EFL Cup - Quarter-Final
Man Utd3Colchester0

Manchester United 3-0 Colchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side reach semi-finals

Marcus Rashford
Rashford scored his 17th goal of the season for club and country

Five-time winners Manchester United set up a Carabao Cup semi-final meeting with city rivals Manchester City after eventually cruising past League Two side Colchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side reached the last four of the competition for the first time since 2017, when they went on to lift the trophy, and progressed by scoring three goals in the space of 10 minutes.

"Fantastic days in Manchester," said Solskjaer. "Of course we do really respect them and as I said after the last derby game, in my opinion they are the best team in England.

"They can out-football you so we need to have our game heads on and be ready of them again. We have shown them as well that we can cause them problems so it will be two fantastic games."

Marcus Rashford wasted numerous chances in a frustrating first-half but brilliantly broke the deadlock early in the second period by cutting in from the left and lashing home.

England international Rashford turned provider for the home side's third which was converted by Anthony Martial, in between Ryan Jackson's own goal.

Colchester, understandably, offered little attacking threat against their more illustrious opponents with Callum Harriott's low drive which skipped a yard wide their best opportunity.

The semi-finals are over two legs, with the first match at Old Trafford taking place in the week commencing 6 January and the second leg against the holders at Etihad Stadium in the week commencing 27 January.

Solskjaer's side one step from final

Manager Solskjaer said before the game this was a competition his side "want to go all the way in" and it showed with a strong and experienced starting line-up containing the world's most expensive defender Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, as well as Martial and Rashford.

In total, almost £200m worth of talent started for the home side at Old Trafford, in comparison to their fourth-tier opponents who had just one player - Harry Pell for £100,000 - that cost a transfer fee.

Colchester, the lowest ranked team in the quarter-finals, defended deep in the opening period and forced the Red Devils into long-range, pot-shots with Rashford twice lacing wide and seeing a free-kick smothered by goalkeeper Dean Gerken.

Martial also fired a 30-yard strike narrowly wide but the fourth tier side were punished on 51 minutes on their first foray forward in the match. Full-back Jackson's low cross was smothered by Sergio Romero before the Argentine goalkeeper set the hosts on a counter-attack which was converted through Rashford punishing finish.

John McGreal's men were overwhelmed thereafter, Rashford could have had a second from Mason Greenwood's vicious cross but visiting defender Jackson screwed into his own net ahead of him as Frenchman Martial slide home just after the hour mark.

There was no way back for the away side on their first visit to Old Trafford but they will be proud of a League Cup campaign in which they knocked out Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Tottenham.

Man of the match - Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Marcus Rashford
Rashford took a while to find his range but the 14 goals so far is his best return in a season for Manchester United

'I don't feel anything is written in the stars'

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told Sky Sports: "We dominated, created chances, you are never sure until you get first goal, they are a hard team to break down and had 0-0 [results] against Palace and Tottenham.

"We created enough chances in the first half to put it to bed. If we had kept playing like the first half I would have been happy but in the second half we were miles worse, we didn't make as many good decisions but we scored the goals.

"You always want to win trophies and games and we have a nice little draw coming up, exciting times ahead.

"I don't feel anything is written in the stars, you work hard and do your best and take what you can from it."

Carabao Cup specialist Solskjaer - the stats

  • Manchester United have progressed from all 11 of their League Cup ties against fourth-tier opponents.
  • Colchester conceded three goals in a match for the first time in 38 matches, since losing 3-0 to Exeter City in a League Two match in March.
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 12 home matches in all competitions (W7 D5) since losing 2-1 to Crystal Palace in August.
  • Manchester United have reached their 15th League Cup semi-final - only Liverpool have reached more in the competition's history (17).
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has progressed from all five of his League Cup ties as manager of Cardiff City and Manchester United.

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 22Romero
  • 18YoungBooked at 22mins
  • 38TuanzebeSubstituted forGarnerat 65'minutes
  • 5Maguire
  • 23ShawSubstituted forWilliamsat 62'minutes
  • 15Pereira
  • 31Matic
  • 26Greenwood
  • 8Mata
  • 10RashfordSubstituted forLingardat 62'minutes
  • 9Martial

Substitutes

  • 4Jones
  • 13Grant
  • 14Lingard
  • 37Garner
  • 39McTominay
  • 44Chong
  • 53Williams

Colchester

  • 1GerkenBooked at 39mins
  • 2Jackson
  • 18Eastman
  • 5Prosser
  • 3Bramall
  • 15HarriottBooked at 73minsSubstituted forPokuat 77'minutes
  • 8PellBooked at 18minsSubstituted forStevensonat 66'minutes
  • 14ComleySubstituted forGambinat 73'minutes
  • 4Lapslie
  • 45Nouble
  • 9Norris

Substitutes

  • 6Sowunmi
  • 10Brown
  • 21Clampin
  • 24Stevenson
  • 26Gambin
  • 29Ross
  • 49Poku
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
57,559

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamColchester
Possession
Home74%
Away26%
Shots
Home26
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home7
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 3, Colchester United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Colchester United 0.

Foul by James Garner (Manchester United).

Luke Gambin (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Stevenson (Colchester United).

Offside, Colchester United. Tom Eastman tries a through ball, but Frank Nouble is caught offside.

Foul by Anthony Martial (Manchester United).

Ben Stevenson (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).

Ryan Jackson (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Andreas Pereira (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mason Greenwood.

Attempt missed. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by James Garner.

Attempt blocked. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Dean Gerken.

Attempt saved. Harry Maguire (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Juan Mata with a cross.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Tom Lapslie.

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ashley Young.

Substitution

Substitution, Colchester United. Kwame Poku replaces Callum Harriott.

Attempt saved. Luke Norris (Colchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luke Gambin with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Brandon Williams (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mason Greenwood.

Attempt saved. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt blocked. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James Garner.

Substitution

Substitution, Colchester United. Luke Gambin replaces Brandon Comley.

Booking

Callum Harriott (Colchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

James Garner (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Harriott (Colchester United).

Attempt saved. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andreas Pereira.

Attempt blocked. Brandon Williams (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Anthony Martial.

Substitution

Substitution, Colchester United. Ben Stevenson replaces Harry Pell.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. James Garner replaces Axel Tuanzebe because of an injury.

Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cohen Bramall (Colchester United).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Marcus Rashford.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Brandon Williams replaces Luke Shaw.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 3, Colchester United 0. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Marcus Rashford.

Attempt missed. Callum Harriott (Colchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ryan Jackson.

Goal!

Own Goal by Ryan Jackson, Colchester United. Manchester United 2, Colchester United 0.

Attempt missed. Cohen Bramall (Colchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Tom Eastman.

goal