Jose Mourinho got one step closer to securing a major title in his first season as Manchester United manager, as goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini propelled the Red Devils to a 2-0 first-leg home victory over Hull City in Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final.

Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini Lead Manchester United To 2-0 Win Over Hull City

United struggled to score against the visitors in the first half, recording just two shots on target. Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic blocked a shot from Mata, and also tipped over Paul Pogba’s long-range strike.

After the break, however, United found its rhythm. In the 56th minute, Mata tapped the ball into the back of the net from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s knockdown to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Mata has now scored three goals in his past four EFL Cup games.

Belgian substitute Fellaini scored the second goal in the 87th minute with a header off Matteo Darmian’s cross to put United up 2-0 heading into the second leg on January 26. That was Fellaini’s first League Cup goal since August 2013.


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

“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,” said Hull manager Marco Silva.

On United’s side, Zlatan Ibrahimovic– one of last summer’s two signings along with Pogba– was out to do illness. Given this, Mourinho outlined what he wanted from the first leg. “I’m happy with a small step to Wembley,” the 53-year-old Portuguese said. “If we win the match, I’m happy. I think it’s very difficult against a Premier League team to have a fat result. I think they will come very well organised, to defend and try something in counter.”

Man U have won their last nine games in all competitions, their best run since an 11-game winning streak in February 2009.

Hull have failed to score in each of their past four games against United, losing three and tying one.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 10: Juan Mata of Manchester United scores his sides first goal during the EFL Cup Semi-Final First Leg match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on January 10, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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