Marcus Rashford stepped off the bench to score a late double to secure Manchester United’s spot in the Carabao Cup to add to an earlier strike from Antony. It was in the balance for much of the game against the League One side but eventually class showed its presence. An injury to Diego Dalot might be the main disappointment for Ten Hag.
It was perhaps rough justice on the away side though. They battled well against the much-changed side without really creating much of note. They brought a sizeable away support for a midweek night and refused to wilt under pressure. Only tiredness and experience told the difference in the end.
Erik ten Hag elected to make eight changes from the FA Cup win over Everton. It was likely with fixture congestion on the horizon and the need to rest players. Only Diego Dalot, Tyrell Malacia and Antony retained their place. Bruno Fernandes was suspended, Donny van de Beek was injured, and Tom Heaton and Kobbie Mainoo made their full debut for the club.
United almost went in front on a few occasions in the early stages. Scott McTominay did well to win the ball back before releasing Alejandro Garnacho down the left. He cut it back to Diego Dalot who only managed to fire over. Garnacho almost did it himself moments later after he was found by a diagonal ball by Harry Maguire. He beat his marker but saw his curling effort go just over. He then fired into the side netting shortly after.
It seemed only a matter of time before United would take the lead and when they did, it came via the Brazilian connection.
Charlton had been set up well, but they found themselves unpicked. Dalot’s run off the ball created the necessary room for Fred to find Antony. He was given the space to let fly with a curling shot into the top corner. Steven Sessegnon then received a knock as he got his head to a cross before Antony.
Charlton were finding themselves further pushed back into their own half as the home side sought to kill the tie. Sean Clare produced an excellent tackle to stop Garnacho in his tracks as he prepared to cut inside again. Fred almost produced an excellent goal as he struck a dipping free kick from 25 yards. The away side were saved by it smacking the bar. A rare chance at the other end saw a Albie Morgan pull an effort wide.
Charlton fans and players screamed for a penalty near the break as Corey Blackett-Taylor went down under a challenge by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Nothing was given though. Sean Clare then played a dangerous ball into the area which Tom Heaton managed to claim before it reached Blackett-Taylor.
The away side started as they ended by getting forward in numbers. One move ended with the ball arriving at the feet of Scott Fraser. He only managed to blast it over the bar. United thought they had a second after Anthony Elanga netted from close range. He was flagged offside though. Antony tried a repeat of his goal from earlier, but his bending effort went just wide on this occasion.
Ten Haag brought on a number of substitutes in the aim of finishing off the tie. Garnacho was determined to stake his claim by staying on and almost got a second. Charlton were caught high up the pitch and Utd broke with speed. He surged forward and placed a curling shot towards the top corner. Ashley Maynard-Brewer just about managed to push it away. The keeper was involved in a moment of controversy shortly after. He rushed out to collect the ball and seemed to have handled it outside the area. The referee waved play on, and Charlton won a free at the other end. Fraser took it but it was too close to Heaton.
Maynard-Brewer saved from a low Christian Eriksen shot but there was to be no late drama for the home side. Facundo Pellistri fed fellow substitute Marcus Rashford through the centre of the defence and he showed coolness to slot it home.
He was on the double with almost the last kick of the game. Casemiro was the provider on this occasion for the England forward who was able to take a touch before firing home.
The away side showed their appreciation to the 9,000 fans who travelled from London, but it was another win for the reds. They, and Newcastle, will find their semi-final opponents in tomorrow nights draw. The small matter of a Manchester derby awaits on Saturday morning at 12.30 to see if we can gain a measure of revenge for the heavy defeat at the Etihad. For Charlton, it is back to the day job and a home game with Barnsley.
Manchester Utd: Tom Heaton; Diego Dalot (Aaron Wan-Bissaka 35), Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire, Tyrell Malacia, Fred (Christian Eriksen 60), Scott McTominay, Kobbie Mainoo (Carlos Casemiro 60); Antony (Marcus Rashford 60), Anthony Elanga, Alejandro Garnacho (Facundo Pellistri 84)
Subs not used: David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Zidane Iqbal
Booked: Tyrell Malacia (76), Harry Maguire (80)
Sent off: None.
Charlton : Ashley Maynard-Brewer; Sean Clare, Ryan Inniss, Lucas Ness, Steven Sessegnon (Jayden Stockley 82), Albie Morgan (Jack Payne 66), George Dobson, Scott Fraser, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (Aaron Henry 82); Miles Leaburn, Corey Blackett-Taylor (Eoghan O’ Connell 61)
Subs not used: Sam Lavelle, Diallang Jaiyesimi, Craig MacGillivray, Charlie Kirk, Richard Chin
Referee: Jarred Gillett
extratime.com Player of the Match: Alejandro Garnacho