Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial scored twice as Manchester United crushed West Ham United 4-1 in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday, while Arsenal were unexpectedly humbled by Southampton.
United manager Jose Mourinho served a one-game touchline ban after his dismissal for kicking a water bottle during Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw against West Ham, but his absence had no ill-effects.
Ibrahimovic put United ahead in the second minute and although Ashley Fletcher equalised, Martial’s second-half brace restored the hosts’ control before the Swede added a fourth goal in added time.
United, who have made their worst start to a top-flight campaign since 1989, joined Southampton, 2-0 victors at the Emirates Stadium, Liverpool and Hull City in the draw for the semi-finals.
The game at Old Trafford notably saw Bastian Schweinsteiger make his first appearance of the season for United as a late substitute.
The former Germany captain has only recently returned to the first-team squad after being frozen out by Mourinho and received a huge ovation as he came on.
West Ham had needed less than two minutes to take the lead in Sunday’s game, but on this occasion United were the early birds.
Wayne Rooney’s clever reverse pass picked out the advancing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the Armenian’s alert back-heel freed Ibrahimovic to lift the ball past West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.
West Ham levelled in the 35th minute with a bolt from the blue as David de Gea spilled Dimitri Payet’s shot and former United youngster Fletcher tucked in his first senior goal in front of the Stretford End.
Fortunately for United, they started the second half as sharply as they had attacked the first, a move down the right culminating in Mkhitaryan squaring for Martial to sweep home.
West Ham’s cause was not helped by the fact they lost both wing-backs, Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio to injury, and after Adrian had saved from Martial and Ibrahimovic, it was 3-1.
Ibrahimovic was the architect with a fine pass down the inside-right channel for Antonio Valencia, whose cross was tapped in by Martial.
Ibrahimovic doubled his tally in the 93rd minute, slotting in Ander Herrera’s low cross from the left.
The only source of regret for United was a booking for Rooney that rules him out of Sunday’s trip to Everton, nixing his hopes of scoring a club record-equalling 249th goal against his old side.