Manchester United are through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after a simple 2-0 win over Burnley at Old Trafford.
Christian Eriksen’s first-half strike from close range after excellent work from recalled right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka gave United the lead. A wonderful solo effort from the in-form Marcus Rashford early in the second half put Erik ten Hag’s side in complete control.
Burnley, led by former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, were competitive enough and there were some uncomfortable moments for the home side when Manuel Benson had the ball at his feet. Martin Dubravka also looked shaky in the United goal.
But the superior quality came from the Premier League in their first game since Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit. They take their place in Thursday’s quarter-final draw with hopes rising that Ten Hag can mark his first season with a trophy – United’s first since 2017.
How Man Utd had too much for Burnley
With Harry Maguire ill and Lisandro Martinez in Argentina celebrating his country’s World Cup win, United were forced to play Casemiro in the center of defence. The experienced Brazilian had some hairy moments but played his part in the clean sheet.
With Bruno Fernandes providing the creativity, it was always going to be difficult for Burnley to stop United at the other end. Indeed, the Championship side’s determination to play from the back has caused them some difficulties.
The opening goal was all about the attacking play, however. Fernandes picked out Wan-Bissaka and the out-of-favour full-back did brilliantly to hook the ball into the centre, providing Eriksen with a simple task to fire beyond Bailey Peacock-Farell.
Dubravka, with a missed shot and a careless touch, kept Burnley interested but Rashford’s goal ended any serious hope of a comeback. Fresh from scoring three goals for England at the World Cup, his driving run from the halfway line was capped off with a smart finish.
Darko Churlinov could have made it an interesting final if he beat Dubravka when one-on-one, but it was not to be for Burnley. It’s Manchester United in the last eight – starting the post-Ronaldo era with a confidence-boosting victory.
Neville: Massive chance for Man Utd to end drought
Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:
“It was massive for Manchester United tonight. They can’t afford to lose this game. This is their best chance to win a trophy, they have to get back to winning trophies.
“Erik ten Haag has had to go on the road to win trophies and this is the best chance for them. They have to go for it. This is their best chance. It’s been five years since they last won a trophy, this is a trophy . great opportunity for them.”
Player of the match: Marcus Rashford
“I think he was on a different level tonight than a lot of the other guys on the pitch,” said England international Izzy Christensen on co-commentary for sky sports. “His quality, his pace of pace. It’s a really positive sign for him, putting in a fantastic performance.”
“I think it’s the hardest of the positions that Marcus plays on the right,” Gary Neville said in the studio. “I think he is better centrally and on the left but he looks more enthusiastic and ready to play there. He came back and looks like he is happy.”
Ronaldo’s exit barely gets a mention
Manchester United dedicated 81 words to Ronaldo in their Burnley program following his acrimonious exit from Old Trafford last month – although none of them could be found in the manager’s own pre-match notes with Ten Hag preferring to discuss other matters.
There was, however, a brief reference in the ‘worth knowing’ feature of pages six and seven of these United Review Which marked Ronaldo’s departure. It reads: “Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual consent last month.
“The Portuguese superstar scored 145 goals over two spells and 436 appearances, helping us win three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Ronaldo was also crowned Ballon d’Or winner .in 2008.
“In a statement on November 22, the club recorded its gratitude for Cristiano’s immense contribution and wished him and his family well for the future.”
Neville: Time to move on from Ronaldo
Neville said the manner of Ronaldo’s exit was sad but inevitable, and the time had come for both parties to move on.
“The only thing Manchester United could do was draw a line under the Ronaldo affair,” Neville said. sky sports. “They couldn’t allow the situation to come to the side of the World Cup, they had to put it to bed, they dealt with it really quickly and the way it ended is the best for both parties.
“It’s sad that it ended like this but it was inevitable, it had to end. He will go on and play football elsewhere and hopefully do really well and Manchester United can move on under Erik ten Hag.”
What’s next for Man Utd & Burnley?
Manchester United return to Premier League action against Nottingham Forest on December 27; Kick off at 8:00.
Burnley are also in action on December 27 as they host Birmingham at Turf Moor in the Championship; Kick off at 8:00, live on Sky sports football.