Marcus Rashford maintained his record of scoring in every game since the World Cup with a late double as Manchester United beat Charlton Athletic 3-0 to reach the EFL Cup semi-finals.
Substitute Rashford produced two fine finishes to round off United’s victory, after Antony’s stunning strike broke League One side Charlton’s resistance in the first half at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Charlton – the only non-Premier League team in the last eight – produced a stubborn performance to stay in the contest until the closing stages, but lacked the quality to trouble their illustrious opponents.
Erik ten Hag’s men are now potentially three games from ending a six-year trophy drought after reaching their third EFL Cup semi-final in four seasons.
Marcus is magic. pic.twitter.com/DnV1xzSftQ
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 10, 2023
Alejandro Garnacho was heavily involved as a much-changed United team started well, teeing up Diogo Dalot for a wild left-footed strike before going close from long range.
It was Antony who opened the scoring 21 minutes in, curling a sublime left-footed strike beyond a diving Ashley Maynard-Brewer and into the top-left corner.
Fred almost doubled United’s lead in spectacular fashion when his 25-yard free-kick rattled the inside of the post, ensuring Charlton were just one goal down at the break.
Anthony Elanga was denied by the offside flag when he converted from close range after the restart, before Maynard-Brewer kept Charlton in the game with a fine stop from Garnacho’s bending right-footed attempt.
United finally made the victory safe as the game entered stoppage time, the in-form Rashford beating Maynard-Brewer with a chipped finish after taking Facundo Pellistri’s pass in his stride.
There was still time for the England forward to find the back of the net again, rounding the goalkeeper before hammering a left-footed finish high into the net.
What does it mean? Red Devils scenting silverware
United last lifted a major trophy when Jose Mourinho’s team delivered the Europa League at the end of the 2016-17 season – a campaign in which they also won this competition.
Ending that long wait for silverware was a key aim when Ten Hag took the reins. Home wins in both domestic cups in the space of four days have boosted his hopes of doing exactly that.
Rashford’s hot streak continues
Rashford can do no wrong at the moment and continued his incredible form after coming on with half an hour to go.
Having netted three times during England’s run to the last eight in Qatar, the 25-year-old has scored in all six of United’s games since the World Cup ended – finding the back of the net seven times.
In the EFL Cup, Rashford has now been involved in 15 goals in his last 13 appearances, racking up 11 goals and four assists.
Selecao winger on target
Antony was one of just three players to keep his place after starting in United’s 3-1 FA Cup victory against Everton last Friday, and the former Ajax man made his mark with an outstanding finish.
Before being replaced by Rashford, Antony had three shots and completed an impressive 23 passes in the final third.
United will now turn their attentions to Saturday’s huge Premier League clash with neighbours Manchester City at Old Trafford, while Charlton face Barnsley in League One on the same day.
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