Carabao Cup final: social media reacts to Newcastle’s Wembley heartbreak against Manchester United

2NPGW8G fans start to arrive at Wembley ahead of the Carabao Cup Final match Manchester United vs Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom, 26th February 2023 (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images)

Manchester United came out on top against a spirited Newcastle side to lift their first trophy in nearly six years and their first under manager Erik ten Hag.

Despite the loss, the Magpies dominated possession, having 61% of the ball, and recorded 15 attempts to Man United’s 14, but the Red Devils’ momentum and individual quality proved crucial.

It means Newcastle’s decades-long wait for a trophy continues, but fans remain hopeful that the elusive piece of silverware is not far away, and that they will return to Wembley soon.

For Newcastle, this was an historic day. It was their first major cup final this century, and their fans did not disappoint. On the black-and-white side of Wembley, just before the match, and at the end despite being two goals down, over 30,000 supporters demonstrated the passion and spark that has been reignited in the fanbase since their takeover with an impressive flag display.

On Saturday, thousands of Newcastle fans gathered at Trafalgar Square in anticipation for the big day, in similar fashion to Sunderland fans before their League One play-off final triumph over Wycombe last season. Sky Sports’ North East correspondent Keith Downie covered the occasion.

Also on Saturday, British number one men’s tennis player Cameron Norrie, who is a Newcastle fan, tweeted a picture of him with a fellow fan whilst competing in the Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro.

Despite the earlier disappointment for his team, Norrie would go on to achieve personal success later in the day with victory in the final over top seed and world number two Carlos Alcaraz, and win his fifth ATP singles title.

A major headline leading up to the game was the situation surrounding Newcastle goalkeeper Loris Karius. With first-choice keeper Nick Pope suspended, second-choice Martin Dubravka cup-tied and third-choice Karl Darlow on loan at Hull City, the stage was set for Karius to redeem himself in his first competitive match in two years and his first final since his Champions League final calamity for Liverpool against Real Madrid in 2018.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, and after Man United’s second goal which was deflected past the German via Sven Botman, he was the subject of mockery once again from rival fans.

However, Karius’ performance has also been praised by Newcastle fans and many neutrals, and there’s good reason for it. He produced several top saves to keep the Magpies in contention, as the stats show.

Some even believe he has earned a second-choice goalkeeper spot over current second-choice Dubravka.

Karius posted on Instagram on Monday morning, writing, “An emotional day for me coming back after such a long time. We tried our best, but unfortunately not the result we wanted.

“I’m sure this is only the beginning for this club. Fans you were amazing, thank you for your incredible support.”

The final also saw the return of Bruno Guimaraes to the squad, after serving a three-game domestic ban for his red card in the second leg of the semi-final against Southampton. In the eyes of many, he was Newcastle’s best player, and he was clearly emotional after the final whistle.

Other Newcastle players have also posted messages on social media after the match.

Club-record signing Alexander Isak, who impressed after coming on as a half-time substitute, wrote on Instagram: “Tough one to take yesterday. We gave it our best, but it just isn’t enough sometimes.

“A massive thanks to the fans for the support you’ve shown us. It’s been truly incredible and will be remembered! We’ll be back.”

Despite a proud performance from Newcastle, it was Manchester United’s Casemiro that received the most praise online after the match. The Brazilian built on his extensive cup final experience with Real Madrid and commanded the midfield, scoring the crucial first goal and defending relentlessly in the second half to further establish himself as one of the best midfielders of this generation.

Regardless of the disappointing result, there was still a sense of pride and positivity among the Newcastle fanbase. There’s a belief that this final is a foundation for future Wembley visits and potential silverware to add to their barren trophy cabinet.