Manchester United galloped into a 2-0 lead over Southampton in the EFL Cup Final at Wembley this afternoon but the Saints pulled a goal back just before the break, before scoring a fantastic goal from Gabbiadini to tie the scores just a few minutes into the second half.

With the game delicately balanced going into the final 15 minutes, hopes for a great fightback by Southampton are contrasted by thoughts of a Man Utd win pushing the Europa League qualifying spots down to 7th place in the Premier League, Everton narrowing the gap on the Manchester club yesterday having now played a game more...

But, with just a few minutes remaining, that man Ibrahimovic broke Saints hearts with a simple header to win it for the Red Devils, 3-2.

Reader Comments (37)

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Ray Roche
1 Posted 26/02/2017 at 17:37:15
That Gabbiadini doesn't look half bad does he?
Sam Barrett
2 Posted 26/02/2017 at 17:37:16
Looks like we missed out on Gabbiadini, looks a class act.
Sam Barrett
3 Posted 26/02/2017 at 17:39:50
Beat me to it, Ray.
Terence Tyler
4 Posted 26/02/2017 at 17:43:03
Gabbiadini reminds me of sniffer Clark...
Ray Smith
5 Posted 26/02/2017 at 17:55:47
I've just seen Gabiadini put 2 away for Southampton.

He should have been with us! Everything was in place, wasn't it!!!

Another stalling game by Kenwright and we lose out again. When will we ever get it right?

You don't have to be Steve Walsh looking for the next gem, he was there on a plate all the time.

Rant over! ☹️

Craig Fletcher
6 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:26:46
Well played Southampton, on balance they probably should have won that, very unlucky.

Blue-tinted glasses back on, I was hoping for a United victory as that's going to make the path to Europe for us so much easier.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:32:28
What happens if United win the Europa Cup and finish outside the top four? Does that create another place in the Europa Cup next year?
George Cumiskey
8 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:33:51
I wonder who it was at Everton who decided that Gabbiadini wasn't good enough for us!
Patrick Murphy
9 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:36:27
Craig (#6),

That's probably true to some extent, but winners are winners and losers are losers. I want us to be more like Man Utd today, winning games they don't necessarily deserve to win rather than Saints playing well but ultimately losing.

It's great to have the pats on the back for playing well but, as Ibrahimovic just said, the game is all about winning, deserved or undeserved. As you say, today's result helps Everton a little bit, so we'll take that and hope we can continue our league form for the rest of the season.

Graham Mockford
10 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:42:49

Only if they finish 5th or 6th currently. Of course if the FA Cup is won by a top 7 team that alternates to 7th as well.

Looks most likely this year 7th place will get Europa unless a major upset in the FA Cup happens.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:49:47
Graham (#9) – thanks for that.
Paul Tran
12 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:54:20
Re Gabbiadini. Wonder if we blew that one for good last summer? Was it one of the things Koeman was livid about?
Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 26/02/2017 at 18:56:02
I think it could get more complicated if Man Utd win the Europa League and Leicester City were to win the Champions League – that could lead to six English teams having qualified for 2017-18 Champions League but only a maximum of five allowed...

Therefore, one of the Champions League qualifiers (4th placed team) would drop into the Europa League, so England would end up with five teams in next season's Champions League and only two in the Europa League.

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 26/02/2017 at 19:02:56
I'll reserve my judgement on Gabbiadini. I've seen too many one- (half-) season wonders. Jelavic and Pelle spring to mind but there's been loads over the years. Maybe Walsh saw something in him that he didn't trust.
Oliver Molloy
15 Posted 26/02/2017 at 19:05:38
Surely if Koeman had really wanted Gabbiadini in January, he would have got him.

I agree, he looks like a good piece of business since he arrived, the guy is a great finisher, lively and knows a thing or two about being in the right place at the time, and only 25.

I can only presume that Koeman opted for Lookman and maybe has his eye on other targets for the end of season.

Colin Gee
16 Posted 26/02/2017 at 19:05:42
Man Utd winning the League Cup means that 6th in the Premier League will qualify if Man Utd also finish in the Top 5 or win the FA Cup.

We now need one of the Top 6 to also win the FA Cup for 7th in the Premier League to qualify for the Europa League.

Colin Gee
17 Posted 26/02/2017 at 19:11:56
Dave (#7) – no it doesn't; England gets 7 clubs in Europe.

What could complicate matters is Man Utd winning the Europa League and finishing outside the Top 4.

As far as I can work out, if they finish 5th, then 6th and the FA cup winners or 7th would go into the Europa League.

If they finish 6th then 5th in the League and the FA Cup winners or 7th would go in the Europa.

If they finish 7th then 5th and the FA Cup winners or 6th would go in the Europa.

Dermot Byrne
18 Posted 26/02/2017 at 19:17:06
If Brighton just think they have won the Third Test at Le Mans, will that get us 7th seed? I know, I am supposed to want us to be in the Europa Amnesia Cup (nobody ever remembers or cares who wins it ) but the prospect of starting by an away fixture against Shanghai Youth Centre (who now own the Cup) in May does not excite me on a drizzly night in late February.

I am not going to try and kid my self we are part of the European elite if we get into this competition by scraping 7th and if you think the prospect of being in this competition will bring the next star, then I think you read footy journos to much. I thought it bad enough that fans celebrate 4th. But 7th?

