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EFL Cup of cheer for Manchester United boss Mourinho

Man United 4 - West Ham Utd 1

By Tim Rich

Published 01/12/2016

Manchester United's Anthony Martial (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team-mate Wayne Rooney (left) during the EFL Cup, Quarter Final match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Anthony Martial (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with team-mate Wayne Rooney (left) during the EFL Cup, Quarter Final match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Anthony Martial (right) in action during the EFL Cup, Quarter Final match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 30, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Marcos Rojo of Manchester United reacts during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2R) reacts after clashing with West Ham United's Spanish goalkeeper Adrian after scoring his team's first goal during the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial reacts after failing to score during the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) clashes with West Ham United's Spanish goalkeeper Adrian after scoring his team's first goal during the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Bastian Schweinsteiger warms-up during the EFL Cup, Quarter Final match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 30, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Adrian of West Ham United makes a save from a Wayne Rooney free kick during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts during the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: David De Gea of Manchester United celebrates after teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United scores the opening goal during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates with team mates after scoring the opening goal of the game during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United scores the opening goal past goalkeeper Adrian of West Ham United during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United scores the opening goal past goalkeeper Adrian of West Ham United during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial warms up ahead of the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) clashes with West Ham United's Spanish goalkeeper Adrian after scoring his team's first goal during the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic warms up ahead of the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United players pause for a one minute silence in honour of the victims of a plane crash, which was carrying aboard it members of the Brazilian team Chapecoense Real, when it crashed in Colombia, ahead of the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. The football world was plunged into mourning Tuesday after a plane carrying a Brazilian team crashed in the mountains in Colombia, killing 71 people, officials said. Colombia was investigating Wednesday what made a charter plane crash into its northwestern mountains, killing 71 people including most of a Brazilian football team and 20 journalists. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the EFL (English Football League) Cup quarter-final football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 30, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (right) scores his side's first goal of the game during the EFL Cup, Quarter Final match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (PA file photo dated 26-10-2016)
A view outside the stadium before the EFL Cup Quarter Final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been charged by the FA with improper conduct
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands against West Ham during their Premier League clash

He was brought to Manchester to win trophies and, although the EFL Cup may be the least regarded of the lot, Jose Mourinho must be favourite to lead his side out at Wembley in February.

The League Cup was the first trophy he won as a manager in England and he fully intends to win it again for a record-equalling fourth time - Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough are the only men to have lifted it more times.

A two-legged semi against Hull is next on that mission.

In both this tournament and the Europa League, Manchester United have beaten opponents in a way they have failed to do when Premier League points have been at stake. On Sunday, West Ham had forced a draw against the flow of play.

Here they were brushed aside in this quarter-final to the extent that, by the time Anthony Martial clipped home his second - sandwiched between a Zlatan Ibrahimovic double - with half an hour remaining, all the crowd wanted to know was whether Wayne Rooney would score the goal he required to equal United's scoring record.

Mourinho, or his assistant Rui Faria - the manager was serving a touchline ban - even felt safe enough to bring on Bastian Schweinsteiger for his first appearance of the season to a standing ovation.

He tried an ambitious shot into the Stretford End and was involved in the move that led to Ibrahimovic scoring the fourth.

Rooney tried manfully but received only a cut face from a high boot for his troubles, as well as a fifth yellow card of the season that will cost him the chance to equal the record at his beloved Goodison Park on Sunday.

The night began with a minute's silence for the dead footballers of Chapecoense. If there was any stadium in the world that would understand what it is to lose a team in an air crash, it was Old Trafford.

Mourinho made his presence felt with the team sheet alone. Unlike Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, he would not be naming a young side to see where the experimentation took him.

His players took less than a few minutes to stamp their authority on the night. The goal may have been finished seamlessly by Ibrahimovic but there was real beauty in its creation, involving two players who had shone in the 4-0 rout of Feyenoord on Thursday night and then been discarded when the Premier League came calling.

Rooney's turn and pass was good but Henrikh Mkhitaryan's back-heel was gorgeous, slipping Ibrahimovic through.

One on one with Zlatan usually provokes only one outcome and goal number 10 of the season duly arrived. But for a double save from Adrian, there would have been 11 soon after.

The number that Old Trafford really cared about was 249, Manchester United's club record tally of goals that Rooney remains one behind.

When Martial was brought down by Pedro Obiang, the England captain had a chance from a free-kick. It was curled beautifully and Adrian, at full stretch, turned it wide.

West Ham would be battered as Feyenoord had been, and the way to the semi-finals was open. However, Old Trafford has become wearily familiar with the Red Devils dominating games they fail to win and this appeared no different.

From nowhere, the Hammers equalised. Breaking away, Obiang delivered a long, crossfield ball to the left flank where Dimitri Payet lurked. Payet drove forward and delivered a typically fierce shot that David de Gea failed to hold.

Meeting it was Ashley Fletcher, who had joined Manchester United as a 13-year-old, played first-team football only on loan at Barnsley and then been transferred to West Ham.

It was his first goal. It was in front of the Stretford End. This would have been the stuff of fantasy when he was at the United academy. He just wouldn't have imagined doing it in another shirt.

However, United started the second half in the same way they had with the first.

Once more Mkhitaryan was the provider, pulling a ball back for Martial that was drilled home. Too often under Mourinho, United had taken and then lost the lead. Now they had it back. The Frenchman added another to make the game safe after the hour, this time with a simple finish.

Rooney had been influential throughout but moved up a gear as he chased his landmark goal. He showed some of his aggression as he won possession and curled wide. He suffered a cut cheek after being kicked in the face by Winston Reid in another attack.

It was not to be for him, however, with Ibrahimovic tapping home the fourth late on.

MAN UTD: de Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Shaw (Blind, 46 mins), Ander Herrera, Carrick, Mkhitaryan (Rashford, 90 mins), Rooney, Martial (Schweinsteiger, 86 mins), Ibrahimovic.

Unused subs: Mata, Lingard, Romero, Schneiderlin.

West Ham: Adrian, Kouyate, Reid, Ogbonna, Antonio (Lanzini, 58 mins), Fernandes, Obiang, Cresswell (Masuaku, 45 mins), Feghouli, Fletcher, Payet (Zaza, 76 mins). Unused subs: Randolph, Nordtveit, Noble, Collins.

Man of the match:Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Belfast Telegraph

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