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Manchester United Surges in 2nd Half, Tops Colchester in Carabao Cup Quarters

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

From left, Colchester United's Callum Harriott, Colchester United's Ryan Jackson, and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford vie for the ball during the English League Cup quarter final soccer match between Manchester United and Colchester United at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Manchester United reached the 2019 Carabao Cup semi-final after defeating Colchester United 3-0 on Wednesday at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring after 52 minutes at the end of a lethal counter-attack and Ryan Jackson hit an own goal five minutes later.

The Premier League side were home and dry when Anthony Martial netted from close range after 61 minutes.

The hosts dominated both halves of the game and the Red Devils played out a wholly one-sided affair before scoring three goals in 10 minutes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named an attacking trident of Rashford, Martial and Mason Greenwood, while Colchester experienced their first-ever visit to Old Trafford.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Rashford was shooting on sight throughout. The England international had multiple efforts around the box but couldn't break the deadlock. Visiting goalkeeper Dean Gerken was forced to deny United an opener when Rashford's deflected cross nearly claimed a lead.

United started to run out of ideas during the first half, despite dominating the flow of traffic in their attempts to score.

Callum Harriott spurned an excellent chance to give the away side a shocking lead, but the Guyana international's effort whistled wide. Martial closed out the first half with a long-range effort which only just missed the target, and Solskjaer will have been very disappointed with his team's goalless display.

Colchester had defended in numbers. Red Devils stopper Sergio Romero remained a spectator at the other end of the field.

ESPN's Rob Dawson highlighted United's lack of first-half precision:

Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN

United struggling again against a team who are compact and organised. Andreas Pereira playing well but Colchester keeper barely had a save to make.

The Manchester giants eventually earned the lead five minutes after the restart. Colchester finally ventured forward as their attackers combined, but a lethal counter-attack broke their resolve.

Rashford sprinted away with the ball, and the retreating Colchester players couldn't catch the Mancunian before he scored.

Greenwood was the architect of the second strike, and Jackson was credited with an own goal as he attempted to deny Rashford a tap-in from the 18-year-old's cross.

Solskjaer only had to wait a matter of moments for his team's third. Martial was unmarked in front of goal, allowing Rashford to lay off the ball for the France international to score.

There was a worrying moment for the hosts as Harry Maguire appeared uncomfortable with a leg injury, but the defender stayed on the pitch, with Axel Tuanzebe substituted by Solskjaer instead.

A disturbance in the away end saw Colchester supporters challenged by Old Trafford stewards, and their team were comprehensively beaten long before the final whistle.

                                              

What's Next

Colchester are in EFL League Two action on Saturday when they host Carlisle United. Manchester United travel to Watford on Sunday in the Premier League. The last four of the EFL Cup will take place the week commencing January 27, 2020.