Carabao Cup Third Round
Manchester United 4, Burton 1
Marcus Rashford’s brace inspired holders Manchester United to as comprehensive a Carabao Cup victory as you would expect against much-changed Burton.
Seven months on from lifting the trophy at Wembley, Jose Mourinho’s men kicked off their defence by swatting aside the Sky Bet Championship side in the third round.
The United boss spoke in the build-up about taking Burton seriously, but the nine alterations made by Nigel Clough (Ipictured) allowed the hosts to ease through as Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial goals complemented Rashford’s double in a 4-1 win.
Mourinho also made nine changes but the strength in depth at his disposal saw them make light work of the Brewers, with Rashford opening the scoring inside five minutes.
The 19-year-old added another with a fine turn and strike, before a deflected Lingard goal added gloss to a scoreline that was extended by the impressive Martial early in the second half.
Rashford limped off after appearing to be hurt assisting the Frenchman on a night to forget for Burton aside from a token, if memorable, Lloyd Dyer strike in stoppage time.
It felt a case of when rather than if United would score from the outset and, after a surprise Luke Varney effort, Mourinho’s front-loaded side netted.
After just five minutes Michael Carrick, playing his first competitive match since being named captain, passed through to Lingard, whose lay-off was turned home impressively by Rashford.
Lingard and Martial had efforts of their own as United looked to kick on, with Burton unable to seriously test Sergio Romero before falling further behind in the 17th minute.
Rashford was afforded space and just enough time when collecting a pass on the edge of the box to turn and fire a fine low shot past Connor Ripley.
On a night when Burton’s fans had little to cheer about, Romero had to be alert to thwart them as Joe Mason attempted to capitalise on a Victor Lindelof error.
It was Ripley in the opposite goal under the most pressure, though, with Juan Mata and Martial keeping him busy.
The former saw a low shot come back off the post before Martial’s overhead kick was blocked, before the pressure brought a third goal in the 37th minute.
Lingard collected the ball after great feet and skill from Martial, hitting a shot that took a deflection off Ben Turner and wrong-footed Ripley.
With victory all but assured, Mourinho turned to Luke Shaw for the second half - his first appearance since April 30.
The 22-year-old, back from injury, saw a goal ruled out for offside shortly after coming on as left wing-back, while confident Martial led the United charge.
Frustrated to be unable to follow exceptional skill by beating Ripley, he made no mistake when collecting a pass from Rashford in the 60th minute and slotted low into the corner.
Unfortunately for United the provider was forced off after appearing to take a knock setting up Martial, who sent an attempt wide.
Martial curled a free-kick wide as the match entered stoppage time, where Burton would get a late consolation as Dyer fired past substitute goalkeeper Joel Pereira.