|Picture courtesy of www.bing.com|
Manchester United progressed to the Semi Finals of the Carabao Cup last night 18th of December 2019 at Old Trafford with a comfortable 3-0 victory over their less fancied opponents Colchester United who are currently in League Two. Colchester had already proven to be giant killers and had defeated both Premiership teams Spurs and Crystal Palace in previous ties in the competition on penalties to advance to this Quarterfinal tie. Perhaps the side that Solskjaer decided to start against the minnows indicated the respect shown to Colchester as the Red Devils had 7 changes to the team from Sunday who played against Everton in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. With the fixture schedule being congested over the next few weeks a strong Manchester United team was picked that included the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata to get the result required to ensure that the Red Devils progressed to the Semi Finals for the first time since 2017. Young guns Mason Greenwood and Axel Tuanzebe were once again given starts whilst The Semi-finals opponent will see United face derby rivals Man City which will be played over two legs.
The first half ebbed and flowed with the Red Devils holding most of the possession and territory and Marcus Rashford having a few half chances. Colchester were determined to try and defend at all costs and were effective in disrupting the Red Devils. Second half saw United score the opener with a fantastic long ball pass from Matic to Rashford in space having caught Colchester on the counter attack, Rashford converted the chance by using his pace and experience to open the scoring in the 51st minute. The second goal came shortly after with great build up on the right-hand side with Mason Greenwood sending a delightful cross that was meant for Rashford to tap into an empty net but deflected off defender Ryan Jackson for an own goal in the 58th minute. The final goal came in 61st minute where Mata fed Rashord who passed to an eager Martial to tap in to secure the tie. Rashford has now scored 14 goals this season in 23 games and Martial has scored 7 goals this campaign. Solskjaer can feel relatively happy with the team performance and another clean sheet is always a bonus. The next challenge that awaits is a trip to Watford away and the team needs to continue the momentum gained in the past few weeks.
Sergio Romero – 6
Was mainly a spectator mostly had a few regulation saves. Started the move that led to opening goal
Ashley Young Captain – 5.5
Had a handful of good crossing opportunities and his service was lacking. Fairly solid defensively, though his final ball into the box was poor.
Harry Maguire – 6
Unlucky not to score late on. Was willing to take matters into his own hands and maraud forward but passing prowess was not seen especially in first half performance.
Axel Tuanzebe – 6
Had very little to do had a solid game defensively, came off early in the second-half, hopefully not injured.
Luke Shaw – 6
Positionally solid felt he was not at his best still needs to build up his fitness.
Andreas Pereira – 7
Had an impressive game definitely most creative player in the first-half. Seems to be playing very deep but played some great passes into penalty area and is improving game by game.
Nemanja Matic – 6.5
Claimed an assist with the lofted pass for Marcus Rashford to open the scoring.
Juan Mata – 6
Not an impressive first-half performance. Was involved in build up to Anthony Martial’s goal and began to link up more with the top three in second half.
Marcus Rashford Man of the Match – 8
First half most of chances fell to him but he was not able to convert any . After the interval was instrumental in securing the win with scoring opening goal and assist for the third.
Mason Greenwood – 6
Seemed off the pace of the game first half was instrumental in the second goal with a fabulous cross meant for Rashford.
Anthony Martial – 7
Got a goal in the second-half to put the game beyond doubt.
Jesse Lingard – 6
Came on to replace Rashford in the 62nd minute and played his part good energy.
Brandon Williams – 6
Made a few tackles was adventurous cam on to replace Luke Shaw in 62nd minute.
James Garner – 5.5
Continues to impress came on for Axel in 68thminute, will be one for the future to keep an eye on.