Jesse Lingard was Manchester United’s EFL Cup match winner again as he fired them to a 2-0 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium tonight.
The midfielder took both of his goals with great confidence to send United into the last eight with very little trouble from their hosts.
It was a strong response from the Red Devils after Saturday’s shock setback against Huddersfield Town.
Both managers made wholesale changes in light of this weekend’s Premier League action and the rotated teams were well matched in the first half.
United came up with the one moment of quality before the break as Marcus Rashford flicked Ander Herrera’s pass into the path of Lingard, who finished with aplomb into the bottom corner.
As they have in league action, Swansea struggled to create chances, but were nearly gifted an equaliser when Daley Blind headed the ball against the thigh of Oliver McBurnie and narrowly wide.
Lingard’s movement was exceptional all evening and another unchecked run was found by Anthony Martial on 34 minutes, although this time the composure was lacking as he shot wildly into the side-netting on the half-volley.
United were not at their best but turned it on for a brief period in the second half and doubled their advantage on 59 minutes.
Axel Tuanzebe started the move by impressively charging out from the back and spreading the ball to Matteo Darmian. Lingard was outside of the box when the Italian delivered his cross, but ran onto the delivery and directed his low header inside the post.
The England international has now found the net four times in his last three EFL Cup matches, after scoring in the third round against Burton Albion, and in the 2017 final victory over Southampton.
Tuanzebe, making his first appearance of the season, nearly scored himself when he poked over the crossbar after Kristoffer Nordfeldt dropped a corner.
Lingard had two chances for a maiden United hat-trick, but dragged wide from Blind’s pass and saw a long-range drive well held by Nordfeldt.
It took until Tammy Abraham’s 72nd-minute introduction for Sergio Romero to be tested at the other end as he tipped the striker’s bending shot over the crossbar.
Romero also had to be on his guard in stoppage time when he reacted quickly to save from Leroy Fer’s close-range effort.
This is the 20th time that United have made the EFL Cup quarter-finals, and prepares them nicely for Saturday’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur.