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"Got my joy back", "Thank you Erik ten Hag" - Twitter explodes as Manchester United set up EFL Cup final against Newcastle at Wembley

Manchester United march into the Carabao Cup final.
Manchester United march into the Carabao Cup final.

Manchester United secured their place in the Carabao Cup final with a comfortable 2-0 victory over a spirited Nottingham Forest side on Wednesday (February 1). The Red Devils will now face Newcastle United at Wembley on February 26 in the final.

It was a closely fought first half, with both sides lacking firepower. Brennan Johnson had a golden opportunity in the 33rd minute to give United a warning that the tie was not over. Red Devils goalkeeper Tom Heaton, though, did well to deny the young Forest forward after he had surged into the box.

It was then Manchester United's turn to attack. Antony sent an audacious half-volley just over Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennesey's goal in the 37th minute. They went close again on the stroke of half-time when Casemiro's brilliant cross found Wout Weghorst, but the Dutch striker's header deflected off the post.

The Red Devils were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty in the 56th minute when Scott McKenna in the Forest box challenged Weghorst. The Dutchman went down in a heap, but referee Peter Bankes gave no spot-kick.

Erik ten Hag introduced Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial into the fray for Weghorst, Antony and Garnacho respectively in the 63rd minute. Manchester United immediately improved with the trio coming on.

Martial grabbed the Red Devils' opener in the 72nd minute to end the tie as a contest. The Frenchman reacted to Rashford's deflected shot to slot home from close range.

Fred grabbed his fourth of the season in the 75th minute after Bruno Fernandes' slick outside-of-the-foot cross fell to Rashford. The striker was unselfish and passed to his Brazilian teammate, who made no mistake from two yards out as Ten Hag's substitutions changed the complexion of the game.

Sam Surridge somehow didn't score a consolation goal in the 82nd minute after good play from Danilo. Heaton saved his shot well, but the English striker couldn't follow it up as he sent his effort flying over the bar. With their 5-0 aggregate win, United's dream of winning a trophy for the first time since 2017 has got one step closer.

Here's how Twitter reacted to the Red Devils sealing a Wembley trip later this month:

United are through to the #CarabaoCup final! ๐Ÿ™Œ#MUFC
@ManUtd Erik Ten Hag lifting our first trophy in nearly 6 years at Wembley! https://t.co/AVau5wL3wY
@ManUtd Wembley in his first 6 months https://t.co/aXT8IhqZZ7
Weโ€™re the famous Man United and weโ€™re off to Wembleyโ€ฆ ๐ŸŽถ
To the final. BRING ON NEWCASTLE #CarabaoCup #MUNFOR
๐ŸŽถ Fred will tear you apart again ๐ŸŽถ https://t.co/Nl8SerDUPB
The way Sancho Rashford & Martial stepped onto the pitch was so cold
Sancho, Martial & Rash off the bench https://t.co/6jpI62fNyy
Anthony Martial has now scored as many goals for Manchester United (85) as David Beckham. He has done this in 111 fewer appearances.Strong return from injury. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท https://t.co/JUmePHFVaB
๐ˆ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ข๐œ ๐๐ข๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ”ด https://t.co/Wiq1EduVrR
seeing sancho smile has made my night.
Damn Rashford, Sancho and Martial all coming on. Thatโ€™s sexy
Sorry how has Neco Williams not been booked for the off ball pull on Garnacho and then Man Utd not had the most obvious penalty going?
Manchester United will never be awarded a penalty again
Another clear United penalty ignored by the referee and VAR. Itโ€™s one per game at the moment.
It's worrying the lack of goal threat without Rashford
They say never fall in love with a loan player but man Weghorst is a baller his link up play is INSANE
Lisandro Martinez, no words to describe this guy.. ๐Ÿ”ฅ https://t.co/nbAtCsg3vE
I got my joy back. Thank you Erik Ten Hag๐Ÿฅฐ https://t.co/qXNB9JqTNv
A trophy in his first season and a top four finish would be incredible from Ten Hag let's not lie Most of us definitely didn't have us doing that.
RashFord defo getting player of the tournament for this cup
Heaton is solid.
Tom Heaton ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Rene Meulensteen lauds Manchester United's loan signing of Marcel Sabitzer

Marcel Sabitzer arrived on transfer deadline day.
Marcel Sabitzer arrived on transfer deadline day.

Manchester United sealed the loan signing of Sabitzer on transfer deadline day following Christian Eriksen's knee injury. The Dane has been ruled out till early May.

The Red Devils' pursuit of Sabitzer came out of nowhere, with Ten Hag seemingly ruling out any new arrivals earlier in the day. Nevertheless, the Austrian midfielder became the club's third loan signing of the January transfer window.

He leaves Bayern Munich till the end of the season amid a struggle for consistent game time. He managed one goal and an assist in 24 games across competitions, starting only 11.

The arrival of Sabitzer enthuses former Manchester United assistant coach Meulensteen. He said (via UtdPlug):

โ€œHe is in Ten Hag's mould. He's a winner; he's a versatile midfield player. He can do all sorts of things. I think he is definitely a very, very clever signing.โ€
Marcel Sabitzer at Old Trafford ๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น https://t.co/N5jPBXHUxl

Sabitzer impressed for RB Leipzig before joining Bayern, scoring 52 goals and contributing 42 assists in 229 games. Red Devils fans will hope he replicates that form in the absence of Eriksen.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett
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