The incident with Mina was another brush with controversy for Cavani, who last week was charged with misconduct by the Football Association for using a Spanish term for Black people that he said was intended as an affectionate greeting.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t see much wrong with the incident with Mina.

“It’s two South Americans who have had a few battles before not long ago in the Copa America qualification,” Solskjaer said. “So no, no, no. It was a proper game of football.”

United reached the semi-finals of three competitions last season – the League Cup, the FA Cup and the Europa League – and lost them all.

Now, Solskjaer’s side has the chance to end City’s three-year hold on the trophy and move in sight of their first piece of silverware under the Norwegian manager.

“It’s the worst game to lose, a semi-final,” Solskjaer said. “At least when you get to a final, you get that feeling, the build-up.

“We are going to do everything we can to get to the semi-finals in a good state. Of course, we have many league games before that.”

Tottenham’s reward for beating Stoke 3-1 in the other quarter-final match on Thursday was a home game against another second-tier opponent, Brentford, in the last four. The semi-finals will take place in the week beginning January 4, with the final at Wembley Stadium having been pushed back to April.

The draw couldn’t have been kinder to former United manager Jose Mourinho, who moved within two wins of leading Tottenham to their first major trophy since 2008.

Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Harry Kane scored for Spurs in a routine win at Stoke as Mourinho kept up his impressive record in the League Cup, which he won with Chelsea on three occasions and also while at United. It is a competition he targets — and has won it each time he reaches the semifinals.

“To win other trophies, you need to win more matches,” Mourinho said. “The FA Cup didn’t start for us. The Europa League, we are in the last 32. In the Premier League, I told you already what we are.”

Mourinho fielded a strong team at Stoke, who are seventh in the Championship, with Kane playing the full match amid a busy run of games in the Premier League.

Bale glanced in a cross from Harry Winks to give Tottenham the lead in the 22nd minute with his third goal since returning to the club in September for a second spell. The winger didn’t come out for the second half because of a calf injury.

Jordan Thompson equalised for Stoke in the 53rd in a rare sight of goal for the hosts following a counterattack, but Davies put Tottenham back in front with a fierce low drive from 25 yards.

Kane clinched victory in the 81st by running onto Moussa Sissoko’s pass and smashing a rising shot into the roof of the net.

“It’s a cold, wet and windy Wednesday night at Stoke so it was tough,” Winks said, repeating an oft-used cliche about Stoke stretching back to when the club was in the Premier League and hard to beat at home.

“But we applied ourselves well, we were aggressive and ready to compete.”

AP

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