Martin Rickett

As it happened: Manchester United v Hull City, EFL Cup semi-final 1st leg

We went minute-by-minute as Jose Mourinho’s men took on some quite tame looking Tigers.

A very, very good Tuesday evening to you, sportsfans!

Manchester United v Hull City - EFL Cup - Semi final - Old Trafford EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

We’ve got yet another evening of live football ahead of us as bang-in-form Manchester United warm up for Liverpool with a home encounter with embattled Hull.

Marco Silva started his tenure with the Tigers on a winning note against Swansea in the FA Cup at the weekend, but the League Cup semi at Old Trafford is a whole other ball game.

Here’s the starting line-ups for tonight’s match. No Zlatan for the hosts, but with Hull light on centre backs, they should have more than enough firepower behind Marcus Rashford to take an advantage to the second leg.


A thoroughly bizarre scenario on Sky Sports 1 right now as Mike Phelan, sacked by Hull just last week, is alongside Phil Neville in the pundits’ seats.

Will be very interesting to hear his thoughts on Marco Silva’s men.

Jose Mourinho says he expects tonight to be difficult. Doesn’t expect “a fat result” against another Premier League team.

The teams are on the field then and we cut away from Mike Phelan just in time to save us from a full on flood of tears. Time to see how Harry Maguire and Tom Huddlestone cope with this Zlatan-less Manchester United attack.


We’re under way and Hull started confidently, taking a decent period of probing possession in the United third.

By the time 90 seconds elapsed though, Juan Mata is testing the ‘keeper at the other end. He took a low cross to the edge of the area first time and his low whipped left footed effort was well saved.

4 mins: United still not owning the ball and guilty of giving it up a tad easy, Mkhitaryan for one taking a midfield turn much too slowly and he was duly dispossessed.

Close! Darmian is finding space on the left and his pull back found Rashford. His snap shot was going off target, but Wayne Rooney had a lunge to connect with the loose ball.

Hull clear. But it really does feel like a matter of time, despite United’s profligacy in possession.

Harry Maguire everybody! The makeshift centre back stepped up to strip Wayne Rooney of the ball and proceeded Sammer-like to advance upfield and ended up cutting right and driving a shot on target from the edge of the area.

Mkhitaryan is warming to the contest, beginning to find space and the touch to put him in it as he cuts in from deep left positions.

As Pogba lofts a ball over the byline, it’s thoroughly clear that United just aren’t being patient enough. It’s almost as if they need a real scare to get them going.

15 mins: Henriksen joins the Hull injury list after an ill-advised shoulder to shoulder contest big Big Paul Pogba.

He hits the deck and looks like he suffers a minor dislocation. Hernandez will come on in his place.

Another warning shot from United, this time Mkhitaryan finds time to pull the trigger inside the area. Left of the post.

22 mins: Hull beginning to sink deeper and deeper into their area as United build some concerted pressure.

The hosts are creating a lot of half chances, Darmian’s cross headed to Rooney by Valencia and the club’s soon-to-be record goalscorer pokes it back to Mkhitaryan who fails to hit the target again after cutting on to his left on the edge of the area.

For a moment, just a moment, it looked nicely set up for Antonio Valencia. Unfortunately his connection with a dropping header right of the penalty spot was not pristine and his volley flashed two or three metres over the bar.

30 mins: Why the hell not: Rashford looks to find his range from about 25 yards, collecting a pass from Pogba right of the D and blasting a shot goalwards. It flies over the middle of the bar.

Whisht! Diomande gives De Gea something to think about as a deflected cross finds him free at the back post.

His header bounces back off the foot of the post and then a linesman’s flag appears. Hull aren’t far away from frustrating their hosts here.

35 min: Another slightly worrying moment for Mourinho as Snodgrass corner is whipped in to a dangerous area inside the six yard box. United clear and Snodgrass’ follow-up is low and easy pickings for DeGea.

Mkhitaryan goes flying and Maguire takes a yellow card as he lunges into the Armenian’s path on the left wing.

Two massively shocking moments after the free kick.

1. Antonio Valencia crossed with his left foot.

2. Paul Pogba inexplicably decided not to head the inswinger. Mkhitaryan was coming in behind him, but was nowhere close to the dropping ball.

Mkhitaryan takes it upon himself to force the issue in stoppage time of the first half. He glides as far as the 18-yard line before popping a pass through to Rashford and Rooney. But they get in each other’s way and it looks like this game will be goalless at the interval.

HALF-TIME: Manchester United 0 Hull 0

The Tigers are a quarter of the way to Wembley.

Ready for more? We’re up and running in the second half.

Good start from Pogba as his probing outside of the boot ball from midfield gives Mkhitaryan a chance, but his first touch his a tad heavy and the ball is taken by the keeper.

50 mins: There goes the best chance of the night so far for United. Pogba slides one down the channel and Rooney has time to pull back that big old right boot and pick his spot in the far corner, but the ball flashes wide.

Though off target, that moment from Rooney has at least brought some noise from the Old Trafford faithful.

GOAL!!!! Manchester United 1 Hull 0 (Mata ’55)

It didn’t take a very long period of composed pressure when United actually set their minds to it.

Valencia’s cross is met by Mkhitaryan’s almighty leap and wee Juan runs in to meet the ball at the right hand post and turns the ball into the roof of the net with his right foot.

59 mins: Wayne Rooney won’t beat Sir Bobby’s record tonight. Anthony Martial comes on to replace the skipper just before the hour.

The Frenchman’s pace could cause havoc for Hull if they go seeking an equaliser.

Stop everything. I was wrong. The replays of Mata’s goal clearly show… that he used his the top of his left foot, NOT the instep of his right to poke in the opener. Oh, and there’s a suspicion of offside, but sure what can ya do?

Mkhitaryan is withdrawn on the 70 minute mark. Jose is starting to think of his team to take on Liverpool on Sunday – the Reds of course, play Southampton in tomorrow’s EFL semi.

Jesse Lingard is in the game, so plenty of out and out pace for United, but not a great deal of space. Hull would be more than happy to take only a 1 – 0 deficit back home for the second leg.

CRACK! Paul Pogba’s right boot is a wand. He stands over a free kick 20 yards out and left of the D. He pings it beautifully and beats the keeper all ends up. But the pesky ball hits the inside of the posts and spins across the goalmouth.

78 mins: All of United’s creativity will be on Pogba’s shoulders now. Juan Mata is replaced by Big Marouane Fellaini.

83 mins: Rashford still showing all that electrifying pace when he gets a sniff of space out wide. He powers to the byline, but his sliding pull-back can’t find a finisher.

GOAL!!! Manchester United 2 Hull 0 (Fellaini ’86)

United double their advantage in the tie thanks to Big Bad Marouane! Martial does well on the left to get back on his feet and poke a ball back to Darmian, who uses his right foot to swing a cross to the back post where the Blonde Belgian Bombshell is on hand to nut a looping header over the line.

We begin four minutes of added time with an injury for Josh Tymon.

James Weir comes in to help Hull see this one out… or can United put one more on them?

FULL-TIME Manchester United 2 Hull 0

Nine wins in a row.

It will take a collapse from Jose Mourinho’s men in the second leg to stop them taking a place in the League Cup final.

Liverpool and Southampton will begin the task of joining them (nearly) there tomorrow night.

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