Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his Manchester United players are looking forward to "a nice little draw" after they were pitted against Manchester City in the EFL Cup semi-finals following their 3-0 win over Colchester United.

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial either side of a Ryan Jackson own goal ensured the Red Devils made light work of their League Two opponents at Old Trafford, but Solskjaer felt his players let their standards slip across the course of the game.

Colchester held Crystal Palace and Tottenham to draws before beating both sides on penalties in earlier rounds of the competitions and Solskjaer was more impressed by his side's performance in a goalless first half against the U's than he was after the interval.

"We dominated, created chances, but you're never sure until you get the first goal," said the former United striker.

"They've had 0-0 against Palace and Tottenham, they are a good, hard team to break down. We created enough chances first half to put it to bed but then at least we got goals in the second half.

"If we kept playing like the first half I would have been happy but in the second half we were miles worse.

"We created more chances in the first half, we dominated, we were more patient; second half we did not make as many good decisions but we scored the goals."

United will play City in the semi-final over two legs, during weeks commencing January 6 and 27.

Solskjaer's men beat City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on December 7 and the United boss seemed pleased with the draw.

"You always want to win trophies and you want to win games and we got a nice little draw," he said.

"It'll be exciting times coming up.

"I don't feel anything is written in the stars; you just work hard, take what you get and do the best out of it.

"We've shown before that we can do well against City and teams like that."

Marcus Rashford scored his fourth goal in five games as Manchester United netted three times in 10 second-half minutes to beat Colchester United 3-0 in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

After Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men put the Old Trafford faithful through a drab first half in which they failed to make 80 per cent of the possession count, Rashford broke the deadlock six minutes into the second period with a fine solo effort.

Rashford would have had a second five minutes later had Colchester's Ryan Jackson not put through his own net, and the in-form forward then provided an assist for Anthony Martial to score his seventh goal of the season in all competitions.

The flurry of goals was no less than the Red Devils deserved for a fluid second-half display, with Colchester, who are ninth in League Two, made to pay for errors that had been absent in penalty shoot-out victories over Crystal Palace and Tottenham earlier in the competition.

Rashford sent a free-kick dipping wide from an acute angle early on, and Colchester goalkeeper Dean Gerken was then forced into a low reflex save when the England man's cross was deflected goalwards by Brandon Comley.

Colchester defended with 11 players behind the ball for much of the first half and, in doing so, exposed Anthony Martial's limitations as a target man, the France international's presence largely nullified by the visitors' packed, physical rearguard.

When Martial did receive the ball in space on the cusp of half-time, he hit a swerving shot from 20 yards that whistled narrowly wide of the top corner.

Ryan Jackson missed a one-on-one wtih Sergio Romero early in the second half whereafter Nemanja Matic immediately released Rashford, who burst through on goal, skipped across the penalty area, with Colchester defenders scrambling, and lashed the ball high into the net from 12 yards.

The second soon followed when Mason Greenwood's dangerous cross from the right hit Jackson's thigh and dropped into the net, with Rashford lurking.

The third was the pick of the bunch, Juan Mata sending a curling, weighted pass to Rashford's feet in the box, where the forward crossed first time for Martial to bundle home.

The visitors improved in the final 20 minutes and two chances fell to striker Luke Norris, but the best he could muster was a shot into Romero's midriff as the minnows' fine run ended without a consolation goal.
 

What does it mean? Silverware in sight for Solskjaer

In a season that has at times been gruelling for Solskjaer, winning any trophy would feel represent significant success, and he will hope the likes of Rashford and Martial can maintain the sharpness they are showing in front of goal going into the semi-finals.

Rashford leads the line

On an evening when it took him a few fluffed chances to get his eye in, Rashford kept up his recent habit of turning games in Manchester United's favour with an opening goal that oozed confidence.

Jackson goes from dangerous to bad

A matter of moments after he looked set to score a goal that would have been the crowning moment of his career, Colchester full-back Jackson could only watch as Rashford exploited the space he left vacant to score with ease.

What's next?

Solskjaer takes his men to Watford on Sunday for a clash with the Premier League's bottom club, giving United the chance to go seven top-flight games unbeaten. Colchester are at home to Carlisle United in League Two on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted he would not accept complacency from Manchester United in a seemingly straightforward EFL Cup quarter-final tie against Colchester United.

