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Man Utd reach just second final in six seasons in bid to end trophy drought

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Manchester United are into their first final since 2021 and only a second final in six seasons as they chase a first major trophy since 2017.

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Thanks to a 5-0 aggregate win over Nottingham Forest, the Red Devils will meet Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday 26 February.

In a fitting twist, Newcastle’s last appearance in a major final was also against Manchester United when the pair met in the FA Cup final at the old Wembley way back in 1999 – what proved to be the second leg of the treble that season for Sir Alex Ferguson and his players.

Six years is a disappointingly lengthy silverware drought for a club the size of United, having last lifted a trophy when Jose Mourinho’s side won both the Europa League and Carabao Cup in 2017.

Since then, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United lost the 2021 Europa League final on penalties against Villarreal, as well as falling at the semi-final stage on four other occasions in various competitions during the Norwegian’s three years in charge.

Current boss Erik ten Hag has already had a transformative effect on the club after only eight months in the job following his switch from Ajax in May.

The Dutchman quickly earned the respect of his squad for his actions after a humiliating defeat at Brentford in only his second game in charge and has implemented the kind of identity and discipline that had been lacking for too long.

Ten Hag won six trophies in five seasons at Ajax, while he won the Rinus Michels Award given to the best coach in Dutch football each year on three occasions for his work at Ajax and Utrecht.

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