Marcus Rashford marked his return from World Cup duty with a brilliant solo goal as Manchester United advanced into the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Burnley while Premier League rivals Brighton were knocked out by third-tier Charlton.
United’s first game since the World Cup — and their first since Cristiano Ronaldo’s dramatic departure from Old Trafford — saw them go ahead in the 27th minute through Denmark’s Christian Eriksen, who also featured at Qatar 2022.
Rashford, who scored three goals for England at the World Cup, doubled United’s lead against second-tier Championship leaders Burnley, managed by former Manchester City star Vincent Kompany, just before the hour mark in superb style.
The England forward went on a run from inside his own half and into the visitors’ box before drilling a shot low into the net.
Brighton bowed out on spot-kicks three days after their Argentina star Alexis Mac Allister won the World Cup with Argentina in a penalty shoot-out.
Mac Allister was not involved on Wednesday after being given time off following his World Cup heroics and was thus spared any involvement at the south-east London home ground of League One Charlton.
A goalless draw saw the game go to penalties and after Addicks goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer saved from Moises Caicedo’s penalty, it was left to Sam Lavelle to score the decisive goal as Charlton booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 4-3 shootout win.
Nottingham Forest, four-time winners of the League Cup, had no such problems against lower league opposition, the top-flight strugglers defeating Championship high-flyers Blackburn Rovers 4-1.
Forest went ahead at Ewood Park through Brennan Johnson’s 13th-minute penalty before Scott Wharton made amends for conceding the spot-kick by equalising on the stroke of half-time.
But further goals from Jesse Lingard, Taiwo Awoniye and Johnson again took Forest into the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994.