Marcus Rashford scored two late goals to take his tally for the season to 15 and put Manchester United into the Carabao Cup semi-final at the expense of League One Charlton at Old Trafford.
Antony’s superb first-half opener gave United the advantage but Dean Holden’s visitors claimed plenty of credit for the way they continued to battle until second-half substitute Rashford found the net for a sixth successive game with goals in the 90th and 94th minutes.
Charlton’s 9,000-strong travelling support, their largest ever for a midweek cup tie, applauded their side off, having backed them throughout, briefly raising hopes of an equaliser when Scott Fraser curled his free-kick straight at Tom Heaton.
For United, it means eight wins on the trot and a third last-four appearance in this competition in six seasons since they won it in 2017 under Jose Mourinho, their last domestic silverware.
They lost the last two to Manchester City, who United face in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United boss Erik ten Hag said after the game that he was “quite happy” with the first half an hour but was “was less happy we were not clinical in front of goal”.
“We had to be in that semi final and we did the job,” said the Dutchman.
“I think we had to finish this off early on but in the end the objective was to get through so compliments to the team.”
Eight successive wins for the first time since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made such a brilliant start to his tenure in the middle of the 2018-19 season is a decent way for Ten Hag’s side to approach the latest Manchester derby.
This triumph was achieved with a team missing at least seven players expected to be part of United’s starting line-up against City, with expectations high they will avoid the chastening first-half endured at Etihad Stadium, when they trailed 4-0.
The progress since then has been immense. And, in Antony, they have an £81.3m winger who has now scored in successive games and brings trickery to wide areas straight out of the United tradition.
The Brazilian’s first-half opener owed much to Diogo Dalot. The Portugal full-back did not last the opening period due to injury but it was his off-the-ball burst into the Charlton penalty area that created the space for Antony to curl a superb effort from Fred’s square pass into the far corner.
Fred smacked a thunderous shot against a post and Christian Eriksen brought an excellent save out of Ashley Maynard-Brewer before Rashford extended his scoring streak.
First he swept home a pass from debutant Facundo Pellistri before he beat Maynard-Brewer in the final minute of stoppage time with a precise finish.