Manchester United reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 win at home to League One side Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils weren’t at their best for much of the tie but didn’t have to be in order to squeeze past the Addicks and secure a spot in the last four.
The first chance of the evening predictably fell the way of United, with Alejandro Garnacho darting to the byline and cutting back for Diogo Dalot, but his left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area sailed over.
Garnacho was continuing to prove a thorn in Charlton’s side, cutting in from the left and firing narrowly wide twice in the following minutes later.
A fierce strike from Fred was bravely blocked by the head of Ryan Inniss, before fellow Brazilian Antony broke the deadlock. The former Ajax man took a touch to come in off the right channel before audaciously picking out the far corner with a brilliant curled effort.
Fred’s quest for a goal saw him rattle the Charlton post with a wonderful free-kick from over 25 yards, while Albie Morgan’s at the other end drifted just past the upright.
Shortly after the break, Morgan teed up Scott Fraser on the edge of the United box, but was unable to keep his shot down and the chance went begging.
Anthony Elanga had the ball in the Charlton net after reaching a clever first-time cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but the Sweden international was offside and the goal was chalked off.
United’s search for a second goal saw Garnacho bring a fine save out of Ashley Maynard-Brewer at the end of a swift counter attack.
The Charlton goalkeeper was lucky to avoid punishment when he handled the ball outside his area much to the fury and bemusement of the Stretford End.
Substitute Christian Eriksen was denied twice from close range late on, firstly by a block from Lucas Ness and then a flying save from Maynard-Brewer.
And with the clock winding down, Marcus Rashford made sure of the victory, poking home from around 10 yards following a quick breakaway.
Charlton were rather cruelly the victims of a third United goal at the end of stoppage time, darting into a similar position to meet Casemiro’s through ball and tucking in at the near post.
GK: Tom Heaton – 6/10 – Had very little to do on his United debut.
RB: Diogo Dalot – 7/10 – Made a series of correct decisions and was a calming influence before being forced off with injury.
CB: Harry Maguire – 6/10 – Guilty of over-ambitious passing at times but was largely fine.
CB: Lisandro Martinez – 8/10 – Succeeded a little more than Maguire at picking out absurd passes from the back. Consistently covered for his cumbersome partner.
LB: Tyrell Malacia – 6/10 – Scuffed a couple of corners but was a useful outlet from open play.
CM: Scott McTominay – 4/10 – Looked alarmingly out of his depth against League One opposition.
CM: Fred – 9/10 – Dictated the game at will. Showed off his excellent range of passing and did a lot of the dirty work in midfield.
RM: Antony – 7/10 – Scored a cracking goal and looks a threat when shooting from distance, but notably found it tough to beat his man with a dribble.
AM: Kobbie Mainoo – 5/10 – Didn’t look out of place but didn’t make a huge impression either, which is understandable considering he’s 17.
LM: Alejandro Garnacho – 8/10 – Electric once again. Had such fun running at the Charlton defence.
CF: Anthony Elanga – 4/10 – Not a centre forward and it showed. Very easy to forget he was playing at times.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (34′ for Dalot) – 6/10 – Not as efficient as Dalot but still played well.
Casemiro (60′ for Mainoo) – 6/10
Christian Eriksen (60′ for Fred) – 7/10
Marcus Rashford (60′ for Antony) – 9/10
Facundo Pellistri (84′ for Elanga) – 7/10
Erik ten Hag – 6/10 – United dominated from start to finish, though did look rather shy in front of goal until the closing stages.
GK: Ashley Maynard-Brewer (7); RB: Sean Clare (3), CB: Ryan Inniss (5), CB: Lucas Ness (5), LB: Steven Sessegnon (6); CM: Albie Morgan (6), CM: George Dobson (5), CM: Scott Fraser (5); RW: Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (6), CF: Miles Leaburn (5), LW: Corey Blackett-Taylor (5)
Subs: Eoghan O’Connell (5), Jack Payne (5), Jayden Stockley (N/A), Aaron Henry (N/A)
Manager: Dean Holden (6)