Marcus Rashford scored two late goals to take his tally for the season to 15 and put Manchester United through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals at the expense of League One Charlton at Old Trafford.
Antony’s superb first-half opener gave United the lead but visitors Dean Holden claimed the way they continued to fight until second-half substitute Rashford finds the net for a sixth straight game with goals in the 90th and 94th minutes.
Charlton’s 9,000 roaming supporters, their highest number for a cup tie in midweek, cheered their side, having supported them throughout, briefly raising hopes of an equalizer when Scott Fraser curled his shot blunt right on Tom Heaton.
For United, that means eight straight wins and a third appearance in the last four of this competition in six seasons since winning it in 2017 under Jose Mourinho, their last national moneymaker.
They lost the last two to Manchester City, who United face in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday (12.30 GMT).
United boss Erik ten Hag said after the game he was “quite happy” with the first half hour but was “less happy that we weren’t clinical in front of goal”.
“We had to be in that semi-final and we got the job done,” said the Dutchman.
“I think we had to finish this early, but in the end the goal was to get through it, so kudos to the team.”
Eight on the trot for in-form United
Eight straight wins for the first time since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made such a brilliant start to his tenure midway through the 2018-19 season is a decent way for Ten Hag’s side to approach the final Manchester derby.
That triumph was achieved with a side missing at least seven players who are expected to be part of United’s starting line-up against City.
The progress since has been immense. And, in Antony, they have an £81.3million winger who has now scored in successive games and is bringing the trickery to wide areas straight out of United lore.
The Brazilian’s debut in the first half owes a lot to Diogo Dalot. The Portugal full-back didn’t last the first half due to injury, but it was his burst off the ball into Charlton’s penalty area that saw Antony wrap up a superb effort from the square pass of Fred in the far corner.
Fred hit a thunderous shot against a post and Christian Eriksen made a great save for Ashley Maynard-Brewer before Rashford extended his scoring streak.
He first swept away a pass from debutant Facundo Pellistri before beating Maynard-Brewer in the final minute of stoppage time with an accurate finish.
The England man is arguably in the best form of his career and Pep Guardiola already knows the damage he is capable of inflicting on a City defense that will need to be on guard just as much as that of his hosts.
Proud Charlton needs answers
This performance was a reminder of what Charlton could be.
The 9,000 traveling fans provided plenty of support for Holden’s men and they were still in the game as injury time approached.
Alongside owner Thomas Sandgaard, among Charlton’s delegation in the directors’ box at Old Trafford were former Sunderland executive Charlie Methven and Simon Lenagan, son of Wigan Warriors owner Ian.
Both have been listed as ‘club guests’ and both have attended recent Charlton matches, fueling suggestions that they are part of the secretive group that has apparently been granted a period of exclusivity around the property, even though Dane Sandgaard says he’s not going anywhere.
It’s the kind of situation Charlton fans thought they saw when they fought off a potential owner they didn’t want in 2020, and why they think an independent regulator for the game as a whole is needed to urgently.
Not that they thought too much about it in the first minute of the second half when Corey Blackett-Taylor lined up Charlton’s best chance to equalize, only to fire from the edge of the box.
Fraser had his only other chance and despite the late setbacks there was passion and admiration in the standing ovation the supporters gave Holden and his players at the end.
Now they return to more mundane fare, wanting to know who runs their club.
After the match, Holden said: [He felt] pride in performance, how we have shown ourselves as a club on and off the pitch.
“We took our chance in the first 20 minutes and grew in the game afterwards. We were so close to the number of times on the counterattack to find that last pass and we just couldn’t find it.
“We came out in the second half and had the big chance with Fraser and I turned to my left and Erik brought in three, Casemiro, Eriksen and Rashford. I thought the score was tough.”
He added: “You can only admire Casemiro’s pass for the third goal, it was like watching Steven Gerrard and Rashford do what Rashford does in the end.”
- 20ShareReplaced byWan Bissakaat 34′minutes
- 5MaguireBooked at 80 minutes
- 6Lee Martinez
- 12MalaciaBooked at 76 mins
- 17FredReplaced byEriksenat 60′minutes
- 21AnthonyReplaced byRashfordat 60′minutes
- 73MainooReplaced bycasemiroat 60′minutes
- 36FieldReplaced byPellistriat 84′minutes
- 1by Gea
- 29Wan Bissaka
- 31Maynard Brewer
- 2S SessegnonReplaced byStockleyat 82′minutes
- tenMorganReplaced byPayneat 66′minutes
- 17Rak-SakyiReplaced byHenryat 82′minutes
- 23Blackett-TaylorReplaced byO’Connellat 61′minutes
Match ends, Manchester United 3, Charlton Athletic 0.
Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Charlton Athletic 0.
Aim! Manchester United 3, Charlton Athletic 0. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) scores with a left footed shot from the left of the penalty area in the center of the goal. Assisted by Casemiro with a through ball.
Foul by Harry Maguire (Manchester United).
Miles Leaburn (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt blocked. Scott McTominay (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the yard is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Attempt blocked. Jayden Stockley (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Miles Leaburn.
Aim! Manchester United 2, Charlton Athletic 0. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) scores with a right footed shot from the center of the penalty area to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Facundo Pellistri following a break-in.
Foul by Casemiro (Manchester United).
George Dobson (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Scott McTominay (Manchester United) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Facundo Pellistri.
Foul by Christian Eriksen (Manchester United).
Aaron Henry (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
To delay. They are ready to continue.
Match delayed due to injury Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United).
Replacement, Manchester United. Facundo Pellistri replaces Anthony Elanga.
Corner, Manchester United. Corner conceded by Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
Attempt saved. Christian Eriksen (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box sees his shot blocked. Assisted by Alejandro Garnacho.
Offside, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford tries a through ball, but Lisandro Martínez is caught offside.
Failed attempt. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) left footed shot from the center of the penalty area misses a left kick from a corner kick.
Source : BBN NEWS