EFL Cup: Manchester United edge past Chelsea to reach quarters
Manchester United came up with a brilliant performance to tame rivals Chelsea 2-1 in the pre-quarters of the EFL Cup at Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday. Marcus Rashford was their star, scoring two goals, as Chelsea failed to capitalize on the home advantage, while United registered their third consecutive win across competitions. Here is the match report.
A composed opening quarter sees sole attack from United
The opening quarter of the game saw cautious gameplay from both the teams, with Chelsea keeping most of the possession. However, United came up with the only attack of the quarter in the 13th minute, as a short corner from Daniel James to Scott McTominay was fired by the latter, only for the ball to hit the side-net.
United lead at half-time, thanks to Marcos Alonso's penalty
The second quarter saw United being awarded a penalty, after a gentle touch from Marcos Alonso brought down James inside the box, and Rashford sent Willy Caballero to the wrong side for the opener in the 25th minute. The 37th minute saw another United attack by Jesse Lingard, who fired it towards the goal, only to be comfortably saved by Caballero.
Hosts apply pressure post half-time
Following the break, the hosts came up with the opening attack of the game, as Callum Hudson-Odoi shot a low cross wide, from Alonso, in the 50th minute. It was during the 61st minute, when a long clearance by Caballero was collected by Batshuayi, who followed it up with a terrific run to put it into the low corner to level terms.
Rashford's glorious free-kick hands United the win
The final quarter saw United switching their formation to 4-2-3-1. They were awarded a free-kick after Fred was brought down by Pedro, while Rashford took a breathtaking kick to hand United the lead back in the 73rd minute. It was in the 87th minute when Chelsea had their final promising chance, as Mateo Kovačić shot wide from the edge of the box.
Some key stats from the match
Here are some key stats from the match: Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge, United have taken (17) and scored (12) more penalties than any other EPL team across competitions. Rashford continued his ruthless form against Chelsea, having scored five goals across competitions in his career, his most against a club. United register two consecutive wins at Stamford Bridge since February 1998.