Manchester United 3-0 Charlton: Spirited Addicks knocked out in fine Carabao Cup display

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester United edged into the Carabao Cup semi-finals with an unconvincing 3-0 win over Charlton.

Backed by 9,000 away fans at Old Trafford, Charlton could take only limited hope from United’s team selection as 17-year-old Kobbie Mainoo was handed a debut but Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez returned.

It did not take long for United to make their extra quality known with Alejandro Garnacho a huge threat down the left, giving Addicks defender Sean Clare a rough ride in setting up Diogo Dalot for a second-minute shot over the bar before having two goes himself later in the half.

On 21 minutes, Antony produced a moment of magic that Charlton could do very little about. While there was not much pressure on the Brazilian, he still had a lot to do with a 25-yard curling effort that beat the goalkeeper all ends up as it nestled in the far top corner.

United’s confidence grew and a goalmouth scramble forced a pair of key blocks in what was still an open game, the visitors keen to attack hard and fast when given the chance.

Dalot was forced off with an injury, having only just returned from a hamstring problem, after 35 minutes.

Seconds later, Fred rattled the woodwork with a thunderous free-kick before Charlton actually finished the half the stronger side. Albie Morgan came closest with a similarly-positioned set play that drifted wide.

Anthony Elanga had the ball in the net from a highly offside position to start the second half as the hosts failed to race out the blocks in a bid to kill the game.

A clear sign of their malaise upsetting their manager came when Erik ten Hag made a triple change on the hour mark, introducing Marcus Rashford, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen with the cute-but-inaccurate Mainoo among those taken off.

Garnacho was well denied by Ashley Maynard-Brewer on a counter-attack as United made a rare riposte to Charlton’s growing confidence - although Heaton remained untested as the final 20 minutes began.

The United goalkeeper comfortably caught Scott Fraser’s free-kick as the Addicks’ pressure grew but the final ten minutes began at the wrong end for them as Maynard-Brewer again pulled off a fine stop, to deny Eriksen.

Facundo Pellistri, finally handed his debut off the bench, broke free in the 90th minute to tee up Rashford for the second goal, making it eight wins in a row for the Red Devils, before he made it seven goals in six games with a late third to book a Carabao Cup semi-final spot with a scoreline that ultimately flattered his team.