EVERTON 0, MAN UTD 2
Late goals from Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial booked Manchester United’s place in the semi finals of the Carabao Cup and a mouth-watering last-four clash against Manchester City.
Only two minutes of regulation time remained when Uruguayan Cavani made the breakthrough with a stunning strike, his fourth goal for the Reds and all away from home.
Martial sealed victory in stoppage time with his fourth goal of the season as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it seven straight away wins in the League Cup as a manager, five for United and two for Cardiff,
It was no more than United deserved as they dominated having won 3-1 at Goodison Park in early November when Cavani scored his first goal for the Reds.
They had almost two third of possession and 17 goal attempts to Everton’s seven. They struck the frame of the Toffees’ goal twice and were denied time and time again by goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
It would have been a travesty had they not won and, having put six goals past Leeds United on Sunday, they clearly have their mojo back after an inconsistent start to the season.
Incredibly, this was the Reds’ 13th straight away win in domestic competitions and a fourth semi-final for Solskjaer.Embed from Getty Images
He said: “We made three semi-finals last season, but it was a step not far enough.
“It was an excellent performance from the beginning and we should have been one or two goals up in the first 25/30 minutes.
“We created a lot of chances, but you always know it will be difficult against Everton.
“When spaces opened up late in the game, that was something we capitalised on.”
Captain Harry Maguire said: “It was an excellent performance, and we should have been out of sight, we had three or four great chances. “We controlled the game and fully deserved the win, but need to be more clinical.
“Edinson Cavani’s finish was excellent on his weak foot too. He’s had an injury but it’s good to have him back, he’s been a top striker throughout his career.
“We are expected to win trophies. It’s important to reach these big games but we have to start winning them and lift some trophies for this club.”
Solskjaer made nine changes from the Manchester United team who recorded a thrilling 6-2 win over Leeds United.
Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes were the only players to retain their places but it was still a strong line-up.
Dean Henderson replaced David de Gea in goal, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek came into midfield while Cavani started up front ahead of Marcus Rashford. Alex Telles and Axel Tuanzebe also started.
Carlo Ancelotti made three changes to the Everton side from the 2-1 win over Arsenal.
Jordan Pickford was replaced in goal by Olsen, Seamus Coleman came in for Mason Holgate and Andre Gomes started ahead of Tom Davies. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson all started.
It was the first time United has played in front of fans domestically since lockdown in March with 2,000 fans behind the goal creating a surprising amount of noise.
And it was the first time the Reds had been met with boos as Telles was jeered early on when he took successive corners in front of home supporters.
After the impressive win against Leeds, United began with a spring in their step as they made all the early running and there were a couple of skirmishes in the Everton goalmouth they were unable to finish.
And Cavani tried an audacious shot from inside his own half after spotting goalkeeper Robin Olsen had strayed from his line.
There was a disagreement between Matic and Fernandes as the Serbian midfielder shoved his team-mate in the chest.
Olsen was the first keeper to be summoned into action making an important block to twice deny Cavani from his initial effort and then follow-up shot.
United remained dominant and a glanced header from Mason Greenwood following Telles’ cross struck the base of the upright.
Everton had to wait until the 37th minute before creating their first meaningful chance following a foul by Eric Bailly nearly 30 yards from goal.
Sigurdsson’s free kick was arrowing towards the top corner until Henderson produced a spectacular save to turn it over the crossbar.
Cavani was a continual threat and he had another angled effort beaten round the post by Olsen as United looked for that elusive breakthrough.
Everton were forced into an early change when Richarlison looked to be concussed after a collision with Eric Bailly who also needed lengthy treatment. He was replaced by another Brazilian, Bernard.
United summoned big-hitters Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial with 23 minutes left as they replaced van de Beek and Greenwood.
Then with seven minutes left, Luke Shaw replaced Telles in what had become an increasingly disjointed and scrappy half.
The breakthrough came in the 88th minute with a stunning strike from Cavani.
Martial played a defence-splitting pass to Cavani who cut in from the right and bent a shot low past Olsen into the far corner.
With Everton committed to all-out attack, United were deadly on the break.
In the five minutes of added time, Fernandes struck the bar and Rashford was superbly denied by Olsen before Martial made sure of victory in the 96th minute.
The two substitutes combined as Rashford sent Martial clear before he slotted low past Olsen.