Marcus Rashford’s sensational free-kick winner was like something Cristiano Ronaldo would produce, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after his side beat Chelsea to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
The England striker gave United the lead with a penalty after Marcos Alonso fouled Daniel James.
Michy Batshuayi equalised for Chelsea, who had won their last seven games, with a great run from the halfway line and finish from outside the box.
But Rashford won the game with a swerving, dipping 30-yard free-kick into the top scorer.
“It was very Cristiano-like,” said Solskjaer. “The boy has nerves of steel, He takes a penalty no problem, and then steps up and hits the ball like he did and wins us the game. Fantastic.
“He works too much on it. I’ve always tried to get him scoring simple tap-ins and being inside the box. He always scores great goals.”
The quarter-final draw will take place on Thursday at about 08:45 GMT on BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.
United’s decision to name strong team pays off
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a strong side, saying he wanted to “keep the momentum going” – with 19-year-old Brandon Williams the only unfamiliar youngster to start.
And it worked as they won for a third game in a row, all away from home – after a run of six games without a win.
Scott McTominay had already gone close to an opener when Rashford – who missed a penalty in Sunday’s 3-1 win at Norwich in the Premier League – sent Willy Caballero the wrong way from the spot.
Chelsea made six changes from Saturday’s win at Burnley and did not look their usual selves. Christian Pulisic, who scored a hat-trick at Turf Moor, failed to have much of an impact, although he did drag a shot wide in the second half.
Batshuayi’s equaliser was wonderful as he flicked Caballero’s long kick on with his head, before beating Harry Maguire for pace and smashing home from 25 yards.
But the headlines belong to Rashford, who turns 22 on Thursday, who settled the game with a fantastic free-kick – his fourth goal against Chelsea this season.
‘I thought we were the better team’
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told BBC Radio 5 Live: “There weren’t many chances in the first half. In the second half we showed the energy I wanted. We created chances and dominated the game.
“They got a bolt out of the blue to win the game. It’s an amazing goal, you can’t do anything about that. We felt like we were going on to win the game at that stage.
|Men’s Ashes 2019: England v Australia, second Specsavers Test|
|Venue: Lord’s Dates: 14-18 August Time: 11:00 BST|
|Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.|
England bowler James Anderson said “there’s nothing else we could have done” after he lasted only four overs of the first Test against Australia.
Anderson recovered from a calf injury to play in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston but went off injured early on the first morning with the same injury.
“I missed the Ireland Test as a precaution to make sure I was 100% for the Ashes,” said the 37-year-old.
“I felt angry having done all the work to get there.”
England’s record Test wicket-taker did not bowl again as Australia went on to win by 251 runs.
Anderson will be “reassessed on an ongoing basis” but is out of the second Test at Lord’s, which starts on Wednesday.
“All the tests they do on the calf to see if it’s OK, it just wasn’t playing ball so it was hugely frustrating,” Anderson told the Tailenders podcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“It settled down a bit when we were batting and I was planning on bowling in the second innings, but when I was batting I pushed off for a run and it didn’t feel right.”
He added: “There’s nothing else we could have done. I did all the rehab – the only thing I didn’t do was play a match but there’s Twenty20 going on at the minute and there’s no games to play.
“I’m sure if I do manage to come back in this series then I’ll have to play some sort of cricket beforehand.
“You feel lots of guilt [and you are] generally frustrated but you’re trying to help out the lads as much as possible without making them feel worse.”
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ruled out of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman, 26, is suffering from a foot injury that has limited him to two appearances since the end of August.
United are two points clear of the relegation zone while Liverpool have an eight-point lead at the top.
Goalkeeper David de Gea is also a doubt for the game – he will have scans on Thursday on a groin injury.
Argentine Sergio Romero will deputise against Liverpool if De Gea is ruled out with the injury that forced him off in the second half of Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Sweden on Tuesday.
Pogba last played in the 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal on 30 September. He missed United’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle before the international break and has failed to recover in time to face Liverpool (Sunday, 16:30 BST).