Manchester United 3 Southampton 2: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s double lifts Cup for Red Devils

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic lifts the trophy after the EFL Cup final at Wembley. He scored twice as United beat Southampton 3-2 (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire).
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic lifts the trophy after the EFL Cup final at Wembley. He scored twice as United beat Southampton 3-2 (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire).
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes winning trophies gets better with age after firing Manchester United to success in the EFL Cup final.

The 35-year-old striker scored twice in the victory over Southampton – including a late winner – to give United manager Jose Mourinho his first trophy since taking over at Old Trafford.

“It was nice, it was very nice,” said the former Sweden international.

“This is a team effort, this is not about an individual. This is collective.

“This is what I came for, I came to win and I’m winning so I just have to keep going because the more I win, the more satisfied I get.

“I think you appreciate it more the older you get. In the beginning you don’t realise what the trophy means.

“The older I got, the more mature I got, the more I understood it’s all about winning, it’s all about collecting these trophies. I think this was my 32nd trophy and I’m super happy.”

United looked on course for a straightforward victory at Wembley following Ibrahimovic’s free-kick and a strike from Jesse Lingard, but goals either side of half-time from Manolo Gabbiadini drew Saints level.

Ibrahimovic then grabbed the winner three minutes from time as Mourinho lifted the trophy for a record-equalling fourth time as a manager, moving hims alongside a predecessor at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Nottingham Forest’s Brian Clough.

Saints manager Claude Puel felt Gabbiadini had a perfectly good ‘goal’ disallowed for offside when the game was nil-nil and believes his side’s performance merited more.

“The first goal of Gabbiadini, It was a good goal and he scored three good goals,” Puel said. “I think it should have stood.”

The Frenchman added: “It’s a lot of disappointment of course. We played a very good game and I hope we can continue on this level.

“I’m proud of my players because we played very well, with many chances.

“I think perhaps we deserved better – it’s football and congratulations for Manchester, for Mourinho, for his players. The memories are always for the winner.”

Mourinho admitted Southampton were superior for much of the final and praised Ibrahimovic for making the difference.

“I think he (Ibrahimovic) won the game for us because he was outstanding,” Mourinho said.

“In a match where our opponents were better than us for long periods of the game, they deserved to go to extra-time.”