Thursday, February 2, 2023

Manchester United defeats Forest to advance to the League Cup final with ease

Manchester United finish off Forest to cruise into League Cup final

 MANCHESTER: After securing a 5-0 aggregate victory over Nottingham Forest in the semis with a score of 2-0, Manchester United will face Newcastle in the League Cup final on February 26 at Wembley.

Erik ten Hag's team advanced to the League Cup final for the first time in six years thanks to goals from Anthony Martial and Fred in the final 17 minutes.

Ten Hag was able to rotate his squad with United still participating in four competitions, resulting in the Red Devils' 3-0 first-leg victory at the City Ground last week.

Ten Hag made six changes to the team that beat Reading 3-1 in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, leaving Marcus Rashford on the bench. However, despite the busy schedule, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes started.

United didn't play as well as they did in the first leg, but they were let off by Forest in the first half. Brennan Johnson and Emmanuel Dennis missed big chances to make it 2-2 for the visitors in their first major cup semi-final since 1992.

When the two teams last played, Wout Weghorst scored for United. The massive Dutch striker was just inches away from scoring his first goal at Old Trafford when he headed Casemiro's cross off the post just before halftime.

After spending more than £247 million in the summer on just the loan signings of Weghorst, Marcel Sabitzer, and Jack Butland, Ten Hag had a limited transfer budget in the January window.

However, United's attacking options will be bolstered when Jadon Sancho returns just in time.

Due to a mix of mental and physical issues, the England international had been out since October, but he returned shortly after the hour mark.

Along with Sancho, Rashford and Martial were introduced, and they made an immediate impression.

After Rashford's initial attempt was stopped, the Frenchman scored with a header.

The score was up to 2-0 three minutes later when Fred was set up by Rashford for the simplest of finishes into an empty net.

Ten Hag's team faces a much more difficult opponent in high-flying Newcastle, but the former Ajax manager is just one goal away from scoring the first goal that will end United's six-year trophy drought.

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