Marcus Rashford put in a sparkling performance as Manchester United progressed past Chelsea to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The England forward gave the Red Devils a deserved lead midway through the first-half as he scored from the penalty spot, after Daniel James was fouled. Chelsea toiled throughout the first-half but were much-improved following the break, with Michy Batshuayi hauling them level with a fantastic solo strike.
That goal was topped by an absolute stunning free-kick from Rashford in the 73rd minute as the Red Devils reclaimed the lead and progressed to the last-eight of the competition.
Rashford nets from penalty spot
Scott McTominay was right in the thick of the action early on for Solskjaer’s men as he picked up a booking for a foul on Mateo Kovacic before lashing a low corner wide of the upright.
The visitors then had a wonderful chance to open the scoring as James jinked into the box and was tripped by Marcos Alonso in the box. After missing his spot-kick at Norwich at the weekend, Rashford did not shirk the responsibility this time around and sent Willy Caballero the wrong way to net the opener.
Hudson-Odoi the threat for Chelsea
They held their slender lead surprisingly comfortably throughout the first-half but Chelsea really should have equalised shortly after the restart. Callum Hudson-Odoi got on the end of Christian Pulisic’s testing cross but could only pull the ball wide. The young Englishman had another opportunity soon after but his dipping half-volley lifted over the crossbar.
Frank Lampard’s men did eventually find a way through. Sloppy defending from United, Harry Maguire in particular, saw Batshuayi power through the defence and rocket a low shot into the bottom corner from outside of the area.
Stunning free-kick puts United ahead again
Just as the momentum was swinging in Chelsea’s favour, the Red Devils once again snatched the lead and it was in unbelievable style. Fred was fouled 35 yards out from goal and Rashford, brimming with confidence, absolutely smacked the ball into the top corner, leaving Caballero with no chance once again.
Substitute Anthony Martial could have sealed the game late on but curled a speculative effort just wide of goal. It mattered not however as Chelsea struggled to build up a head of steam in the closing stages, allowing United to become the final team to take their place in the quarter-finals.
United just about deserved to take their place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup. Allowing for a few minutes after half-time, the Red Devils were pretty much in control of the match and kept Chelsea at arm’s length. Whilst not creating all too many opportunities against their hosts, they also limited the Blues to only fleeting chances to ensure they progressed as attention now turns to the draw on Thursday morning.
Chelsea: Caballero (6); Alonso (5), Guehi (6), Zouma (6), James (6); Gilmour (6) (Mount (6), 70′), Jorginho (6), Kovacic (6); Hudson-Odoi (6), Pulisic (6) (Pedro (5), 70′), Batshuayi (7) (Abraham (N/A), 78′).
Manchester United: Romero (6); Rojo (6), Maguire (5), Lindelöf (6) (Martial (6), 66′), Wan-Bissaka (7); Williams (6), McTominay (7), Fred (6); Lingard (5) (Pereira (6), 67′), James (7), Rashford (8) (Young (N/A), 80′).
Goals: Rashford (25′ PEN, 73′), Batshuayi (61′)
Referee: Paul Tierney
Yellow Cards: McTominay (11′), Batshuayi (18′), Fred (83′), Kovacic (90′)
Red Cards: N/A