Loris Karius, the cursed goalkeeper, surrenders the League Cup final to United | Sports

Newcastle submitted United but United submitted Loris Karius. The final of the English League Cup was resolved through the goals, lost by Newcastle before jumping onto the field. Discarded by suspension Nick Pope, the first goalkeeper, and prevented for administrative reasons Martin Dubravka, the second, the coach, Eddie Howe, had no choice but to line up the man that football had forgotten. It was the turn of Loris Karius, famous for giving Madrid two goals in the 2018 Champions League final. The German hadn’t put on his gloves for two years. Since February 2021, when he officiated as a substitute at Union Berlin. He competed again this Sunday as an ominous sign of curse for the northern fans, happily gathered at Wembley.

The game ran amok from minute one. Transitions is the buzzword in English football, and transitions is what the finalists offered. Races against races, robbery against robbery, inaccuracy against inaccuracy. Total lack of control. It usually happens when there are no footballers capable of timing the attack, as is the case with United, or when the coaches persist in using vertigo as a weapon, as Howe does with his Newcastle. The result was blow for blow. And in the pure and simple exchange, the team that fielded the best goalkeeper prevailed. Karius was the definitive conditioner.

Newcastle in transitions handled themselves more naturally than their opponent. But the striped team failed to rise above the lead that their goalkeeper tied to their feet. The duel was 0-0 when the interventions of the goalkeepers directly influenced the score. First, when Saint-Maximin broke Dalot in the United area. To the juggling action of the Frenchman, David de Gea made an anthological stop. The Spaniard closed his stick and deflected the shot with a firm fist. When the crisis moved to the opposite area, Karius did not respond. The blows fell on him successively in the 33rd and 39th minute.

First it was Casemiro up front. The Brazilian beat Schär’s mark to deflect Shaw’s free-kick. The forced shot surprised Karius and the VAR gave it 1-0. A few minutes later, De Gea took the ball off the goal, the ball flew 70 meters, it was deflected successively by one and the other headers, until finally Casemiro brought it down to Rashford. The Englishman played with Weghorst, and the Dutchman, with the permission of the opposing center-backs, left his accomplice alone. Rashford pulled hard and Karius did not comply with the first law of his position: cover the near post.

What followed was brilliant resource management by Erik ten Hag. Without Christian Eriksen, his most distinguished player, injured for several months, the coach organized United to equip himself in his field around Casemiro. Appointed captain general, the midfielder organized his team to hold back and counterattack. Newcastle’s dominance extended to all corners. Especially when Ten Hag traded the suspended Dalot for Wan-Bissaka. All of England knows it: Wan-Bissaka is an open door to catastrophe. Not even the hasty change of Rashford for Maguire, striker for defense, covered United’s gap.

Joelinton, Murphy and Guimaraes were able to equalize the game with individual shots. Newcastle completed an hour of siege. The resisters prevailed. De Gea’s reflexes were in command, distracted so many times but always grown in extreme situations. United won. It was the first title of the Ten Hag era. It was also the first trophy United had won in six years, following the League Cup and Europa League in 2017. The players celebrated enthusiastically. Like who takes the first step after seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

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