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Review & Ratings: Marcus Rashford scores, assists and forces an own goal in 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Colchester United

Manchester United beat Colchester United 3-0 in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. The first half gave nothing to write home about but six minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford had United ahead. Five minutes after that, an own goal doubled United’s lead. Ten minutes after the first goal was scored, Anthony Martial had United 3-0 up and cruising into the semi-final draw.

United started well against Colchester and had many chances to open the scoring in the early stages of the match with Marcus Rashford missing chance after chance. The first half ended 0-0 and the highlights of the half seemed to be that three players were booked; two for Colchester. There were no changes for either team during the break with both teams seeking a way to reach the semi-final stages of the Carabao Cup.

It took United just six second half minutes to take the lead with Rashford scoring his 14th goal of the season in all competitions. Colchester were in the attack with Sergio Romero gathering a low ball into the box and sending United on the attack. The ball was lumped to Nemanja Matic, who released Rashford into space with the forward then cutting inside on his right foot to fire past Dean Gerken.

Just five minutes later, United were 2-0 up and it seemed Rashford had his second goal of the evening. Mason Greenwood drove into space down the right and delivered the ball into Rashford but he was beaten to the ball by Ryan Jackson with the ball deflecting off him and beating the keeper. Rashford’s celebration was short, seemingly knowing that he had not scored the goal. However, it really does not matter. 2-0!

United found their third goal of the game in the 61st minute of the match with Anthony Martial scoring his seventh goal of the season. Greenwood picked out Mata on the edge of the box with the Spanish midfielder floating the ball over the top which Rashford receiving it and passing it across the face of the goal for Martial to bury into the back of the net with a great finish to see of the League Two club.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian did not have a lot to do against Colchester. In the second half, with Colchester attacking, he gathered a low ball in the box and sent United forward, passing to Matic, who set Rashford up to score the first goal of the game. He is a great second goalkeeper to have in a team - never moans about a lack of playing time and puts in his best performance every time he plays.

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18 Ashley Young

The veteran winger-cum-fullback added some experience at the back against the League Two side. He was booked in the first half for a cynical challenge but added a sense of professionally as the team worked hard to break down Colchester and get the win.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

The academy graduate was a good performer against Colchester at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup. It was good to see him get some more time on the pitch. He's got leadership in him and he's one of our own. He will be rivalling Victor Lindelof soon enough.

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5 Harry Maguire

The England defender nearly had his first goal for the club in the 84th minute against Colchester with the goalkeeper pulling off a great save to deny the £80 million man. He played well in his sixth consecutive match for the club with three big games coming up before the end of the year.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back got forward a lot of the time with United seeking to find the opening goal. It is good to see him back in the team as he clearly needed some minutes to help his match fitness. He was replaced by Brandon Williams in the 62nd minute of the match.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian international has not really played a lot of football this season and finds himself being linked to Inter Milan, among others as we head towards the January transfer window. Matic set up the opening goal for Rashford after being played forward by Romero after he intercepted a low ball in the box.

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Andreas Pereira

Statistically, United's app would have you believe that Pereira was the most influential player on the pitch but in the first half, he was shocking. He struggled to string a pass, break his League Two opposition down or do anything of note. To think he;'s a first team player makes you wonder.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The academy graduate was unable to get his name on the scoresheet against Colchester but he had some involvement in the scoreline with his ball into Rashford for the second goal becoming an own goal. He gained some valuable experience in the first team, which will benefit him as the season progresses. He has risen in stature and can now be considered a first team player, which is a good thing.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish magician seemed lackadaisical in the first half of the game with the team struggling to break down the League Two side. The second half was much better and Mata was involved in helping get the better of Colchester; his corner which forced a save from Maguire was his highlight from the game.

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10 Marcus Rashford

It seemed it was going to be one of those matches for Rashford after many misses in the first half. However, after six second-half minutes, he has his goal. It seemed like he had another but it was an own goal. The forward was replaced by Jesse Lingard in the 62nd minute of the match having a goal and an assist to his name.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman got his name back on the scoresheet matching Mason Greenwood's seven goal this season. In the first half, United seemed to be buoyed with the pressure of the League Two side but in the second half, it did not take long to get things moving. He needs to find his feet and lead from the front and get amongst the goals again, like he did in his debut season at the club.

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Substitutes

33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Shaw 62'. The left-back does not take any prisoners and got amongst it through his appearance, which will see Solskjaer happy with United pushing their opposition a bit more in the second half. He nearly got his name on the scoresheet again but a lack of space and maybe a but of luck stopped that from happening.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Rashford 62'. The attacker got stuck into the game as United had risen in stature after the first goal was scored.

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James Garner

Replaced Tuanzebe 66'. The academy graduate came on with 24 minutes remaining and Matic seemingly moved into the defence. Garner did well to help keep United moving forward despite the fact they were 3-0 up at the time of his introduction.

