Marcus Rashford scored for the fifth straight game as Manchester United beat Everton 3-1 in the FA Cup third round on Friday, heaping the pressure on beleaguered boss Frank Lampard.
Everton travelled to Old Trafford in trepidation after slipping into the Premier League relegation zone this week following a chastening 4-1 home hammering at the hands of Brighton.
They made the worst possible start, with Brazil forward Antony scoring in just the fourth minute but were level 10 minutes later after Conor Coady pounced on a howler from United goalkeeper David de Gea.
However, the Everton defender put the ball in his own net early in the second half to hand the initiative back to the home side.
Rashford increased United’s lead in the dying seconds, scoring from the penalty spot to maintain his record of scoring in every match since the World Cup.
Player-of-the-match Rashford, brimming with confidence, said his goalscoring form matched the level of the best spells during his career.
The England forward also said the players were desperate to end the club’s trophy drought, stretching back to 2017.
“We want to be in finals and the biggest games,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to win silverware and a trophy. Hopefully this season we will get the opportunity to do that.”
The Red Devils, who won the most recent of their 12 FA Cups in 2016, are in fourth spot in the Premier League in Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge and are through to the League Cup quarterfinals.
Rashford the difference
The in-form team opened the scoring when the impressive Rashford surged down the left and into the penalty area before firing the ball across the box into the path of the fast-arriving Antony.
Everton appeared to be facing an arduous evening but they were level in bizarre circumstances in the 14th minute.
Amadou Onana won the ball on the edge of the box and fed Neal Maupay, who hit a low cross.
De Gea could have used his hands but the ball somehow squeezed through his legs as he clung to the near post with one hand and Coady had the easiest of finishes, changing the mood of the match.
Ten Hag urged the United fans to turn up the volume as he came out after half-time and they were quickly back in front, with Rashford once again playing a crucial role.
The England forward cut in from the left and drove into the Everton box, beating Seamus Coleman to send in a cross which Coady turned into his own net.
United continued to probe for openings as fans taunted Lampard with chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.
Everton, showing an admirable fighting spirit, had the ball in the net through substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin but the goal was ruled out by VAR for an offside earlier in the move.
Rashford added gloss to the scoreline from the spot after substitute Alejandro Garnacho was bundled over in the box, sending Jordan Pickford the wrong way.
It was Manchester United’s seventh straight win in all competitions, either side of the World Cup.
Lampard praised his men for their commitment, saying Rashford had made the difference.
“It was a performance that every manager wants with the attitude of the team and the focus and our only focus now is Southampton (in the Premier League),” he said.