Solskjaer's men have an excellent chance to move within one match of a shot at the silverware when fourth-tier Colchester arrive at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The U's stunned Crystal Palace and Tottenham en route to the last eight but head coach John McGreal admitted the underdogs need a "large slice" of luck to continue their run.

Solskjaer, who will make changes following the weekend draw with Everton, warned his players against dipping below expectations.

"When you put that Manchester United shirt on, complacency should not be in your head," the Norwegian told MUTV.

"And when there is a semi-final and a potential final there at stake, of course you have got to go out there and start brightly, start quickly, get your goals and then hopefully get through."

He added: "We are at home but, of course, this is a team that has knocked out Tottenham and Crystal Palace, so there is no way we are going to take them lightly.

"Even though we are favourites and big favourites, we know you have to go out there, perform, create chances and score goals. We hope to do so."

The match marks 364 days since Solskjaer returned to Old Trafford, initially as a caretaker manager following Jose Mourinho's dismissal.

He has faced plenty of scrutiny over the past 12 months but said: "My first year has gone very quickly and it has been so enjoyable.

"It is just an honour and privilege, of course, and I will make sure that I can have a good celebration on Wednesday."

Manchester United have been granted a golden chance to advance to the EFL Cup's semi-finals after being drawn against fourth-tier Colchester United in the last eight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side won 2-1 against Chelsea on Wednesday and will now host the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

Manchester City, comfortable 3-1 winners against Southampton in the last round, have a similarly promising path into the final four as Pep Guardiola's men seek to secure the trophy for the third successive season.

The holders are set to visit Oxford United, who sit fifth in League One, at Kassam Stadium.

The other two ties are both all-Premier League clashes.

Liverpool were drawn away to Aston Villa following a see-sawing shoot-out triumph over Arsenal, while Everton and the under-pressure Marco Silva will welcome high-flying Leicester City to Goodison Park.

Each of the four quarter-final ties are scheduled to take place in the week beginning December 16.

European champions Liverpool are simultaneously due to be in Qatar for the Club World Cup, further complicating an already congested fixture list.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp threatened to boycott the next stage of the EFL Cup if an appropriate solution to the logjam cannot be found.

"If they don't find an appropriate place for us, not 03:00am on Christmas Day, then we don't play it," Klopp said after the Arsenal encounter, which ended level at 5-5 after 90 minutes.

"They have to make that decision. You have to think about these things."

EFL Cup quarter-final draw in full: 

Oxford United v Manchester City
Manchester United v Colchester United
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Everton v Leicester City

Chelsea will host Manchester United and Liverpool will face Arsenal as four of the EFL Cup favourites were drawn against each in round four.

Chelsea - who were beaten 4-0 by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils last month - thrashed Grimsby Town 7-1 on Wednesday, while United only scraped past League One club Rochdale 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Liverpool found life easier against MK Dons, with Jurgen Klopp's much-changed side winning 2-0, and in the last 16 they will welcome Arsenal, who crushed Nottingham Forest 5-0 on Tuesday.

Holders Manchester City - who saw off Preston North End on Tuesday - will face Southampton, while Everton and Watford were drawn to meet at Goodison Park.

Aston Villa will take on Wolves in another all-Premier League encounter, with Colchester United, surprise winners over Tottenham, travelling to Crawley Town.

Wednesday was a rough night for Premier League sides, with West Ham thrashed 4-0 away at League One club Oxford United, who will play Sunderland in the last 16 after the Black Cats' win over Sheffield United.

Manuel Pellegrini made nine changes from the West Ham side which started in the 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, but the Hammers collapsed in the second half as Oxford claimed a famous win.

Bournemouth also dropped out of the competition, going down 2-0 to 2018-19 semi-finalists Burton Albion in a game which at one point was put on hold due to a power outage causing the floodlights to go out.

Play was eventually restarted, with 30 minutes of added time played, but from 1-0 behind there was no way back for the Cherries as Nathan Broadhead made sure of the hosts' progression, with Leicester City travelling to the Pirelli Stadium in round four, which will be played in the week commencing October 28.