Darren Hind
19 Posted 26/02/2017 at 19:49:40
Both Spurs centre-halves were subbed after taking knocks today. Nothing too serious, I hope...
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:00:59
Patrick (#13) although that scene you pictured is very unlikely most on here would love it if Liverpool were the team to finish fourth.
Mike Galley
21 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:06:37
This is assuming that we finish seventh!

Whilst I think we will, I'm a little concerned about how we can't shake WBA off. Our goal difference is quite a bit better and I guess beating them at Goodison should do the trick.

Colin Glassar
22 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:12:14
Mike, I think we will finish on 62-63 points which should be enough to guarantee 7th place.
Jeff Armstrong
23 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:21:53
Dave, it will probably be more likely us finishing 4th and that scenario playing out!

Remember losing out on the Uefa Cup on the "one club, one city" rule in the seventies, the bastards do us every time.

Nicholas Ryan
24 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:22:17
Manolo Gabbiadini 2 goals scored, one wrongly disallowed, at Wembley this afternoon. Looks like we might have missed out there!!
Mike Galley
25 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:30:26
Don't think you'll be far off with that, Colin. I can see another 15 points at home and a win at either Swansea or Weat Ham.

If we're to do any better, it'll probably mean us getting a win at grounds we haven't done well at in recent seasons.

John G Davies
26 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:35:03

That would be 15 points more than last season. Or 5 more wins. That would represent a tremendous improvement.

Gavin Johnson
27 Posted 26/02/2017 at 20:42:32
Definitely agree with you about Gabbiadini, Nicholas. They'll be posters saying it's beginners luck and point to other strikers like Jelavic who started their Premier League careers in fine form before tailing off to averageness.

I think you can only go on what you've seen and on that basis we have sorely missed out, especially after the talk of the deal happening that went on for months, and he was relatively cheap at the end at 㾺m.

Graham Mockford
28 Posted 26/02/2017 at 21:14:01
Four games ago, I said if we would W8 D4 L4 of our remaining 16 games, finishing on 64 points – that would be progress. I still think that is the most likely outcome.

I think to break into the top 6 we would have to get 67 or 68 points, beating one of the bigger sides away from home. It's shaping up as one of those seasons the top sides get lots of points. 67/68 has qualified for Champions League in some seasons.

Fortunately I suspect 7th gets into the Europa League, so beating West Brom at home probably secures that.

Ian Bennett
29 Posted 26/02/2017 at 21:26:54
West Brom in two weeks will be a big game. They're 4 points behind with an inferior goal difference, but they do have an easier run in.
Lewis Barclay
30 Posted 26/02/2017 at 21:33:23
Buy Gabbiadini.
Derek Wadeson
31 Posted 26/02/2017 at 22:03:34
I'll reserve my judgement on Gabbiadini. I've seen too many one- (half-) season wonders. Jelavic and Pelle

Colin (14), I agree with you. Mind you his three goals today is an area Rom could improve on, those runs to the near post rather than waiting to see where the ball is going.

Liam Reilly
32 Posted 26/02/2017 at 22:06:42
See Koeman has tweeted that it was a good result for Everton as it brings European football.

Let's hope one of the lesser clubs left on the FA Cup doesn't piss on his chips.

Personally I think the club needs the Europa League – it shows progress and will improve the club's coefficient in Europe should we ever get to the Captain's table.

John Keating
33 Posted 27/02/2017 at 13:44:10
Dont write West Brom off too soon...

Anyway, I would sooner miss out on it: 4th or 8th!!!

Kristian Boyce
34 Posted 27/02/2017 at 14:26:05
I can understand why we didn't go for Gabbiadini. We were quoted about 24m back in the summer and for him to go 6 months later for 10m less and not getting a sniff of action at Napoli, questions should have been raised about his quality/personality. Saints could guarantee first team football, we couldn't and I think that was the deciding factor for him. He isn't going to get Lukaku's place and we don't play with 2 strikers, so he would be coming in off the bench.

Like others have said, his impact reminds me a bit of Jelavic. I wouldn't be surprised, true to form if the RS put a bid in for him in the summer, and he then gets found out.

Geoff Lambert
35 Posted 27/02/2017 at 22:31:04
Some on here already saying Lukaku could learn from him, ffs the mind boggles!!!!
Anthony Dwyer
36 Posted 28/02/2017 at 10:38:20
I'd be happy with a Europa spot, I'd be even happier if we blooded some of our talented u23 squad throughout the group stage.

Stek in goal.
Browning (rcb) Pennington (cb) Galloway (lcb)
Callum Connolly and Antonee Robinson at full back
Liam Walsh, Kieran Dowell, JonJoe Kenny, Joe Williams making up the midfield.
Calvert-Lewin or Conor Grant up top.

Add to that list the senior players who aren't getting enough game time, the likes of Lennon, Besic, McCarthy, Kone etc.

Using the early stages to get young lads real game time could be huge for us the following season, the first team squad can be used later on in the tourney, and the lads who played the early stages can make themselves available for loans.

Eugene Ruane
37 Posted 28/02/2017 at 11:07:23
Remember when you were a kid and the time between one crimbo and the next seemed like... forever?

And like (regarding the passing of time) it would take about 2,000 years just to live to 50.

Once past 40/50 of course, the opposite happens and it seems like Christmas arrives every 5 months.

The reason I mention this is that, although I know the actual time span is always the same, it does seem as though, at 57, time is whizzing by and I only have a very limited amount of nice, beery, Everton Euro-trips left.

So if we could qualify for Europa this season, I would be very happy.

Specially if we had a couple of trips to nice, friendly, interesting, civilised towns and cities.

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