Manchester United romped to a comfortable 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at the City Ground. Erik ten Hag's side have one foot in the final at Wembley Stadium after easily dispatching Steve Cooper's men on Wednesday (January 25) night.
The Red Devils will host Forest at Old Trafford in the second leg next Wednesday (February 1). However, the tie was essentially ended by United after an emphatic 3-0 victory.
Manchester United's first goal arrived in the sixth minute as Marcus Rashford continued his incredible form. The English forward drove at Joe Worrall, pacing into the box before firing a left-footed strike past Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
Ten Hag's men dominated proceedings and their new frontman Wout Weghorst got himself on the scoresheet in the 45th minute. The towering Dutchman was the first to react following a shot Hennessey had saved. He tapped home from close range to score his first goal in United colors.
Forest had threatened before Weghorst's strike, with Morgan Gibbs-White and Brennan Johnson causing problems. However, the Red Devils' second goal arriving on the stroke of half-time was a killer blow.
Manchester United sought a third goal throughout the second half, and they were the more threatening side. Ten Hag tinkered with his side as an extensive run of fixtures looms. Youngsters Alejandro Garnacho, Facundo Pellestri and Anthony Elanga were all introduced.
Pellestri and Elanga contributed to Bruno Fernandes' fine strike in the 89th minute, which pretty much confirmed United's place in the Carabao Cup final. The ball arrived to Pellestri in the Forest box, the Uruguayan tried to get it under control, but Neco Williams was on the floor attempting to clear it. The ball then fell to Elanga, who lifted a perfectly chipped pass to Fernandes, who struck a neat strike past Hennessey.
The win means the Red Devils will take a 3-0 lead back to Old Trafford for the second leg next week. United's hopes of winning their first major trophy since 2017 are alive and well.
Here are some reactions from Twitter to a night where Ten Hag's men took one giant step towards the Carabao Cup final:
Manchester United legend Roy Keane lauds Martinez after impressive performance in win over Forest
Martinez was superb against Forest, keeping up the magnificent form he has managed since arriving at Manchester United from Ajax last summer for £55 million. Many are choosing Casemiro as Ten Hag's best signing, but the Argentine defender has rarely put a foot wrong since joining the club.
Keane has been impressed with what he has seen from Martinez. The Irishman heaped praise on the defensive abilities he possesses. He told Sky Sports:
“He's got that pride in his defending. You've seen his character and his desire. He wants to defend. He's the kind of person you want to be in the trenches with.”
Next up for Manchester United is the visit of EFL Championship side Reading in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday (January 28).