EFL Cup fourth-round draw in full:

Everton v Watford

Aston Villa v Wolves

Manchester City v Southampton

Burton Albion v Leicester City

Crawley Town v Colchester United

Chelsea v Manchester United

Oxford United v Sunderland

Liverpool v Arsenal

Mauricio Pochettino was at a loss to explain Tottenham's penalty shoot-out defeat to Colchester United in the third round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

Colchester frustrated Spurs throughout a goalless 90 minutes, restricting their Premier League visitors' chances and keeping defenders Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier busy on the break.

The game went to penalties and Christian Eriksen had his spot-kick saved by Dean Gerken before Lucas Moura crashed an effort against the crossbar as the League Two team triumphed 4-3.

Pochettino assured there was no lack of desire to progress from his side and offered no excuses for their exit.

"First of all, congratulations to Colchester," said Pochettino.

"They made a fantastic game and of course made it difficult [for us to play] our game.

"We are so disappointed we could not score in 90 minutes and on penalties they beat [Crystal] Palace [in the last round] and that can happen.

"In this kind of competition, the beauty is there's always something that can happen but we're disappointed because we wanted to go further. We are out and we cannot explain."

The result left Tottenham with just one win from their last seven matches in all competitions and their away form has been a major barrier to success.

Since January, Tottenham have won just two games on the road in all competitions: a 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund in March and a 3-2 victory at Ajax in May.

Pochettino said: "We had some chances but not enough to score and then on penalties we lose the game. Of course [we are] very disappointed.

"We are disappointed because it is important to be in all competitions fighting for trophies. We did everything to try to win today, we cannot complain.

"It was only that we didn't score and on penalties we lost."

Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura missed in the shoot-out as Tottenham were dumped out of the EFL Cup by League Two Colchester United, who won 4-3 on penalties after holding their Premier League opponents to a 0-0 draw.

Mauricio Pochettino's men failed to break down their fourth-tier opponents despite having Dele Alli, Lucas and Victor Wanyama in their starting line-up and were punished by John McGreal's side, who knocked Crystal Palace out on penalties in the previous round.

Promising young players Oliver Skipp and Troy Parrott were given rare starts but found themselves embroiled in a real battle with a Colchester side who defended resolutely and gave their Premier League visitors more than the odd scare at JobServe Community Stadium.

Eriksen, on as a second-half substitute, had his penalty saved before Lucas hit the crossbar to prompt wild celebrations among the home fans, but Tottenham are now without a victory in five away games across all competitions.

Premier League sides Norwich City and Crystal Palace were knocked out of the EFL Cup second round by League Two opposition on Tuesday.

Norwich – who made 11 changes from the side that lost to Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend – were undone by Crawley Town, with Beryly Lubala scoring the only goal of the game.

Palace, meanwhile, were dumped out on penalties by Colchester United after playing out an uninspired 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.

Fellow Premier League sides Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Southampton, West Ham and Watford all fared better, however, progressing through to the third round unscathed.

Meanwhile, England goalkeeper Jack Butland went from zero to hero at Elland Road as Stoke City knocked out Championship rivals Leeds United on penalties.

Butland – who has endured a difficult start to the season and was dropped for the league match between the two sides at the weekend – was at fault for Eddie Nketiah's goal during the 2-2 draw, but successfully converted a penalty during the 5-4 shoot-out win.

Retired Jamaica international Jamal Campbell-Ryce has embarked on a career in coaching with the Colchester United under-23 team.

The 36-year-old winger, who made some 18 appearances for the Jamaica national team, is expected to work with the club’s youth players who he will mentor on a one and one basis.

Jon de Souza the club’s director of performance has tipped the Jamaican to have a positive impact on future generations.

"Jamal will be joining us as an U23s player/coach, working in training with the U18s and U23s, to play in the U23s fixtures and to mentor players on a one to one basis,” he told the club’s official website.

"He was a flair-based forward in his career, and we believe that they are often the type of players who need help within our squad to develop the right application and desire to continue to progress,” he added.

"Through his career, Jamal has learned a lot and knows that, in that position and at that young age, you have to learn to do a lot more off the ball and to apply yourself fully on and off the pitch to end up having a long life in the game.”

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