Manchester United put one foot on Wembley Way after taking firm control of their Carabao Cup semi-final with a 3-0 first-leg win at Nottingham Forest.
First-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes' late third at the City Ground mean that only a miraculous turnaround in next week's second leg will stop United appearing in the League Cup final at the national stadium next month.
Rashford's strike was a moment of individual brilliance as he raced 50 yards and converted, Weghorst celebrated his first goal for the club since his loan move from Burnley while Fernandes effectively killed the tie at the death.
The win put United on the brink of returning to Wembley for their first domestic showpiece since losing the 2018 FA Cup final and Erik ten Hag will have the possibility of ending the club's trophy drought, which stretches back to 2017, firmly in his sights in his first season at Old Trafford.
Nottingham Forest vs Man United highlights
GOAL! Rashford buries quick opener
GOAL! Weghorst just before the break
GOAL! Fernandes seals it late on
Nottingham Forest FC 0 - 3 Manchester United FC
Thanks for joining us!
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Manchester United put three goals past Nottingham Forest and look very good for a spot in the Carabao Cup final.
Highlights: Fernandes seals the first-leg win
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Highlights: Weghorst bags first United goal
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Highlights: Rashford’s early opener
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FULL TIME! Nottingham Fores 0-3 Manchester United
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Only halfway in the tie yet we are a long way to knowing which of these teams will play at Wembley in the spring.
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90 mins: Only United fans celebrating, including those who hit the deck as an advertising board gave way during their surge forward after that goal.
Three minutes added on.
GGOOOAAALLLL!!!! Nottingham Forest 0-3 Manchester United
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88 mins: Aurier gets caught in his own half and Fred slides in Pellistri... it’s a bit of a bundle with Hennessey but the goalkeeper comes out on top.
United come again and Pellistri looks dangerous again. The ball breaks for Fernandes and he fires home!
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87 mins: Lots of pace for United to exploit on the counter-attack although their latest move breaks down with a sloppy pass.
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84 mins: By the byline, Williams looks deep with the free-kick but Wan-Bissaka leaps really well to clear.
Elanga on for United now, Weghorst departs.
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83 mins: Williams is having the run of Pellistri on Forest’s left flank and he does well to draw a foul - it’s just outside the box.
Michael Oliver books the Uruguayan.
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81 mins: Only United fans making any noise but Forest are still in the tie - if they can score in the next ten minutes.
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79 mins: Pellistri latches onto a ball out wide and Weghorst wins the aerial battle in the middle - but it flashes wide.
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77 mins: United on top and Fred takes aim from range, sending his shot way off the target.
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74 mins: A promising opening salvo from Williams, cutting in on the left wing and Lingard flicks a header wide.
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72 mins: O’Brien and Williams replace Lodi and Gibbs-White in Forest’s bid to spark a comeback.
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70 mins: A bit of a lull in the game as Forest easily clear a United corner before a long diagonal towards Garnacho ends up out of play.
Fred and Pellistri come on to liven things up, replacing Antony and Eriksen.
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67 mins: We’re firmly into ‘next goal’ territory here.
Forest score and it’s game on, United score and it could be game over.
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64 mins: Time for Lingard to enter the fray.
Off comes Scarpa for the ex-United man and Surridge is withdrawn for Dennis.
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62 mins: A bit of life in Forest now, the crowd irked by Malacia leaving a stud on Johnson in a fair tackle.
Aurier picks out Scarpa at the far post and Wan-Bissaka turns it behind for a corner.
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60 mins: GIbbs-White shakes off Casemiro to win the ball outside the United box...
He takes aim but fires just over!
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58 mins: Fernandes ghosts in behind to latch onto a lovely Martinez lob over the top but no one is there to finish his lay-off!
Cooper with the next change, replacing Danilo with Colback.
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57 mins: Rashford comes off for Garnacho. Job done with a fine run and finish for the first goal.
