagily from both sides, with the game’s first effort not arriving till the eighth minute, when Harry Maguire fired his shot over the bar.

Oumar Niasse, recently signed from Everton and making his first full debut, had a very promising first half performance for Hull, encapsulated by his surging run in the tenth minute as he made his way easily passed the Red Devils’ midfield before being checked by Phil Jones, who received the first yellow card of the half.

The resulting free kick produced the first save from either keeper, as David De Gea parried away a powerful strike from Sam Clucas.

The KCOM stadium erupted in applause after 25 minutes, in support of Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason, who suffered a fractured skull in Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea.

Hull deservedly took the lead when Tom Huddlestone confidently converted his penalty into the bottom right corner, after Marcos Rojo hauled down Maguire during a corner.

United, who were lacklustre throughout the first half, took 37 minutes to bring a save out of Hull keeper David Marshall, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s attempt from outside the box parried out for a corner by the Scottish shot stopper.

Mourinho’s men improved after the break and could easily off had a penalty of their own when Huddlestone appeared to nudge Chris Smalling in the back.

Hull manager Marco Silva, introduced more new signings in Lazar Markovic and Evandro in attempt to send Hull into their second major final in four years.

However, their bid to return to Wembley was quashed midway through the second half when Paul Pogba received the ball on the edge of the six yard box and prodded his shot through a crowd of defenders, into the bottom corner.

United could have taken the lead  minutes later, when Marcos Rojo cannoned his header off the crossbar from a corner.

Hull piled on the pressure late on, with Niasse also hitting the woodwork with a header and substitute Abel Hernandez nodding the rebound wide.

The Premier League relegation outfit restored their lead with six minutes to go when Niasse slotted the ball into an empty net after David Meyler squared the ball exquisitely across the box, which lead to a tense finish.

But, ultimately, United held on and will return to Wembley nine months after beating Crystal Palace in last year’s FA Cup Final.

The holders are in FA Cup action on Sunday where they hope to overcome 2013 FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic whilst Hull travelto Championship side Fulham.

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