Manchester United earned a 0-2 win over Everton at Goodison Park in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal as Edinson Cavani’s and Anthony Martial’s second-half strikes delivered another game for the Reds’ already crowded schedule.
Motivated to make a run at the fourth-most important trophy available to United this season, the Reds roared out of the gate as they pinned Everton in its own half. The passing was fluid and the movement was promising, and United found itself with six shots and six corners in the opening 20 minutes.
Cavani was like a bull in a China shop (see what I did there?) inside the Everton penalty area as the Uruguayan forward was clearly hungry to find the back of the net. However, for as many shots and as many corners as the Reds would earn in the first half, they just didn’t finish their chances.
For all the excitement generated by United and Everton in the first 45, the second half was flat and sloppy. United used the halftime period to forget how to string together concise passes as the Reds dominated possession but failed to really threaten Everton. By the 80th minute, United had three shots and one on target to its name despite registering 10 shots with four on target in the first half.
Eric Bailly couldn’t let his fans down and added to the sloppiness in the 53rd minute. Everton’s Richarlison found himself in between Bruno Fernandes and a late-arriving Bailly for a loose ball in the air. Bailly, of course, threw himself into the fray and made heavy contact. Both Bailly and Richarlison found themselves on the carpet in need of treatment with Richarlison eventually needing to be subbed off in favor of Bernard after Richarlison was ruled unable to continue. Luckily, Fernandes would walk away unscathed.
Eric Bailly™— Nathan (@NathanIsRed) December 23, 2020
The match was destined for penalties in the waning minutes before Cavani found the goal he was chasing for the better part of 88 minutes. Martial — who was subbed into the match in the 67th minute — continued his facilitating form from the weekend and found Cavani on the run. Cavani cut the ball to his left and put his laces through a left-footed strike that soared past Robert Olsen and into the back of the net.
Everton would open themselves up as they pushed for an equalizer which allowed Fernandes and Marcus Rashford opportunities to nearly find a second but fail to finish. More encouragingly, Martial would find the back of the net in what would turn out to be the final touch of the match as he found himself one-on-one with the keeper and cooly curled the ball past Olsen.
With the victory, Manchester United move on to the Carabao Cup semifinals with the opportunity to face Brentford, Manchester City, or Tottenham Hotspur. While Ole’s Reds look to make a trophy run in the Carabao Cup, they return to the pitch this Saturday to face second-place Leicester City for a match that could prove quite meaningful for both teams as they try to catch Liverpool in the Premier League.
Keep it locked to The Busby Babe for all things related to the semifinal draw as well as the preview for Boxing Day fixture. And because tone is hard to convey over the internet, we’re just having a bit of fun with the jokes about adding another game to the schedule. It would obviously be very good for Ole and team morale if the Reds survive the next two matches in the competition unscathed and actually hoist some silverware.