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 51′, Ryan Jackson 56′ (og), Anthony Martial 61′

Assists: Nemanja Matic 51′, Marcus Rashford 61′

Manchester United: Romero; Young, Tuanzebe (Garner 66′), Maguire, Shaw (Williams 62′); Matic, Pereira; Greenwood, Mata, Rashford (Lingard 62′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Jones; McTominay; Chong

Bookings: Ashley Young 22′; Harry Pell 18′, Dean Gerken 39′, Callum Harriott 73′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and Mata lead the line against Colchester in the Carabao Cup

Manchester United come up against Colchester United in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could be 90 minutes from a semi-final place in the competition this season, which is further than they came last season as they lost to Derby County on penalties in the third round of the competition. United have not faced Colchester for 26 years and they have never played at Old Trafford.

Against Everton, United played their 4,000th match with at least one academy graduate in the first team. This record will continue against Colchester with the addition of some younger players in the squad to give them some experience in the first team, which will help their ability to meet the criteria to make it at the club. Solskjaer seems to have put a lot of attention into giving youth a chance, which is great.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Young, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Pereira;

Greenwood, Mata, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Grant; Jones, Williams; Lingard, Garner, McTominay; Chong

Colchester United:

Gerken;

Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Bramall;

Lapslie, Pell, Comley, Harriott;

Nouble, Norris

Substitutes:

Ross, Sowunmi, Brown, Clampin, Stevenson, Gambin, Poku

United and Colchester United have played a total of two matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1979. United have won both matches. The first was placed on 1979 in the FA Cup, a 1-0 victory for United with Jimmy Greenhoff scoring the only goal of the game. United got to the final of the FA Cup in the 1978/79 season but were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal, which was a shame.

The second match against Colchester United came just over four years later in 1983, this time in the League Cup. It was a 2-0 victory for United this time with goals score by Gordon McQueen and Remi Moses. United made it to the next round of the League Cup that season, drawing 1-1 with Oxford United, needing a replay, which also ended up a 1-1 draw with a second replay ending with Oxford United winning 2-1.

How Manchester United could look against Colchester United; 4-2-3-1 with Greenwood, Ramazani, Gomes, Chong, Garner, Levitt and Tuanzebe

Manchester United welcome League Two side Colchester United to Old Trafford in the quarter-final stage of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will come against John McGreal’s side for only the third time in the history of both clubs, the last match was more than 26 years ago and it will be the first time that Colchester has ever played at the Theatre of Dreams.

Despite the U23’s, who beat Reading 4-1 in the Premier League 2 Division 2 fixture on Monday evening, it is expected that some of the talented youth players will be in the squad to face Colchester, giving some of the first team players a rest ahead of the visit to Watford (Sunday), the visit of Newcastle United (Boxing Day) and the visit to Burnley (28/12) which will end 2019, hopefully, in style.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian goalkeeper is a competent player to step into the shoes of David de Gea. It is important that the Spanish goalkeeper is rested ahead of a big three matches which will be played in the Premier League before the end of the month. With Romero in goal, it would seem to be problematic for Colchester to get amongst the goals, however, it all depends on who Solskjaer picks in the team, which could well be another young squad.

Defenders: Ashley Young, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Brandon Williams

I think the defence will be rotated with Ashley Young (right-back), Axel Tuanzebe, and Phil Jones becoming the experienced members and Brandon Williams coming in at left-back. Harry Maguire has played in a number of matches recently and United can afford to let him rest, despite the fact I think he will be on the bench being that this is a home match, the third home match in a row. It may not be the most inspiring team with Young and Jones but Solskjaer will need to rotate with three Premier League matches being played before the end of the month from Sunday to the following Saturday, a six day period.

Midfield: James Garner, Dylan Levitt

The midfield will be rotated with Paul Pogba still not fit to play, which seems something of a coincidence being that he’s now ill and injured. It seems that we may be told something else until January, when he could leave the club after stating that he wanted a new challenge in the summer. However, he may play for the club gain. Scott McTominay and Fred have played in the midfield for a number of matches now and may need a rest, especially with what lies ahead for them. James Garner and Dylan Levitt could be give the chance against this Colchester side, which would be some great experience for them.

Attacking Midfielders: Largie Ramazani, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong

I think the likes of Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford will be rested for this match although I think the latter will be on the bench, in case he is needed. It is time to give more first team experience to Angel Gomes, Largie Ramazani and Tahith Chong. Gomes has not played in the first team since the Astana game in Kazakhstan and could well be seen as being in with a chance to feature once again. Tahith Chong had an appearance just under a week ago against AZ Alkmaar and did well in an attacking position. He played for the U23s on Monday, scoring one goal and assisting another. Largie Ramazani played against Astana and played 45 minutes against Reading for the U23s on Monday evening, so could have a place in the team.

