MANCHESTER, England -- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's hopes of landing a first trophy as Manchester United manager were left in tatters as Manchester City cruised to a 3-1 win in the Carabao Cup semifinal first leg on Tuesday (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
Only Marcus Rashford's goal 20 minutes from time gave United any hope of salvaging something for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium after Pep Guardiola's side ran riot in the first half at Old Trafford, scoring three times in 22 minutes.
Bernardo Silva's 20-yard rocket, a second from Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal put City in complete control before the half-time whistle had been blown, and even 3-0 flattered the home side. Mason Greenwood set up Rashford in the second half to ensure United will take something to the Etihad on Jan. 29, but City look destined to reach their third successive Carabao Cup final.
Rashford is still scoring goals. He barely had a sniff before Greenwood set him up in the second half and he was confident enough to stick it in the net. That's 17 goals for club and country since the middle of October, which is even more impressive given that he hasn't always played as a striker. Captain for the night, he at least tried to lead by example.
Victor Lindelof is not having a good season and he had an absolute shocker in the first half. The Swede was at fault for City's second goal, first with a weak header that fell straight to Bernardo and then with poor positioning that allowed Mahrez to race through. Lindelof played a part in the third goal as well, after failing to deal with a long ball aimed at Raheem Sterling.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Solskjaer deployed Greenwood as his centre-forward, a tactic that worked in the win over Tottenham at Old Trafford, and for 15 minutes United were the better team. But after City weathered the early storm, they scored three goals in 22 minutes thanks, in part, to some calamitous defending to effectively end the tie. Solskjaer needs a miracle at the Etihad if he's going to lead his team out at Wembley.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David De Gea, 6 -- Made a good save with an outstretched boot to deny Mahrez in the second half when the Algerian had the chance to make it 4-0.
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 5 -- Rested at Wolves but back in the team here. Did well when he was left one-on-one with Sterling but couldn't get forward.
DF Brandon Williams, 6 -- Brilliant recovery tackle on Mahrez, but City still went on to score their third. Tried to be positive going forward.
DF Victor Lindelof, 3 -- Had a nightmare for City's second goal. Weak header fell straight to Bernardo and then Lindelof failed to track Mahrez before he rounded De Gea.
MF Fred, 4 -- Should have done more to close down Bernardo before his screamer opened the scoring for City.
MF Andreas Pereira, 5 -- Inviting cross from the right in the first half that deserved a finish to match. Could do nothing about the own goal.
MF Jesse Lingard, 5 -- Recovered from illness to start. He was taken off at half-time as Solskjaer tried to limit the damage, but there were far more deserving candidates.
FW Daniel James, 5 -- Put in a good cross from the right as United got the better of the opening exchanges, but he didn't see much of the ball as City seized control.
FW Marcus Rashford, 6 -- Gave United hope of salvaging something from the tie with a well-taken consolation in the second half.
FW Mason Greenwood, 6 -- The teenager created the goal for Rashford with a run at City's defence and a perfectly weighted pass into the penalty area.
MF Nemanja Matic, 5 -- United were more solid after he came on for Lingard.
FW Angel Gomes, 5 -- Won the ball back for Rashford's goal after replacing James.
FW Anthony Martial, N/R -- Had just nine minutes to make an impression in coming on for Greenwood.