Manchester United defeated the lifeless Crystal Palace with ease as Casemiro scored a goal and assisted on another. This victory marked the start of Manchester United’s Carabao Cup defense.
Seven months have passed since the Red Devils defeated Newcastle at Wembley to lift their first trophy under Erik ten Hag and the club’s first trophy in six years.
In Tuesday’s 3-0 third-round victory over Palace, Casemiro scored twice, including the first goal under the arch, as United looked to put their shaky start to the season behind them.
There were a combined 14 changes for an Old Trafford meeting that will be repeated in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, when Eagles boss Roy Hodgson will demand a vastly improved display.
United kept Palace at arm’s length in a one-sided first half that brought a pair of quickfire goals shortly after injury had ended Dean Henderson’s debut against his former club.
Casemiro headed home his fourth goal of the campaign from the returning Mason Mount’s corner.
Anthony Martial rifled home from the Brazil international’s cross in the 55th minute as United rubber-stamped their place in Wednesday’s fourth-round draw by following up their much-needed win at Burnley.
The hosts were in control from the outset at an impressively full Old Trafford, where the best Palace could initially muster was a dangerous early cross cut out by Harry Maguire on his first club start of the season.
United patiently passed and probed in the Palace half, although they had not created a clear-cut chance by the time their former goalkeeper Henderson went off injured on his debut.
Sam Johnstone replaced his fellow United academy graduate in the 19th minute and was beaten just two minutes later.
A cross-field pass to the right ended with the underlapping Dalot bursting forwards and cutting back to Garnacho, who battled to stretch and turn home.
United smelt blood and immediately hunted a potentially tie-settling second.
Dalot met a fantastic diagonal ball with a strike on Johnstone’s goal, before a last-gasp Chris Richards challenge on Facundo Pellistri prevented another effort on goal.
Mount sent over the resulting corner from the right and Casemiro all too easily shrugged off Jeffrey Schlupp to powerfully head home in the 27th minute.
The goals took the sting out of a tie that already had an exhibition vibe about it, with Palace offering precious little in terms of threat as the hosts showed flashes of quality.
Full debutant Sofyan Amrabat had impressed as a makeshift left-back and stepped up into midfield at half-time after Victor Lindelof came on for Mount.
Marc Guehi replaced Jesurun Rak-Sakyi as Palace made a change of their own, but the England defender’s introduction could not prevent Palace conceding again.