Man United beats Forest 2-0

Erik ten Hag was hired to bring the good times back to Manchester United. Now, just nine months after his appointment, he is one game away from ending the club’s six-year trophy wait. A 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday sealed a 5-0 aggregate victory in the League Cup semifinals. United will face Newcastle in the final at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 26 for the English season’s first piece of major silverware. “It is good to reach the final of course, but it is not about reaching the final, it is about winning it,” Ten Hag said. “It has to give huge motivation to us and we want to bring that cup (back).” Substitute Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 73rd minute and Fred added a second in the 76th, with both goals set up by Marcus Rashford. United won the first leg 3-0 at the City Ground last week. “When you get this far you want to go one further. The damage was really done last week,” Forest manager Steve Cooper said. Ten Hag has not made United fans wait long for a first cup final under him. The Dutchman took charge last April and was given the task of turning the club’s fortunes around after too long in the shadows of fierce rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. The League Cup was the earliest possible final he could reach and victory in the showpiece occasion later this month would further fuel belief that he is building a team capable of competing for the biggest prizes in club soccer again. United has not won a trophy since 2017 when former manager Jose Mourinho triumphed in the League Cup and Europa League in his first season in charge. While Ten Hag can emulate the Portuguese coach by also winning a trophy in his debut campaign with United, his ultimate challenge is to deliver Premier League and Champions League titles. Those were standards set by managerial great Alex Ferguson and ones United has not come close to meeting since his retirement in 2013.