Captain Harry Maguire said Manchester United “must start lifting trophies” after setting a Carabao Cup semi-final against rivals Manchester City with a late victory at Everton.
United’s last home silverware was the 2017 League Cup and they are within one game of the second final after Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial broke Everton’s resistance at Goodison Park.
Cavani opened the scoring in front of 2,000 fans with an incredible twist from 20 meters, just when it looked like the game was going to go to the penalty spot.
As Everton chased the game, substitute Martial added a second in overtime to send Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a step closer to gaining his first trophy as head of United.
“We are expected to win trophies,” Maguire said. “It’s important to get to these big games, but we have to start winning them and pick up trophies for this club.
“It was a great performance and we were supposed to get out of sight, we had three or four big chances. We need to be more clinical.”
Everton were dazzling in the second half, after Richarlison left injured, promising much in the first third, by testing Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick by Dean Henderson.
The defeat for Carlo Ancelotti’s team ends a series of three consecutive victories that lifted them to fourth place in the Premier League table.
Cavani shows classes as the escape continues
United have continued their rise in the last month with a win, meaning they have now won all nine home games this season – a series that took them to third place in the Premier League table with a game in rivals.
Despite nine changes in the team that beat Leeds on Sunday after taking a 2-0 lead within three minutes, the Solskjaera team started with a similar intensity but failed to find a breakthrough against the Everton team whose defense has improved in recent games.
In line with last month’s 3-1 win at Goodison, Bruno Fernandes was at the heart of their venture, and in Cavani they had a sharpened striker for the goal even though they missed the last few games due to injury.
It was an eventful night for former Paris St-Germain striker, who joined United in October.
Testing Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen early, he was then implicated in an incident with Yerry Min, where he appeared to grab an Everton defender. Without the use of VAR until the semifinals, no player is penalized.
There were chances for both Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba, but when Everton found their feet in the middle of the first half, it was hard for United to break the opponent.
In the continuation of the game, Solskjaer sent Marcus Rashford and Martial in search of a goal, but neither of them provided a spark.
That was until Martial found a space in the counterattack to feed Cavani, who cut Ben Godfrey and found the bottom corner with a powerful kick for his fourth season.
With Everton hiring players forward to take the game to punches, they allowed United to break twice more with Fernandes hitting the post in one run before Martial finished a smooth move for his fourth season as well.
After slipping into three cup semi-finals last season, Solskjaer said he was “desperate” for the silver items of this campaign, and his side is showing signs that they could win the club’s first trophy since the 2017 Europa League triumph.
Fans cannot help Everton as the search for trophies continues
Everton’s improvement in the last three games has been boosted by being one of the few teams that can now let fans into their stadium.
But on a cold and wet night at Goodison Park, where fans did their best to lift the team, Ancelotti’s team couldn’t find a rhythm to overly upset United, who seemed to have the extra cunning to win the draw.
Much of Everton’s recent success was achieved by holding on to defense and breaking into counterattacks, and there were times when Henderson was called into action to deny Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin.
But much of their effort stemmed from set-figures, and when they lost Richarlison to what looked like a head injury after a clash with Eric Bailly, they struggled to get behind United’s defense.
Before the break, Sigurdsson’s significantly improved provided the host with the greatest threat, a corner kick by Calvert-Lewin and a run-off led to a blocked shot before his brilliant free kick was saved.
After Cavani’s late finish, Gwladys Street End fans called for an equalizer as Godfrey’s shot was stopped, but Ancelotti’s team missed the first semi-final since 2016 as the search for the first trophy since winning the 1995 FA Cup continues.
‘We don’t regret’ – what they said
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti said: “We are disappointed because it was an important competition for us. We do not regret it because the team performed.
“We had a difficult start, but after 20 minutes on defense we had control.
“In the second half we didn’t give a chance against a team that is really strong. We played defensively, we were good until the end, we were close to the penalty spot, but in any case without regret, absolutely.”
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Last year we had three semifinals and that is a step far enough.
“It was a great performance from the start. I thought we should have scored at least one or two more goals.
“The first 25-30 minutes we put them under pressure and we created a bunch of chances, but you always know it’s going to be tough against Everton and they tied us up in the last 15 minutes of the first half.
“We defended well and in the second half it was solid, but we had a little advantage.”
Everton returned to the Premier League with a trip to the bottom of the Sheffield United table on December 26, before hosting Manchester City two days later.
Manchester United host Leicester on Boxing Day and face the Wolves at Old Trafford on 29 December.
United’s away form continues – statistics
- Manchester United reached the semi-finals of the League Cup for the 16th time, second place after Liverpool (17) in the history of the competition.
- Everton failed to score in the second half, while Gylfi Sigurdsson had 57% of the total attempts (4/7) tonight.
- This was United’s third clean sheet in 12 away games in all competitions this season, and all these exclusions are coming to the League Cup.
- United have scored in each of their last 25 away games in all competitions, from a 0-2 defeat to Liverpool in January.
- United are the first team to win twice away to Everton in the same season from Chelsea in the 2007-08 campaign.
- For United, this was the 14th consecutive away win in the domestic competition, and the Red Devils last failed to win away in the non-European competition against the Spurs back in June (1-1).
- Martial is the third substitute for both goals and an assist on Manchester United’s goal in all competitions this season (Greenwood v. Luton, Cavani v. Southampton), and no youngster has done so for the club in the period from 2018 to 19 or 2019. years.
- Cavani’s late winner scored from his fourth shot on target in the match, which was one more than Everton managed.
- 16DoucouréReplaced byTosunu 89 ‘minutes
- 21André GomesReplaced byDaviesu 58 ‘minutes
- 10G Sigurdsson
- 7RicharlisonReplaced byBernardu 56 ‘minutes
- 38TuanzebeBooked for 90 minutes
- 27TellesReplaced byShawu 84 ‘minutesBooked for 90 minutes
- 6PogbaBooked at 57min
- 11GreenwoodReplaced byRashfordu 67 ‘minutes
- 18Bruno Fernandes
- 34van de BeekReplaced byMartialu 67 ‘minutesBooked for 90 minutes
- Andy Madley
The match ends, Everton 0, Manchester United 2.
End of the second half, Everton 0, Manchester United 2.
Goal! Everton 0, Manchester United 2. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) shot with his right foot from the center of the penalty area to the lower right corner. Assisted by Marcus Rashford with a passing ball after a quick break.
Try saved. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) gets in a shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Edinson Cavani.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) hits the crossbar with his right foot from the center of the box. Nemanja Matić assisted after a quick break.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United) is booked.
Corner, Everton. Submitted by Axel Tuanzebe.
Attempt blocked. Ben Godfrey (Everton), right foot outside the penalty area, is blocked. Assisted by Alex Iwobi.
Corner, Manchester United. Courtesy of Ben Godfrey.
Attempt blocked. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) has a shot blocked. Assisted by Anthony Martial.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United) has been booked and must now be careful not to get a second yellow card.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United) foul.
Séamus Coleman (Everton) takes the free-kick in the defensive half.
Attempt to miss Ben Godfrey (Everton) header from very close is too high. Gylfi Sigurdsson assisted, and a cross shot followed after a set-situation.
Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United) has been booked and must now be careful not to get a second yellow card.
Foul by Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United).
Bernard (Everton) takes the free-kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Everton. Cenk Tosun replaces Abdoulay Doucouré.
Goal! Everton 0, Manchester United 1. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) has a shot blocked in the lower left corner. Assisted by Anthony Martial.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) loses his marker and connects with a cracking header in off near the post. Alex Iwobi assisted with a cross.