It was the battle of the academy products at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Frank Lampard’s youth revolution took on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tribute act to Sir Alex Ferguson.
The striker produced a stunning, 30-yard effort to send Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge
And it was Manchester United who came out on top, primarily thanks to Marcus Rashford.
The England international has faced some criticism this season. However, he now looks back to something like his best, with Rashford netting both goals as United beat in-form Chelsea 2-1 to progress to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
The Blues had come into the game having won their seven previous matches in all competitions, but while Lampard named a much-changed line-up, Solskjaer put out a strong team to try to maintain the momentum his side have started to build up since drawing with Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Rashford proved the key selection on the Norwegian’s part. It was he who held his nerve to put United ahead from the spot in the 20th minute, after Daniel James was bundled over in the area by a clumsy challenge from Marcos Alonso.
United had missed four of their previous six penalties, with Rashford even squandering one in Sunday’s win at Norwich. However, he did not hesitate when presented with another in west London, and converted with aplomb.
Michy Batshuayi levelled matters in sensational fashion, winning a duel on the halfway line with Harry Maguire, running 20 yards before firing home from the edge of the area.
It was a fine strike from a player trying desperately to prove himself at Chelsea, but it was completely overshadowed by the winning goal, with Rashford employing a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque technique to bamboozle Willy Caballero with a sublime free-kick from 30 yards out with just 17 minutes of normal time remaining.