EFL Cup - Semi-Final - 1st Leg
Man Utd2Hull0

Manchester United 2-0 Hull City

Juan Mata
Juan Mata has scored three goals in his past four EFL Cup games for Manchester United

Jose Mourinho moved a step closer to a major trophy in his first season as Manchester United manager as goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini secured a first-leg victory over Hull City in the semi-final of the EFL Cup.

A near full-strength United struggled to break down resilient Hull in a first half in which the hosts had just two shots on target - Mata forcing a good save out of goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, who also tipped over Paul Pogba's long-range effort.

The visitors had chances of their own against a side who had won their eight previous games in all competitions, Robert Snodgrass causing problems from set-pieces.

However, Mata got the breakthrough just before the hour mark when he tapped in from Henrikh Mkhitaryan's knockdown.

Substitute Fellaini scored a second late on, heading in from Matteo Darmian's cross to put United in command heading into the second leg on 26 January.

Serious business for Mourinho

The League Cup represents a genuine opportunity for Mourinho to claim a major trophy to add to the Community Shield collected last summer.

He has named strong sides throughout the competition and it was no different against Hull as several first-team regulars, including Wayne Rooney, Pogba and David de Gea, started.

With Hull bottom of the Premier League and struggling badly with injuries - they could only name six substitutes - a first Tigers victory in 65 years at Old Trafford seemed unlikely.

They were given odds of 20-1 to win before kick-off and their prospects looked even more bleak when midfielder Markus Henriksen went off injured inside 20 minutes.

But since new Portuguese boss Marco Silva - described by some as the new Mourinho - took charge last week the Tigers have looked much improved. They beat Swansea in the FA Cup at the weekend and more than held their own for long periods of the game against the Red Devils despite having to field a makeshift defence.

Fellaini's late goal means a turnaround in the second leg might be too big a challenge, but their overall performance will give their fans hope in the battle to stay in the Premier League.

Rooney remains on 249

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney has scored four goals this season

Rooney moved level with Sir Bobby Charlton at the top of Manchester United's all-time scoring chart with his 249th goal for the club against Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday, meaning he had the chance to claim the outright record against Hull.

He came close to scoring goal number 250 inside the opening 10 minutes when Marcus Rashford scuffed a shot across goal, but Rooney was just beaten to the ball by Andrew Robertson.

The England forward should have got the landmark goal just after half-time when he was picked out by an excellent Pogba ball over the defence, but sent his shot wide of the far post.

His game came to an end just before the hour mark when he was replaced by Anthony Martial, but his departure without a goal means he now has the chance to grab the historic strike in what is arguably a more significant fixture for himself and United fans - the visit of Liverpool this weekend.

Man of the match - Juan Mata

Juan Mata
It wasn't a memorable performance by Manchester United, but Juan Mata was at the centre of their best opportunities and got the crucial breakthrough when Hull were threatening to frustrate Jose Mourinho's side

What they said:

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: "Maybe I didn't prepare the team right. I didn't give them enough intensity, and we had to change that at half-time. Maybe I should pay more attention to the dynamic of the game.

"We have to improve for Sunday. Today our performance was enough to win, but Sunday we all have to improve."

More from Mourinho here.

Hull City manager Marco Silva: "There's only been four training sessions with me and with many, many things to change, I'm happy with the work my players did during this game."

Red Devils' run continues - the stats

  • Manchester United have won their past nine games in all competitions, their best run since an 11-game winning streak in February 2009.
  • Juan Mata has scored in three of his past four League Cup matches (two goals for Manchester United, one goal for Chelsea).
  • All three of Henrikh Mkhitaryan's assists for Manchester United have been in the EFL Cup.
  • Marouane Fellaini has scored his first League Cup goal since August 2013 (Everton v Stevenage).
  • The Red Devils have progressed from all three of their previous League Cup semi-finals having won the first leg (1983 v Arsenal, 1991 v Leeds, 1994 v Sheffield Wednesday).
  • United have won 12 and lost none of their past 13 matches against Hull City in all competitions (D1).
  • The Red Devils have lost only one of their past 26 home League Cup games against fellow top-flight sides (W24 D1), losing 2-1 against Chelsea in January 2005.
  • Hull have failed to score in each of their past four matches with United, losing three and drawing the other.

What the papers say

Daily Star
Wednesday's Star back page leads on Wayne Rooney not breaking Sir Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record
Daily Telegraph
Wednesday's Telegraph says that Marouane Fellaini's header has put Wembley 'in sight'
Express
And the Express says that Hull now have 'a mountain to climb'

What next?

It's back to the Premier League for Manchester United as they take on Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on Sunday (16:00 GMT) knowing a win could take them into the top five.

Hull, meanwhile, host Bournemouth as they look to move off the bottom of the table. The Tigers have not won in the league since 6 November.

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 25A Valencia
  • 12Smalling
  • 4Jones
  • 36Darmian
  • 21Herrera
  • 6Pogba
  • 8MataSubstituted forFellainiat 79'minutes
  • 10RooneySubstituted forMartialat 59'minutes
  • 22MkhitaryanSubstituted forLingardat 71'minutes
  • 19Rashford

Substitutes

  • 11Martial
  • 14Lingard
  • 16Carrick
  • 17Blind
  • 20Romero
  • 24Fosu-Mensah
  • 27Fellaini

Hull

  • 16Jakupovic
  • 7Meyler
  • 5MaguireBooked at 40mins
  • 8Huddlestone
  • 3Robertson
  • 25Mason
  • 10Snodgrass
  • 22HenriksenSubstituted forHernándezat 19'minutes
  • 11Clucas
  • 28TymonSubstituted forWeirat 90+1'minutes
  • 20DiomandeSubstituted forMaloneyat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Hernández
  • 15Maloney
  • 17Weir
  • 23Marshall
  • 29Bowen
  • 37Clackstone
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
65,798

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamHull
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home21
Away6
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 2, Hull City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, Hull City 0.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Hull City. James Weir replaces Josh Tymon because of an injury.

Delay in match Josh Tymon (Hull City) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Antonio Valencia with a cross.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 2, Hull City 0. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) header from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matteo Darmian with a cross.

Matteo Darmian (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Hull City).

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Antonio Valencia.

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

Ryan Mason (Hull City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Matteo Darmian (Manchester United).

Robert Snodgrass (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Juan Mata.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Josh Tymon.

Foul by Anthony Martial (Manchester United).

Robert Snodgrass (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Shaun Maloney (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shaun Maloney (Hull City).

Substitution

Substitution, Hull City. Shaun Maloney replaces Adama Diomande.

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).

Ryan Mason (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Paul Pogba (Manchester United) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sam Clucas (Hull City).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Ryan Mason (Hull City).

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by David Meyler.

Offside, Manchester United. Henrikh Mkhitaryan tries a through ball, but Antonio Valencia is caught offside.

Offside, Manchester United. Matteo Darmian tries a through ball, but Anthony Martial is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Adama Diomande (Hull City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by David Meyler with a cross.

Foul by Matteo Darmian (Manchester United).

Robert Snodgrass (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan following a corner.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Adama Diomande.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Anthony Martial replaces Wayne Rooney.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 1, Hull City 0. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 10th January 2017

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