Manchester United moved within touching distance of Carabao Cup final with a convincing win over Nottingham Forest at City Ground.
The Red Devils emerged with a classic comeback from the defeat at Emirates to demolish Nottingham Forest by three un-replied goals.
Marcus Rashford made the headlines after his brilliant opener set Man United enroute to victory over the home side.
Nottingham Forest attempted to match United’s attacking pace and momentum, but it was a far cry for the home side. Manchester United were hungrier for a win as they strove to end a five-year trophy drought at Old Trafford.
Erik Ten Hag got the game to a speedy start and took nothing for granted. He started all his best players, with Casemiro returning to action after missing the match against Arsenal.
The Brazil international brought his experience to bear and gave the United midfield a huge leverage – something they lacked in the crunch Premier League tie with the Gunners.
Casemiro’s masterclass and capacity proved too high for the Forest midfield to deal with, and it was not long before the former Real Madrid star helped Rashford upfront for a curtain raiser.
Marcus Rashford produced a moment of magic, picking Casemiro’s pass and taking a long solo run from Man United’s half into the Nottingham Forest box before firing pass the goalkeeper.
It was a moment of magic by the England international, who built on his recent form for the Red Devils to score his 10th goal in 10 matches for the club.
The PSG target summoned up courage and drive the ball right from United’s half in the left flank, before cutting in through the middle of two Nottingham Forest defenders into the box, and firing home the opener.
Rashford’s goal helped United stem off early pressure from the home side, who attempted to match the pace and momentum of the visitors.
Another first-half strike from new loan signing from Burnley Wout Weghorst effectively sealed a first-half win for the Red Devils and gave them a perfect control of proceedings in the game.
Weghorst scored his first goal for Manchester United slotting home a rebound to double the lead.
In the second half, Bruno Fernandes sealed the victory with another goal to help Man United secure a deserved 3-0 first-leg win.
The victory puts the Red Devils absolutely in control of the second leg which comes up at Old Trafford as they hope to set a Carabao Cup final clash with Newcastle United or Southampton at Wembley stadium, and possibly end five-year trophy drought at Old Trafford.
Reacting to Marcus Rashford’s masterclass, Erik Ten Hag praised the Three Lions star for an extraordinary push that led to the first goal.
The former Ajax boss, who is aiming for his first Man United trophy in his first season in England, hailed unstoppable Rashford.
“A lot of players are playing really well but I am happy with Marcus,’ said Ten Hag. ‘In terms of his performance and development, from the start of the season he is growing.”
Manchester United are closer to the Carabao Cup final after the 3-0 victory than Newcastle United, who won the first leg 1-0 at St Mary’s against Southampton.
The Red Devils will be expected to wrap up a good aggregate win and proceed to the final at Wembley when hosting Forest in the return leg at Old Trafford.