Manchester United are closing in on their first trophy since 2017 after smashing Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tonight – though their dream evening nearly turned into a nightmare late on.
As United’s players celebrated Bruno Fernandes’ 89th-minute goal in front of the away end, the advertising hoardings suddenly gave way, sending dozens of jubilant fans tumbling forward onto the pitch.
Fernandes and Co quickly moved away to allow stewards, some of whom had been knocked over in the accident, and police to step in and help those who had fallen.
Fortunately, it looked as if no one was badly hurt and within minutes the fans were back in place with the advertising boards replaced.
Police and stewards then remained fixed in position in front of the away supporters to prevent the incident from repeating itself.
On commentary, Gary Neville said: “It was an unpleasant watch that for a moment or two, but it looks like everybody’s okay over in that corner. They’re putting the advertising board back.”
The emphatic win saw Erik ten Hag’s side all but book their place in next month’s EFL Cup final. Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in the first half with yet another stunning solo goal, before loan signing Wout Weghorst opened his account for the club by latching on to Antony’s parried strike.
Fernandes then completed the rout late on with a well-taken half-volley, leaving Forest with an absolute mountain to climb in next week’s second leg at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes’ 89th minute almost ended in a disaster for travelling Manchester United fans in their 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
As Manchester United’s players celebrated Fernandes’ goal in front of the away fans, the advertising hoardings suddenly gave way, sending dozens of jubilant fans tumbling forward onto the pitch. The players quickly moved away to allow stewards, some of whom had been knocked over in the accident, and police to step in and help those who had fallen.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and within minutes, the fans were back in place. Police and stewards then remained fixed in position in front of the away supporters to prevent the incident from repeating itself.
“It was an unpleasant watch that for a moment or two, but it looks like everybody’s okay over in that corner. They’re putting the advertising board back,” former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said on commentary.
Goals from Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes at the City Ground went some way toward easing the disappointment of the late 3-2 loss to Arsenal on Sunday, which dented United’s challenge at the top of the league.
Ten Hag, however, has moved a step closer to the club’s first silverware for six years.
Rashford opened the scoring for United after six minutes with a run from the halfway line before bursting past Joe Worrall and Remo Freuler in the box and finishing clinically.
Sam Surridge had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside before Weghorst, who signed on loan from Burnley this month, scored his first for his new club in the 45th.
Antony’s shot from the edge of the box was only parried by Forest goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and Weghorst reacted sharply to convert the rebound.
Fernandes rounded off the scoring in the 89th and likely ended Forest’s slim hopes of a comeback.
‘It’s not pleasant to watch that for a moment or two, but it looks like everyone is okay,’ the former United captain said.
Fernandes’ last-minute strike sealed a convincing win for United who take a three-goal advantage back to Old Trafford.
Forest look down and out of the tie, with the East Midlands side going behind to a superb solo strike from Marcus Rashford after just six minutes.
Steve Cooper’s side thought they had equalised through Sam Surridge but the forward had fractionally strayed offside and VAR ruled it out.
To make matters worse for Forest, January signing Wout Weghorst then doubled United’s lead just before half-time to net his first goal for the Red Devils.
If United can confirm their place in the Carabao Cup final, they will face either Newcastle or Southampton.