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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Daniel Orme

Man Utd end five-year wait for Wembley final with Nottingham Forest win - 5 talking points

Manchester United booked their place in the Carabao Cup final with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest to following their comfortable first-leg victory.

The Red Devils had already put one foot in the final having thumped Steve Cooper's men 3-0 at the City Ground last week. They were made to wait slightly longer this time around but two goals in three minutes from Anthony Martial and Fred in the second-leg finally rubber stamped their place at Wembley.

They will now face Newcastle in the capital in just over three weeks' time as they aim to secure their first trophy since 2017.

Here are the standout talking points from the showdown at Old Trafford:

United end five-year wait

Following their 3-0 victory over Forest at the City Ground, United did not need to overly-exert themselves in pursuit of a place at Wembley. That was clear in the side's showing with United struggling to hit top gear.

The gap between the two sides was not as easily identifiable but that will not matter at all to Erik ten Hag who has managed to book the Red Devils a place in a domestic cup final for the first time in over five years.

They will take on Premier League rivals Newcastle in the capital as they attempt to end an even longer wait for silverware.

Erik ten Hag has led Man Utd to their first final in over five years (Getty Images)

Who was your man-of-the-match in Man Utd's Carabao Cup clash with Nottingham Forest? Share your thoughts in the comments below

Penalty appeal waved away

Whilst United did not put in the best performance, they were probably unfortunate at not having been awarded a penalty midway through the second period. As Forest attempted to scramble the ball clear, Scott McKenna lashed the ball out of the area, only to see Dutch striker Wout Weghorst run into his path.

The on-loan Burnley man fell to the floor amid huge appeals for the penalty. Neither the referee Peter Banks or VAR awarded the spot kick.

It could be suggested that should United have not been 3-0 up on aggregate at the time, a decision could have been made - McKenna's guilty look potentially agreeing with that call.

Sabitzer makes first Man Utd outing

A surprise arrival at Old Trafford on deadline day, Austrian midfielder Marcel Sabitzer put pen to paper on a loan deal with the club until the end of the season. The Bayern Munich star has been drafted in as a replacement for Christian Eriksen who is set to be restricted to the sidelines until April through injury.

Whilst the clash with Forest came too soon for Sabitzer, that did not stop him from taking in the Old Trafford atmosphere. He was pictured in the stands during the game as he made his first public appearance as a Man Utd player.

Whether he was left impressed with what he saw remains to be seen but he will certainly be looking forward to getting down to business - particularly with a major cup final to potentially play a role in.

Marcel Sabitzer was in attendance for Man Utd's clash with Nottingham Forest (Getty Images)

Sancho makes return to action

Despite Sabitzer being unable to play a part, one man who did get the chance to impress was Jadon Sancho who made his return to the Red Devils' matchday squad. The former Borussia Dortmund star has not made an appearance since mid-October.

Having been put through a stringent training routine, he was handed a place on the bench against Forest to then make a half-hour cameo in the closing stages. Sancho was welcomed back with a loud roar from the home support before being deployed in a slightly more central position to usual.

He displayed a few bright touches during his brief appearance. It might take a while for him to get back to his best but the fact that he can be called upon again will be a big boost for the remainder of the season.

Martial sends message to Ten Hag

Another player to make his return after a layoff was French forward Martial and it could not have gone much better for the former Monaco man. Less than ten minutes after being introduced as a substitute, he scored to put the tie beyond any doubt.

Following a wicked counter-attack, he collected the ball as Wayne Hennessey saved from Marcus Rashford to roll the ball home. His strike - his sixth of the season in all competitions - was enough to secure victory for the Red Devils.

Ten Hag will certainly hope that his goal triggers a positive run of form for the striker for the remainder of the campaign as his side attempt to continue to challenge on multiple fronts.

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