That potential injury did not seem to be bothering him too much as he walked off.
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55 mins: It was actually the ribs where Rashford got clipped in that moment, he’s looking uncomfortable but playing on.
Ten Hag is looking to his bench nonetheless.
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55 mins: Rashford fails to pull off a move to beat two men at once and goes down clutching his calf...
OFF THE BAR!
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54 mins: Eriksen curls a shot goalwards which clips a man and dings off the corner of the crossbar!
Rashford follows up and forces Hennessey into action.
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51 mins: It’s United on top with Malacia hitting the byline and cutting back a good cross which Fernandes doesn’t quite judge well. His lashed volley flies high and wide.
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48 mins: Vital block by McKenna!
Fernandes rolls the ball in for Weghorst and the angle is tightening as he stretches to shoot, and the defender is equal to it.
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47 mins: Forest voices rise for an early corner as Malacia turns the ball behind, but it comes to nothing.
Kick-off! Nottingham Forest 0-2 Manchester United
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The second-half gets underway.
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It will be interesting to see how the visitors play this as the players return to the pitch.
Go for a third, control possession, sit back and counter?
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Sam Surridge thought he had equalised for Forest - only for a very tight offside call to go against him.
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A lot of work to do for Forest after that goal, they had done well to get back into the game after Marcus Rashford’s early strike.
Yet, just as United looked to be struggling, Wout Weghorst stabs home a rebound to cut down the hosts’ hopes.
Half time! Nottingham Forest 0-2 Manchester United
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That second United goal has killed the atmosphere at The City Ground.
Only a quarter gone in this semi-final tie and Man United look good for a trip to Wembley...
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45 mins: Two minutes added on.
GGOOOOAAALLL!!! Nottingham Forest 0-2 Manchester United
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45 mins: WEGHORST!
What a time to score...
Antony’s shot is parried towards the striker who pokes the ball home for his first Man United goal!
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44 mins: Case in point: Fernandes lobs a whack from range well wide of the goal.
The home fans’ jeers just about cover up the fuming groans of Ten Hag, who storms back to his bench.
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42 mins: Fernandes caught in his own half by Surridge and does well, in fairness, to bundle the striker a bit and win a goal kick.
After such a strong start, United a bit off-the-boil as the half-time break nears.
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40 mins: It feels like every type of Brazilian midfielder is on the pitch tonight.
Antony’s skills, Danilo’s engine, Casemiro’s tackling and Scarpa’s flair. It’s the latter who attempts another audacious hit from range, which flies over the bar.
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38 mins: Martinez typically busy in defence tonight, he’s been everywhere if not always successful in the tackle.
A good touch from the Argentine drags Johnson’s latest roam back to De Gea.
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35 mins: For a first leg, this is a very open game.
Is Ten Hag happy to allow that in pursuit of a potentially killer second? Does Cooper see it as his side’s only route back into the tie?
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32 mins: More superb football but this time down the other end as Antony is played in through the middle with some fine one-touch play.
Hennessey makes himself big to deny his shot down low!
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30 mins: Johnson again a huge threat as he beats not one but two challenges, leaving Eriksen and Martinez in his dust before firing over at the near post!
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28 mins: A lovely counter again by Forest as Scarpa finds Johnson. Wan-Bissaka shows him wide and a shot is easily grabbed by De Gea - leaving Danilo wide open and unseen by his teammate in the penalty box.
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26 mins: De Gea forced into a smart reflex stop as Scarpa takes aim from a high ball, side-footing a volley goalwards which is palmed away!
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25 mins: A gutting moment for Forest but it showed United are vulnerable and Gibbs-White almost gets on the end of a ball in from deep.
Lindelof flaps at it but Martinez is there to save the day!
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22 mins: Danilo pokes Gibbs-White into space and, with a blistering counter-attack, he releases Surridge... GOAL!
Hang about, VAR wants a check. Offside.
