Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 at The City Ground in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
First half goals from Marcus Rashford and Wout Weghorst, and a late Bruno Fernandes strike put Erik ten Hag’s Reds in charge of the tie ahead of next week’s second leg at Old Trafford.
Here are five things we learned from tonight’s clash…
Five things learned as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest in Carabao Cup semi-final first leg
Marcus Rashford’s electric run of form continues
Is there a more in-form player on the planet right now than United’s number ten?
The 51-time England international scored his tenth goal for the Red Devils since the World Cup.
Forest’s captain Joe Worrall was petrified to engage with Rashford and Steve Cooper’s side were punished as a result of the centre-back’s hesitancy as Rashford clinically slotted home his 18th goal of the season with his left foot.
Casemiro’s presence brings control and calmness
Things could have turned out very differently at the Emirates had our influential number 18 been available.
The former Real Madrid midfielder’s sheer presence automatically radiates confidence and calmness around his teammates.
The serial winner very rarely ever looks overawed, and the 30-year-old will no doubt see the Carabao Cup as the perfect opportunity to win his first piece of silverware with the twenty-time league champions.
Wout Weghorst off the mark
United’s number 27 didn’t have an attempt on goal against Arsenal, but the 19-time Netherlands international produced a clinical finish to open his account for the Busby Babes.
The 6ft 6in striker reacted the quickest after Wayne Hennessey failed to parry Antony’s powerful volley away from goal.
The Burnley loanee once again showed some neat touches and was a constant outlet for his fellow attackers.
Forest’s home streak ended
Cooper’s men came into the first leg unbeaten in their last eight home games, a run which saw Forest beat Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as drawing against Chelsea.
But Ten Hag’s side weren’t going to be added to Forest’s list of scalps.
Ten Hag could shuffle his pack next week
With United taking a comfortable three-goal lead to Old Trafford, Ten Hag has the option to rotate his side if he sees fit.
With the Red Devils not having any rest bite with a relentless run of fixtures ahead, some of United’s squad players could feature next week.
However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to se the former Ajax manager start with his strongest team and get to half-time with a healthy lead in tact before making wholesale changes.