Man United blank Brighton to reach Carabao quarters
Manchester United rode goals either side of half-time to beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 and book a spot in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals on a rainy night on England’s south coast.
United had the first quality chance of the match in the 18th minute, but Odion Ighalo missed from a tight angle after rounding the keeper following a nice team move from the visiting side.
Dean Henderson, making just his second start for Man United in goal, did well to keep out a low, curling shot from Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister with a diving save to his right on 26 minutes.
With half-time looming, Scott McTominay headed United in front, elevating to meet a Juan Mata free kick from the right edge of the penalty area to stake his team to a 1-0 lead at the break.
The teams emerged from the dressing room to more torrential rains, with Henderson again keeping his team in the lead with an excellent reaction save from Leandro Trossard’s close-range shot midway through the second half.
Soon after, Mata produced a composed finish from Donny van de Beek’s clever flick to double Man United’s lead and register his 50th career goal since joining the Old Trafford side.
Paul Pogba, who’d come off the bench in the second half, added further gloss to the scoreline when his free kick from the left edge of the area clipped the wall and found the back of the net at the near post for a three-goal lead.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team will now await the results of Thursday’s Carabao Cup quarterfinal draw to see who they will face in the last eight.