Manchester United’s Premier League title hopes may be fading, but a first final under Erik ten Hag is now in sight.
A 3-0 away win in the first leg of the League Cup semifinals against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday put United in control ahead of the return fixture at Old Trafford next week.
Goals from Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes at the City Ground went some way toward easing the disappointment of the late 3-2 loss to Arsenal on Sunday, which dented United’s challenge at the top of the Premier League.
Ten Hag, however, has moved a step closer to the club’s first silverware for six years.
A Wembley final against Newcastle or Southampton awaits United unless Forest can mount an unlikely fightback.
Newcastle leads its semifinal 1-0 after the first leg.
Rashford opened the scoring for United after six minutes when bursting past Joe Worrall and Remo Freuler in the box and finishing clinically.
It was the in-form England forward’s 10th goal in as many games since returning from the World Cup and his fifth in the League Cup this season.
Weghorst, who signed on loan from Burnley this month, scored his first goal for his new club in the 45th.
Antony’s shot from the edge of the box was only parried by Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and Weghorst reacted sharply to convert the rebound.
Fernandes rounded off the scoring in the 89th and likely ended Forest’s slim hopes of a comeback.
United hasn’t won a trophy since 2017 when Jose Mourinho’s team lifted the League Cup and Europa League in his first season in charge.
Ten Hag is aiming to replicate that feat by delivering a trophy in his debut campaign after being appointed at the end of last season.
The former Ajax coach spoke this week of the importance of picking up silverware in his bid to return United to its former glories.
He questioned his team’s winning mentality after the defeat to Arsenal and got the desired response against Forest.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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