Manchester United defeated Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal at the City Ground on Wednesday. With a comfortable victory, the Red Devils moved to within a touching distance of a spot in the Carabao Cup final. Marcus Rashford continued with his red-hot form and helped Manchester United by scoring at the beginning. Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes contributed one each to clinch victory.
Manchester United started to play an attacking game from the first whistle and as a result, Rashford scored an early opener in the 6th minute. It was a sensational solo effort from England forward, driving forward down the left from inside his own half before making a cut inside between two Forest defenders and firing in at the near post with his left foot. It was Rashford’s 10th goal in 10 games since the World Cup, the most by any player in Europe’s top five leagues.
It also took Rashford’s tally to 18 goals in all competitions this season. Only Manchester City’s star striker Erling Haaland has more for a Premier League club in 2022-23.
Forest fought back well and thought they had quickly restored parity after catching United out on the counter but Sam Surridge’s effort was ruled out for offside following a VAR review. A few moments later, United capitalized on the opportunity to double their lead just before halftime. After Antony’s shot had been well saved, Dutch striker Weghorst converted a simple rebound to get his first goal since joining the club from Burnley. United’s two-goal lead killed off Forest’s hopes of a comeback.
Forest, seeking their first League Cup final appearance since 1992, looked to make a strong comeback and gave a strong account of themselves in the second half. But they were unable to make the most of several promising attacks. Fernandes shattered Forest’s dream of making it to the final by scoring United’s third in the 89th minute. The victory means next week’s return leg at Old Trafford is surely no more than a formality for Manchester United to secure a trip to Wembley.
Erik Ten Hag praised Rashford for his incredible growth. The United manager admitted that the 25-year-old footballer is growing well from the start of the season and if he continues in the same spirit, he is unstoppable. Erik concluded that it is up to the team to get him in the right positions.