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What was Wembley like? A diary of Manchester United’s Carabao Cup win



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Credit: IMAGO / Focus Images

Manchester United have won their first piece of silverware in six years after beating Newcastle United 2-0 at Wembley Stadium, but what’s the atmosphere like before and after the match?

Manchester United have won the Carabao Cup, the first trophy under Erik ten Hag’s reign, relatively comfortably thanks to a brilliant set piece converted by a bullet header from Casemiro and an own goal credited to Sven Botman but forced by Marcus Rashford.

United was in control for most of the game leaving those wearing red in the stands feeling enthused throughout and being on par or louder than their white and black counterparts.

Read More: Full match report as Manchester United beat Newcastle United 2-0 to WIN the Carabao Cup

But before the game, those supporting the Red Devils seemed to be outnumbered by the Magpies as Wembley Way was a monochrome sea proudly representing the Toon Army with a rare spect of red or a lonely chant of “Glory Glory Man United” only going against the Newcastle grain.

If for whatever reason, you were trying to leave Wembley before the final via Wembley Park tube station you would have to gain the perseverance characterised by salmon as you would be going against a ferocious tide of hopeful fans whilst avoiding eager journalists hunting for vox pops.

The soundtrack of your treacherous journey (not really) to the tube station is a chorus of chants mixed with excited chatter, that is occasionally dampened by the repetitive “no drinking zone” message by Brent Council which has some unintended sinister tones as it’s a reminder that alcohol and football can result in unpleasant situations.

The foot traffic and atmosphere are similar to pressure building up in a volcano, steadily increasing as people slowly funnel into the stadium leading to the eruption of noise following the referee’s first whistle.

As soon as the first kick of the ball, the surrounding area outside the stadium begins to recover from the momentary migration of 80,000 as life returns to its relatively quiet normal for a 90-minute respite with the only reminder that a game is going on is the “ooooooos” and “ahhhhhhs” of those lucky enough to be entertained by the two teams.

Read More: Manchester United player ratings vs Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup Final

Residential Wembley’s serenity is shattered around the 90th minute as some Newcastle fans start the unofficial race to Wembley Park station trying to get ahead of the masses and congestion that is guaranteed at full-time.

Similar to Jurassic Park’s glass of water foreshadowing the T-Rex, waves go through Wembley as those who went in the afternoon now leave in the evening.

Pre-game the eye could only see white and black, post-game it was all a victorious red. The main destination for most was the tube station but a few joyous offshoots go off into the night chanting and singing, much like the Manchester United squad who have earned the right to celebrate.

United’s next game is against West Ham United in the fifth round of the FA Cup and not many would bet against Ten Hag’s men visiting Wembley again this season, with the only difference hopefully being warmer weather.