Manchester United returned twice to beat Aston Villa 4-2 at Old Trafford in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Thursday.
All six goals came in an action-packed second half. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford ruled out an Ollie Watkins goal and a Diogo Dalot own goal in a frenetic start to the season.
Bruno Fernandes then scored a heavily deflected goal to put United ahead for the first time in the 78th minute, before Scott McTominay secured victory with a final volley from close range.
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The win gives Erik ten Hag’s side a form of revenge for their 3-1 Premier League loss to Aston Villa on Sunday and puts them in a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie later on Thursday.
“It was a two-stroke game,” Rashford told Sky Sports. “The first half wasn’t very good in terms of possession, so it was similar to the other day. In the second half we played with a lot more confidence.
“My objective is to enjoy my football and right now I am. If I’m scoring goals and winning, I’m happy.
“I try to finish in a goal spot. I would say I’m more comfortable on the wing, back in goal I need to improve a lot on that.”
Both teams made seven changes to their starting lines from that league game. For United, Cristiano Ronaldo was out of the squad with a minor illness, while there was a debut in goal for Newcastle United goalkeeper on loan, Martin Dubravka, and a return to right-back for Fernandes.
There was little close action to speak of in a lackluster first half, when the closest any team came to breaking the score was a Douglas Luiz corner that had to be headed off the line by McTominay.
But immediately the game came to life at the start of the second half.
Manchester United were left to plead in vain for a handball as they turned the ball inside Villa’s midfield, allowing Jacob Ramsey to advance and play Watkins, who gave a nice finish over Dubravka to put Unai Emery’s new team in front three. minutes after break
Just over a minute later, United were level. Fernandes broke Villa’s offside trap to get rid of a long forward pass before fitting in for an open Martial to provide a simple finish into the net.
The goals were coming. After former United player Ashley Young was allowed to dribble towards the edge of the area, his deep cross was headed back into goal by Leon Bailey, only for Dalot to turn the ball into his own net to put Villa back. in front in the 61st minute.
All signs pointed to more goals coming. Rashford soon shot the side of a good chance in the area, but didn’t have to wait long to make amends.
Once again, it came from a ball forward from a United full-back, this time Tyrell Malacia. Rashford headed the ball before recovering it after a tackle on Christian Eriksen and this time he made no mistake, passing the ball past Tyrone Mings stumbling and finishing low and hard by Robin Olsen.
A resurgent United continued to push forward in search of a winner and, after a few stumbles, got the goal they wanted with the help of a strong deflection.
Villa were the architects of their own downfall when Olsen passed the ball straight to lively substitute Alejandro Garnacho. The 18-year-old Argentinian found Fernandes on the edge of the area and the Portuguese midfielder’s outside-foot finish found the top corner thanks to a great touch from Mings.
Garnacho’s impressive performance continued, as did an unforgettable performance for Mings. When the clock ticked past the 90th minute, the Villa defender allowed McTominay to escape his attention in the area and serve Garnacho’s perfect cross to put the result in doubt.
Reuters information was used in this report.