Newcastle United marched into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, dumping Manchester United out of the competition in the process, taking revenge for last season’s final defeat and inflicting a second 3-0 home defeat on the Red Devils in a matter of days.
First half substitute Miguel Almiron opened the scoring just under half an hour into the tie, with Lewis Hall’s first goal in senior football doubling that lead not long after.
Manchester United enjoyed a better spell in the early stages of the second half, but it was otherwise too tepid a performance from Erik ten Hag’s side and Joe Willock piled on the misery with a third.
How the game unfolded
There was a blow for Eddie Howe and Newcastle with only a couple of minutes on the clock when Matt Targett went down injured and was unable to continue. Almiron was the player who came on, forcing an immediate reshuffle from the visitors, but it was the Paraguayan who drew first blood.
Neither side had created much of note as the clock ticked towards half an hour – Casemiro tested Martin Dubravka from 20 yards without any real power to his effort – but Newcastle had settled into the game well despite the near wholesale changes from their last game.
Almiron owed his opening goal to the work of right-back Tino Livramento. The 20-year-old won the ball back in his own half, before driving forward and finding his teammate in the box for a neat finish.
The travelling Newcastle fans were louder than the usually vocal home support. “Tino, Tino, Tino!” were the cries from the Geordie contingent inside Old Trafford, before their attention turned to Ten Hag, goading the Dutchman with chants of, “Sacked in the morning!”
It then got even worse for the hosts when a well worked Newcastle move down the left and clip into the box was only partially cleared by Harry Maguire. As the ball dropped, Hall watched it all the way onto his left foot and guided his volley into the far corner beyond the reach of Andre Onana.
The Red Devils had been guilty of wayward shooting for much of the first half, but a short spell of sustained pressure right before half-time at least saw Mason Mount unleash a powerful drive from all of 30 yards that was on target and stung the palms of Dubravka.
Ten Hag turned to his bench at the interval, bringing Aaron Wan-Bissaka back for his first appearance after a seven-week injury layoff. The right-back, on in place of the poor Diogo Dalot, immediately injected something extra, combining well with Antony that led to a near post chance for Anthony Martial. Sofyan Amrabat was also thrown into the mix and the hosts were in a degree of control.
But any hopes of a fightback were firmly extinguished by Willock’s stunner. Amrabat was dispossessed by Joelinton in midfield, with the loose ball breaking to Willock. He then surged forward as the space opened up in front of him and duly obliged with a clinical bottom corner finish.
The final stages of the game were more of a procession, with Ten Hag’s seeming to accept that they were beaten as soon as Newcastle had extended their lead to three goals. Sean Longstaff, captaining his boyhood club on his milestone 150th appearance, was only inches away from making it 4-0 when a dipping half volley from the edge of the penalty area flashed narrowly wide of the post.
Old Trafford was emptying long before the final whistle, with more vacant red seats visible than fans still filling them by the game ends. The inquest will continue into what is going wrong this season for Manchester United. But for Newcastle United, there is now a growing chance that, come February, this competition could yield their first major trophy since 1969.
GK: Andre Onana – 5/10 – Stood no chance for the goals that flew in. Hard on him.
RB: Diogo Dalot – 3/10 – Really struggled to deal with overloads down his flank. The ball was played inside him for each of Newcastle’s first half goals. Didn’t return for the second half.
CB: Harry Maguire – 5/10 – Couldn’t clear his lines well enough, albeit under pressure from Gordon, to defuse the danger that led to Newcastle’s second goal.
CB: Victor Lindelof – 6/10 – Safe on the ball and ended up with the armband for the second half.
LB: Sergio Reguilon – 6/10 – His return to the side was a welcome boost and played with a purpose. Newcastle seemed to identify that the opposite side was weaker. Booked for kicking the ball away.
CM: Casemiro (c) – 4/10 – Hamstrung by an early yellow card for a cynical foul he felt he had to make. Perhaps also lacking fitness after not featuring since before the international break.
CM: Mason Mount – 5/10 – Didn’t carry enough physicality to impose himself in this role, which was evident the way Livramento ghosted past him in the build-up to the opening goal.
RM: Antony – 5/10 – Needed to put down a big performance and showed glimpses of quality, especially early in the second half, but not enough of it.
AM: Hannibal Mejbri – 5/10 – Played with his usual keenness and vigour and was determined to get the crowd going. But naivety nearly got the better of him when he committed a reckless foul just moments after a booking and was rather fortunate not to be sent off inside 20 minutes.
LM: Alejandro Garnacho – 6/10 – Asked some questions, a little too inconsistent to be effective.
ST: Anthony Martial – 5/10 – Couldn’t direct a near post flick on target shortly after half-time, but the ball too often didn’t make its way up to him.
SUB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (46′ for Dalot) – 6/10
SUB: Sofyan Amrabat (46′ for Casemiro) – 5/10
SUB: Rasmus Hojlund (64′ for Martial) – 5/10
SUB: Marcus Rashford (65′ for Garnacho) – 6/10
SUB: Bruno Fernandes (65′ for Hannibal) – 6/10
Subs not used: Bayindir (GK), Evans, McTominay, Eriksen
Erik ten Hag – 5/10 – Made seven changes from the weekend. Turned to his bench at half-time too in the hope of a response after a disappointing first half and then really rolled the dice with 25 minutes left. The team he picked should have been good enough, but confidence is on the floor.
GK: Martin Dubravka – 6/10 – Facing the club he spent time on loan at last season. Made a notable couple of saves but nothing particularly challenging.
RB: Tino Livramento – 8/10 – Sliced the home defence open with his incredible driving to make the opening goal. Gave Garnacho little change going the other way too.
CB: Emil Krafth – 6/10 – More polished teams than this Manchester United might have been licking their lips at seeing the Swede start. But he was fairly comfortable.
CB: Paul Dummett – 6/10 – There wasn’t enough to test this potentially weak centre-back pairing.
LB: Lewis Hall – 8/10 – Delighted to score his first goal in senior football for the club he grew up supporting. Held his own defensively to keep the hosts at bay.
CM: Sean Longstaff (c) – 7/10 – Handed the captaincy on his 150th appearance.
CM: Matt Targett – N/A – Deployed in midfield but his night was over within a few minutes.
CM: Joe Willock – 9/10 – Hurt himself making a full-blooded ball and all tackle on Antony in the first half, but recovered and played a key role in creating the second goal. Thrived pulling into the left channel and eventually scored Newcastle’s outstanding third that was all his own work.
RW: Matt Ritchie – 6/10 – The quality wasn’t really there but the work ethic certainly was.
ST: Anthony Gordon – 7/10 – It was an unselfish performance in the ‘number nine’ role.
LW: Joelinton – 8/10 – Moved back into midfield when the early substitution happened and ended up giving his usual gritty performance.
SUB: Miguel Almiron (5′ for Targett) – 7/10 – Wouldn’t have expected to be involved so early but he and Newcastle benefitted massively from his appearance. No massive input after that.
SUB: Callum Wilson (64′ for Gordon) – 6/10
SUB: Bruno Guimaraes (64′ for Willock) – 6/10
SUB: Dan Burn (74′ for Hall) – 6/10
SUB: Kieran Trippier (75′ for Ritchie) – 6/10
Subs not used: Karius (GK), Lascelles, Parkinson, Diallo
Eddie Howe – 9/10 – Made even more changes than his opposite number, with the early injury forcing a very quick reshuffle on top. But he had the faith in his players and the performance was there.