Striker: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood has really taken to playing first team football this season. He has not outscored Anthony Martial despite playing fewer minutes than the Frenchman and seems to be more of a predator in the box. If he can double his goalscoring before the end of the season, he will have done well at the club this season. Greenwood scored three goals in the past week, scoring twice against AZ Alkmaar and once against Everton, the clubs last two matches. He could run riot against Colchester, which would be good for his further development and for the club.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot; Andreas Pereira, Fred, Scott McTominay; Marcus Rashford

The bench will be important for United and Solskjaer. There will need to be a mixture of experience and talent, just in case the starting XI does not have enough firepower to get the victory, although Colchester would need to be very good – they did knock Spurs out of this competition 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw though. Lee Grant could provide the cover from Romero. Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot, who might be unlikely to feature could provide cover in defence, whilst Andreas Pereira, Fred snd Scott McTominay provide cover in the midfield. Marcus Rashford could be called upon if United need a goal, or two.

Preview: Solskjaer seeking Carabao Cup semi-final place with victory over Colchester; youth to be given another chance to impress?

Manchester United -v- Colchester United

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 18 December 2019, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: David Coote Assistants: Neil Davies; Nick Hopton Fourth Official: David Webb

Manchester United welcome Colchester United to Old Trafford in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could be 90 minutes from a semi-final place in the competition this season, which is further than they came last season as they lost to Derby County on penalties in the third round of the competition. United have not faced Colchester for 26 years and they have never played at Old Trafford.

Against Everton, United played their 4,000th match with at least one academy graduate in the first team. This record will continue against Colchester with the addition of some younger players in the squad to give them some experience in the first team, which will help their ability to meet the criteria to make it at the club. Solskjaer seems to have put a lot of attention into giving youth a chance, which is great.

Form: United are a team in much better form with one defeat in the last six matches. Colchester have two. United will be seeking a victory to head into the semi-final stage of the competition.

Manchester United: DWWWDL

Everton 1-1 D, AZ Alkmaar 4-0 W, Manchester City 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Aston Villa 2-2 D, Astana 2-1 L

Colchester United: DWLDWL

Scunthorpe United 2-2 D, Salford City 1-0 W, Stevenage 2-1 L, Cheltenham Town 1-1 D, Ipswich Town 1-0 W, Coventry City 2-0 L

Top Scorers: Mason Greenwood has scored as many goals (seven) as Colchester’s top scorer, Luke Norris, this season. He will be seeking to catch up with Marcus Rashford.

Manchester United Goals: 13 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Mason Greenwood, 6 – Anthony Martial, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 1 – Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Brandon Williams, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Own Goal, Victor Lindelof

In the past six matches, United have become better with just one defeat, two draws and three victories. Solskjaer’s side has scored 12 goals in the six matches, conceding seven goals. The best result was the 4-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar almost a week ago which saw Mason Greenwood score twice in the game, adding a third goal for the week against Everton at the weekend. This match could give more experience for talented youth.

Colchester United Goals: 7 – Luke Norris, 3 – Tom Eastman, Frank Nouble, Theo Robinson, Courtney Senior, 2 – Brandon Comley, Luke Gambin, Ryan Jackson, Kwame Poku, Luke Prosser, 1 – Harry Pell, Ben Stevenson

In the past six matches, Colchester as won twice, drawn twice and lost twice. It could be suggested that they are a team that will be the underdog against United, no matter which players were on the pitch. However, with United recently being able to beat big teams but struggle against smaller teams, it could be a match that United will need to have a plan. Will Colchester be a match for United? We will find out on Wednesday.

Team News: Paul Pogba not ready to return this week, this time because of illness. Bad luck or convenience? Diogo Dalot could return, possibly to the bench.

United could be boosted by the return of Diogo Dalot in this match after he has come through a period of injury and been training for the last week or so. However, Paul Pogba is now injured so will not be back in action in the near future, which is either bad luck or convenience. Solskjaer has confirmed that the squad will be rotated for this match, as they were against AZ Alkmaar last week.

Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, and Tim Fosu-Mensah will also be out of this match. Despite playing on Monday evening, there could be some U23 players in the squad, which would be good for their development. However, I expect United to include the likes of Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay etc possibly on the bench in case they are needed at any time in the match.

Predicted Starting XI: Mason Greenwood to lead the line against Colchester United; supported by Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and Largie Ramazani?

I would like to see Mason Greenwood lead the line for United against Colchester United as I feel he has the instinct to walk right into the team and lead based on the fact he’s scored seven goals for the club this season, playing fewer minutes that Anthony Martial. I would also like to see Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and Largie Ramazani support the attack as this trio could also be the future of the club, in some respects.

Match Prediction: United have played Colchester twice winning both matches. However, it has been more than 26 years since the last meeting.

United and Colchester United have played a total of two matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1979. United have won both matches. The first was placed on 1979 in the FA Cup, a 1-0 victory for United with Jimmy Greenhoff scoring the only goal of the game. United got to the final of the FA Cup in the 1978/79 season but were beaten 3-2 by Arsenal, which was a shame.

The second match against Colchester United came just over four years later in 1983, this time in the League Cup. It was a 2-0 victory for United this time with goals score by Gordon McQueen and Remi Moses. United made it to the next round of the League Cup that season, drawing 1-1 with Oxford United, needing a replay, which also ended up a 1-1 draw with a second replay ending with Oxford United winning 2-1.

Manchester United 3-0 Colchester United

copyright: JW