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20 mins: A bit of momentum for the hosts yet Casemiro excellently shuts down Scarpa as he looks to shoot from 25 yards.
Aurier does well to win a foul off Malacia and shut down United’s counter.
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18 mins: Over 70 per cent of possession in United’s favour at this stage and they look far more dangerous in getting the second goal.
Only two thirds of Forest’s passes reaching their target too, so little threat in reply.
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15 mins: Forest’s diamond shape is being readily exploited by the visitors so far with Malacia enjoying lots of space.
An errant ball out from De Gea cuts one move short before it gets going, though.
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13 mins: Antony again pops up on the right flank and goes onto his left... poor. No worry at all for the goalkeeper.
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10 mins: Forest win a first corner yet it’s all a bit of a scrap and Rashford bombs forward in another counter.
It’s worked to Eriksen and Worrall stretches to clear the cross. United looking dangerous...
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8 mins: Ten Hag will be delighted with his side’s start, they’ve looked really quick and sharp on the ball.
Antony attempts to add another as he cuts inside to shoot, but is just off target.
GGGOOOOAAALLLLL! Nottingham Forest 0-1 Man United
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6 mins: RASHFORD!
The in-form winger picks up the ball and sets out on a run, and quite frankly good luck stopping him!
Forest are powerless as he strides forward and buries his effort. Advantage United.
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3 mins: Sloppy from Worrall to concede the ball to Fernandes in his own box.
Diving in, the United man gives him the slip and McKenna is there to clear the cross.
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1 min: United on the front foot quickly, in white and black away kit to Forest’s red and white.
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The Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United begins!
A moment of silence ahead of the match
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The City Ground falls silent to recognise Holocaust Memorial Day.
Here come the players!
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Countdown to kick-off
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Next up, the players will arrive into a vociferous atmosphere in the East Midlands.
One of the big wildcards tonight is how Danilo will get on in his debut...
All guns blazing for Nottingham Forest
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Steve Cooper hopes to rally his players to make the most of tonight’s first leg in front of Forest’s own fans.
“There's enough recovery and preparation time to be ready for these games, there's no doubt about that,” he said. “The two games have actually come at a good time.
“It's a semi-final, we really want to commit to it, we really want to attack it. Obviously it's Man United, it's over two legs, incredibly tough games - but ones we want to have no regrets about.
“We're in the semi-final of an important cup. I think we should go into it thinking they don't come along very often, so treat it like it might be the last one.”
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A comfortable 3-0 win for Man United almost a month ago today will give them confidence tonight.
More from Erik ten Hag to Sky Sports
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“It’s great to play such games. Everyone in the club is excited, the fans especially but also the players.
“We approach it like this, it’s a big game. We have a strong team tonight, we want to win so we do everything we have in our capability.”
Luke Shaw absent through illness
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Confirmation from Erik ten Hag regarding his left-back, who is now a bit of a doubt to face Reading on Saturday.
Ten Hag accepts demand for trophies
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The Man United boss lifted six cups at Ajax, all of which came since his new club’s last honour in 2017!
“It's the best feeling,” he said. “I had the luck in my career to win some trophies and it's magnificent, especially for the fans.
“It's so great and I think the fans here have some experience, especially the older ones. But now it is a period Manchester United didn't win trophies and it is too long ago.
“We are aware of that fact and we have to do everything to bring a trophy in.”
Countdown to kick-off
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The warm-ups are underway at The City Ground with kick-off in half an hour’s time.
The trophy is in town!
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You know it’s a big’un when the Carabao Cup itself drops by...
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Forest won this very competition just over 33 years ago!
Four changes for Forest
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Danilo makes his debut in the Nottingham Forest midfield after joining from Palmeiras.
Sam Surridge also starts as reward for his equaliser at Bournemouth on the weekend, Chris Wood dropping out due to being cup-tied.
