MANCHESTER United have one foot in the Carabao Cup final after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest tonight at City Ground in the first leg of their semi-final.
Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes netted for the Red Devils as they took a big step towards their first major final since losing the UEFA Europa League finale to Villarreal in 2021.
Rashford’s sensational scoring form continued with a brilliant solo effort in the sixth minute as the England forward beat two Forest markers on the run before finishing with his left foot.
Weghorst doubled United’s advantage just before the break with his first goal for United since his loan move from Burnley this month, screwing home after a fierce shot from Antony was pushed to his path.
Captain Fernandes wrapped up the scoring a minute from time with a low shot off substitute Anthony Elanga’s pass to give Erik ten Hag’s side a commanding advantage for the return at Old Trafford in seven days’ time.
Rashford’s goal took his tally to 10 in all competitions since he returned from the Qatar 2022 World Cup, and no player in Europe’s top five leagues has scored that many in that period.
It was his fifth goal in the Carabao Cup, making him the leading scorer in the competition this season.
Forest were without their injured Super Eagles striker Taiwo Awoniyi, but his compatriot Emmanuel Dennis was a second-half substitute.
The winners of the tie over the two legs will face either Southampton or Newcastle United, who won last night’s semi-final first leg between the two 1-0 at the St Mary’s Stadium.