Man United book League Cup final date against Newcastle after Old Trafford cruise

Erik ten Hag reaches his first Wembley final after 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest

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Manchester United will face Newcastle in the League Cup final after Erik ten Hag’s side comfortably beat Nottingham Forest to book their place at Wembley.

Last week’s 3-0 victory in the semi-final first leg at the City Ground all-but assured the Red Devils a spot in the February 26 showpiece and the chance to end the club’s worst trophy drought in 40 years.

United dominated Wednesday’s second leg and substitute Anthony Martial eventually broke the deadlock before Fred wrapped up a 2-0 win, seeing them triumph 5-0 on aggregate.

The reward was a trip to the capital to take on Newcastle as summer appointment Ten Hag looks to lead United to their first silverware since lifting the Europa League in 2017.

“Of course when you win a semi-final it's okay,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports. “The first half wasn't great to be honest. I thought it was professional but too slow and we didn't create too many chances. The second half was much better, more tempo and we made some good goals.

“We just want to improve every day. I think we have a good squad so we have to demand and control the high standards. You have to bring that every game. We are Manchester United.”

Progress to the final had never been in doubt after the first leg but it was not until the 73rd minute that United made their dominance count as Martial marked his return to fitness with a goal.

Fred turned home from close range three minutes later to wrap up their 12th straight home win in all competitions — a victory deadline-day signing Marcel Sabitzer watched from the stands.

Another positive on a great night for United was Jadon Sancho’s return, with the winger receiving a brilliant reception as he made his first appearance since October 22.

United goalkeeper Tom Heaton said afterwards: “We're transitioning to where we want to be. There's a good atmosphere at the minute and good momentum. We want it to be a fortress here like it has been. Nobody is getting carried away but there's a good feeling.

“[Erik ten Hag] has set the boundaries on what is acceptable and what isn't and has been very clear. As players you respond to that. The football ideas he's got across have been good so far. It's important we keep it up.

“I'm always keen to learn and get opportunities. You try to make the most of it.”

Defender Luke Shaw added: “Very special. It shows where we are at the moment. The boys are in a good moment and we feel the crowd are with us.

“It's a final we can really look forward to but we have a few big games first before we go there.

“It's extremely pleasing but there's no point going to a final if we don't win it. It's where we want to be.

“We want to get this club back to where it should be which is winning trophies. Newcastle are an extremely good team but it's a big moment for us in where we want to go.”

Updated: February 02, 2023, 2:51 AM