Scott McKenna and Gustavo Scarpa come in as Ryan Yates misses out through illness with Willy Boly and Orel Mangala benched.
Strong line-up for United
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A bit of a surprise to see David De Gea start in goal but it’s a sign of how important Erik ten Hag sees this game.
Victor Lindelof drops into the defence along with Tyrell Malacia as Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw make way.
Casemiro is back in the midfield after suspension in an otherwise unchanged line-up from the defeat at Arsenal.
Forest team is in
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Nottingham Forest XI: Hennessey; Aurier, McKenna, Worrall, Lodi; Danilo, Freuler, Scarpa; Gibbs-White; Surridge, Johnson.
Subs: Smith, Cook, Mangala, Williams, Colback, Lingard, O’Brien, Boly, Dennis.
How Man United line up
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Manchester United XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Martinez, Malacia; Eriksen, Casemiro; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst.
Subs: Heaton, Varane, Williams, Fred, Mainoo, McTominay, Pellistri, Elanga, Garnacho.
Forest in the house
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Line-ups out next!
No Luke Shaw tonight
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PA’s Simon Peach reporting on the left-back being absent from the Man United squad as it hopped off the team bus moments ago.
David De Gea, Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Alejandro Garnacho among those pictured entering the stadium.
Will Jesse Lingard face his old club?
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Steve Cooper has confirmed Jesse Lingard is in the mix to start against Man United tonight.
"He wasn’t quite ready at the weekend to start, but definitely ready to be involved,” said the Forest boss.
“He’s trained since, so he’s definitely up for selection. What we decide to go with, we’ll see, but he’s back in the mix.”
Last night in the Carabao Cup
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Newcastle took a big step towards Wembley with a first-leg win at Southampton in their semi-final tie.
Countdown to kick-off
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Team news is coming out in the next 20 or so minutes... will Marcus Rashford feature in the Man United XI?
Latest match odds
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Nottingham Forest: 9/2
Man United: 8/13
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Man United enjoyed their last trip to Nottingham Forest...
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United’s 3-0 win over Forest at Old Trafford last month was their first meeting since the turn of the century.
Nottingham Forest wins: 33
Man United wins: 49
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The City Ground will be rocking in about 90 minutes’ time ahead of kick-off!
Evening Standard score prediction
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It being the first leg of a semi-final tie, Erik ten Hag may go a bit more cautious with the confidence of taking the tie back to Old Trafford on level terms. The City Ground will be rocking, though.
A 1-1 draw.
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Predicted Manchester United XI: Heaton; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Malacia; Fred, Casemiro; Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho; Weghorst.
Early Man United team news
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The visitors will again be without Anthony Martial, Diogo Dalot and Jadon Sancho as confirmed by Erik ten Hag.
Tom Heaton and new signing Jack Butland are competing to start in goal.
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Predicted Nottingham Forest XI: Hennessey; Aurier, Worrall, Boly, Lodi; Mangala, Freuler, Colback; Gibbs-White; Wood, Johnson.
Early Nottingham Forest team news
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Ryan Yates is a doubt due to illness but otherwise there are no new injuries for Forest. Loanee Chris Wood could continue up front for Forest after joining in response to Taiwo Awoniyi’s injury.
Danilo is another recent addition hoping to be included following a debut off the bench on the weekend. Dean Henderson is both injured and ineligible, so Wayne Hennessey will continue in goal.
How to watch
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TV channel: In the UK, the match will be televised live on Sky Sports Main Event and Football, with coverage starting at 7pm ahead of an 8pm GMT kick-off.
Live stream: Fans can also catch the game live online via the Sky go app.
Hello and welcome!
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Nottingham Forest face Manchester United in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tonight.
Kick-off comes at 8pm GMT from the City Ground with both clubs looking to cap what have, so far, been fine seasons with a trip to Wembley.
Keep tuned to Standard Sport’s matchday blog right here for all the build-up, live match action and reaction!