Manchester United progressed to the semifinals of the Carabao Cup by beating Charlton Athletic 3-0.
Anthony’s curling strike fired Man United to a comfortable victory against Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford, booking them a spot in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup, with Marcus Rashford adding a two goals late on.
Despite Erik ten Hag naming a weakened side, United were well on top for the majority of the first half.
Alejandro Garnacho especially impressed in the opening minutes, constantly brushing aside Sean Clare, and either laying the ball off to a teammate, or attempting to test Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
The home side continued to be on the front-foot, and found a breakthrough in the 21st minute, with Fred laying off a pass to Antony right outside the box. The winger took a deft touch to set up the ball, and curled it with his left foot into the top corner to give the home-side the lead.
Charlton started the second half quickly, with Scott Fraser receiving a flick on from Albie Morgan, but the Scotsman was unable to get his shot on target.
Moments later, United had the ball in the back of the net, after Anthony Elanga fired a cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka from close range, but the flag quickly went up, as the striker was well offside.
Maynard-Brewer came up with a big save for the visitors in the 65th minute to keep the deficit at 1-0 after Garnacho’s counter-attack effort, but the visitors lacked the edge in the final third throughout the match to make it count.
Rashford, who came on as a late substitute put the match to bed with a double in the dying minutes to make the scoreline far more emphatic. His first came from a smart pass from Facundo to put him through on goal, while the second came from a simple ball over the top from Casemiro.
With 15 goals this season to his name, Rashford will hope to continue his fine form when Man United face local rivals Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday. Meanwhile Charlton will hope to bounce back against Barnsley in League One.
Marcus Rashford played so well, that he doesn’t even need to play a full 90 minutes to make his mark. After replacing Antony in the 60th minute, Rashford didn’t see much of the ball. In fact he only had 10 touches in his 30 minute cameo, but that’s all you need from a striker whose in form. It’s clear that Ten Hag’s style of play suits him, and that he’s thriving in a system that allows him to play his strengths. The brace means that is now four goals in his last three EFL Cup games, and seven goals in his last game. With the Manchester Derby up next for United, fans will hope that Ten Hag will continue to play to the strengths of their most in-form player at the moment – their main man up top.
Rashford rightly got the accolades, as Antony for his clever finish, but Alejandro Garnacho proved why he’s rated so highly despite only being 18 years old. The teenager had Charlton’s backline constantly worried with his speed, trickery, and movement. For a youngster, he’s surprisingly good at decision making, a trait that so often comes with experience and age, as he’s aware as to when he should go for goal, and when he should take a step back, and lay it off to someone else. With two key passes, and an 85.7% pass accuracy, we will surely continue to see
Manchester United have scored in their last 3 games in the English League Cup, their longest run of games with a goal in the competition since a run of 18 games from 21st September 2016 to 23rd December 2020.
Charlton Athletic have failed to score in 2 of their 5 games, no team has failed to do so more often in the English League Cup this season.
United boss Erik ten Hag said after the game that he was “quite happy” with the first half an hour but was “was less happy we were not clinical in front of goal”.
“We had to be in that semi final and we did the job,” said the Dutchman.
“I think we had to finish this off early on but in the end the objective was to get through so compliments to the team.”