Anthony Martial applauds the fans.

United v Colchester: Talking Points

Manchester United ran out as deserved 3-0 winners against Colchester United during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final tie.

After a frustrating first half for the Reds, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men completely over-ran the visitors in the second period, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scoring either side of Ryan Jackson’s own goal in the 55th minute.

There was plenty of positivity from our fans leaving Old Trafford after the game, and we’ve rounded up some of the topics they could have been discussing on the way home...

MARVELLOUS FROM MATIC

Nemanja Matic has been missing from some of the current campaign through injury. In fact, before this tie, he’d only started five matches in all competitions so far this term. However, our no.31 provided a timely reminder of his quality during Wednesday night’s victory. Matic's physicality and range of passing meant he dominated the midfield, alongside Andreas Pereira, despite being outnumbered by Colchester’s three men in the centre of the park. He even set up our first goal with an excellent long ball into Rashford’s feet. The experienced Serb also had a brief cameo at centre-back, when the boss withdrew Axel Tuanzebe midway through the second half, meaning Nemanja dropped into the backline.

Solskjaer: We'll take what comes our wayVideo

AXEL’S OVATION

One of the many rule changes last summer means players no longer have to leave the field by the benches, when being substituted. Tuanzebe was certainly a beneficiary of that against Colchester, after he was replaced in the 65th minute by James Garner. The defender left the pitch at the far side from the dugouts and had to walk the whole way round the touchline. It meant our loyal supporters had a moment to applaud Axel, up close and personal, as he trundled round to the other side of the pitch. It was a nice moment for the youngster who took time to acknowledge the acclaim.
SEMIS LINE-UP

The victory against the League Two outfit means the Reds have qualified for the semi-finals for the first time since the 2016/17 campaign, when, of course, we won the tournament. Joining us in the last four are Manchester City - whom we face over two legs in January - while Aston Villa and Leicester City will go toe-to-toe in the other clash. The quartet in the semis really are experienced League Cup sides, and the four clubs between them have lifted the trophy on 19 occasions.
RESILIENT REDS

It wasn’t the most enjoyable of opening periods for the Old Trafford faithful, who had to remain patient during our Carabao Cup clash. The visitors sat very deep in the first half, meaning there was almost no space for our attacking players to operate in. But, after Rashford broke the deadlock in the 51st minute, the floodgates really opened for Ole’s men and Colchester couldn’t cope with the variety and relentlessness of our attacks.

Solskjaer's press conferenceVideo

IT’S ALL ABOUT TEAMWORK

With Rashford, Martial and Mason Greenwood in the side, the Reds often look to attack the opposition with our pace and directness, but, on Wednesday, our forwards also showed their other assets. With Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata making passes, there was no lack of shooting opportunities for the Reds, while our front four also combined to devastating effect against the U’s. Our third goal of the night was the perfect example of that, when the combination of Mata to Rashford then Martial, finished off a long passing move for United. Potentially, even a Goal of the Season contender.

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