Manchester United overcame a dogged Colchester United to reach the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat the League Two outfit 3-0 at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils had 80 per cent possession in the first half but couldn’t find a way through with Marcus Rashford fluffing his lines with some good chances.

United took the lead through Rashford in the 51st minute just seconds after Colchester registered their first meaningful attack on Sergio Romero’s goal.

The hosts doubled their lead 5 minutes later when a tantalising Mason Greenwood cross was inadvertently put into his own net by Ryan Jackson.


United put the game to bed and scored a third in a devastating 10 minute spell as Juan Mata and Rashford combined to give Anthony Martial a tap in.

Here are the United players that impressed in the victory.

Luke Shaw

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Many fans may have expected and hoped that Solskjaer would have started Brandon Williams at left-back, but the Norwegian opted to go with Shaw.

Since returning from injury, Shaw looks to have re-established himself as the club’s number one left-back for the time being.

In a game where there wasn’t much defensive work, Shaw showed great recovery pace to stop Callum Harriott from breaking away and then produced a well-timed sliding tackle to stop the counter attack in its tracks.

Shaw’s starting position was that of a left-winger and he was a constant attacking outlet for United in the wide area.

He produced some fine crosses, one of which was inches away from Greenwood’s boot.

Shaw always takes time to get himself back up to match fitness, but since his impressive performance in the Manchester Derby, he is getting sharper and sharper.

After a good night’s work, Shaw was replaced by Williams just after the hour mark.

Andreas Pereira

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

The Brazilian midfielder was deployed alongside Nemanja Matic in a central midfield role, a position he struggled to deal with in the draws against Sheffield United and Aston Villa.

This was a completely different game for Pereira, he didn’t have to worry about breaking up possession with tackles, interceptions and ball recoveries.

This was a match where United’s number 15 had the opportunity to dictate the tempo of the match be our deep-lying playmaker.

There were a couple of delightful long through balls, which cut Colchester’s defence apart and if Rashford had his shooting boots on in the first half, Pereira would have had a couple of assists to his name.

There were times when he lost possession carelessly, but in a game where United couldn’t afford to play it safe, Pereira was always willing to try the audacious passes and create chances.

Marcus Rashford

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

His goal to break the deadlock was a goal that broke new ground for United’s number 10.

It was his 14th goal of the season across all competitions, which is his best tally in a single season for the club and we are only in December.

After failing to convert some decent chances in the first half, Rashford didn’t let his head drop and produced a devastating finish to open the scoring.

The goal actually came from Colchester’s most promising attack, but it presented United with the chance of producing our devastating counter attack.

Romero rolled the ball to Matic and with The U’s right-back Jackson high up the pitch, the Serbian played the ball into the space and gave Rashford the chance to continue his scintillating form in front of goal.

Rashford drove for goal coming off the left-hand channel and put two Colchester defenders on their backsides with some clever feints, which created space and allowed him to smash the ball home emphatically.

With Jesse Lingard ready to come on for him, Rashford’s last contribution was to put the ball on a plate for Anthony Martial after being played in by a clever Juan Mata pass.

Rashford’s attentions will turn to putting bottom of the table Watford to the sword on Sunday.

Have something to tell us about this article?