Manager Jose Mourinho said his Manchester United side “didn’t lose” despite being beaten 2-1 by Hull in their EFL Cup semi-final second leg.
Having won the first leg 2-0, United joined Southampton in the final – to be played at Wembley on 26 February – with a 3-2 aggregate success.
But Mourinho refused to acknowledge Hull had scored a penalty during the second leg at the KCOM Stadium.
“I only saw two goals,” said the Portuguese. “It was 1-1.”
Hull went in front on the night through a penalty from Tom Huddlestone.
Replays showed two tussles in the area as the visitors defended a corner – Phil Jones tangling with Oumar Niasse, and Marcos Rojo briefly holding the shirt of Harry Maguire – and referee Jon Moss awarded the spot-kick.
United levelled through Paul Pogba, only for Niasse to give Hull victory.
Mourinho said: “I saw the Pogba goal and their goal was a fantastic goal – great action, great cross and the guy coming in at the far post. 1-1.”
Mourinho tetchy on his birthday
The defeat ended United’s 17-match unbeaten run, and Mourinho’s frustration was clear as he walked out of a television interview after about 30 seconds.
“I behaved on the bench, no sending-off, no punishment so no more words,” Mourinho, on his 54th birthday, told Sky Sports.
“To speak about the performance, I have to speak about things I don’t want to speak about because the game was totally under control – the game was dead.
“The game was totally under control and something happened to open the game.”
Mourinho said he did not believe United would be favourites when they meet Southampton next month.
“It doesn’t matter where we play,” said Mourinho. “I don’t think we are favourites against nobody.”
‘Wembley’s special meaning’
Despite his frustration, Mourinho now has the chance to win the League Cup for a fourth time, equalling the record held by former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and ex-Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough.
Southampton will be attempting to win just the second major trophy in their history, after beating Liverpool 2-0 on aggregate in the other semi-final.
Mourinho, who won the trophy in all three of his finals as Chelsea manager, added: “Wembley is Wembley. It is for professionals with passion for football.
“It has a special meaning, a special feeling. Of course I am happy to be there. Of course I am happy to bring many thousands of our fans because I think also for them it is something they will always remember.”