Manchester United welcomed League One side Charlton Athletic to Old Trafford this evening for their EFL Carabao Cup quarter-final showdown, with an in-form Marcus Rashfrord scoring a brace after coming on as a second-half substitute.
The final scoreline perhaps didn’t do complete justice to Charlton, with the Red Devils holding just a single-goal lead with the match entering its 90th minute. Charlton, currently 12th place in League One, gave United a good run for their money despite being on the back foot in terms of possession and opportunities for the majority of the game.
Brazilian star Antony opened up the scoring 21 minutes into the match with a delightful left-footed strike outside of the box, courtesy of a Fred assist.
Just a handful of minutes later, Fred himself was denied his own goal by the inside of the post, after curling a left-footed free kick around Charlton’s wall from a similar position.
Charlton tried to give as much as they got in this game, defending an ever-searching Manchester United, whilst also effectively moving the ball up the pitch themselves. In the end, the fate of their opportunities came down to a lack of quality in the final third, or a failure to get past a stout Man Utd defense.
A chance came for the League One side from a free kick on the edge of United’s box, which suffered the same fate with a poorly hit strike at the goalkeeper being scooped up with ease.
The second half of the match faired similarly to the first, with United enjoying the majority of the attacking possession and Charlton giving good, but not quite good enough back.
A wonderful team goal was denied for The Red Devils early into the second half by a (rather blatant) offside, and chances from Garnacho and then Erikson were held at bay by fantastic saves from Charlton’s goalkeeper.
Rashford and Erikson had been brought on earlier in the game in an attempt to secure the comfort of a second goal. Despite this, United still hadn’t found it as the game entered its 90th minute…
Enter Marcus Rashford.
Facundo Pellistri runs the ball down the right-hand side and cuts back into the middle as Charlton’s defence backtrack before him. Pellistri coolly slides the ball into the feet of an incoming Marcus Rashford, who himself slips it past a challenging goalkeeper in the final minute of regular play.
4 Minutes of added time are awarded, the best part of which the score remains the same.
Then, with seconds to go, Casemeiro sends a wonderful chipped pass onto the edge of the box to find Rashford once more. The in-form hitman slots a beautiful strike around the goalkeeper and into the back of the net for 3-0.
Charlton kick off after conceding to Rashford and barely have time to think before the whistle is blown. The only non-Premier League team left in the EFL Carabao Cup makes their exit, and not for a lack of a good effort.
The EFL Cup Semi-Final draw will be held tomorrow evening following Man City’s quarter-final with Southampton, which kicks off at 8PM local time.