Jesse Lingard and his romance with cup competitions continued as he scored to put Manchester United through in the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Derby County.
It looked set to be another frustrating cup outing for Manchester United as the two sides went into half-time without a goal being scored, despite a whirlwind of chances being created by Jose Mourinho’s men, who had to deal with a few attacks from Derby County as well.
With no goal and only a quarter of an hour left to go, we looked set to be heading towards a frustrating draw. But, up stepped the academy boy with the golden touch of late – Jesse Lingard. The in-form star let a wicked shot rip, which found the back of the net. A goal from Romelu Lukaku sealed the deal late on as United somehow managed to make their chances count.
The Hard Tackle now analyses the individual performances of the Manchester United players in the 2-0 win over Derby County in the third round of the FA Cup.
Sergio Romero – 7
Jesse Lingard is on another level right now. Improving massively each week. It’ll take some stopping him. Also: Sergio Romero is one of the best backup goalkeepers in the world. https://t.co/SfKvOtZhDf
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) January 5, 2018
Given a chance in goal, the Argentine lived up to expectations, stepping up whenever called upon. The highlight was a first half save from a dipping header by Martin Olsson. The performance will serve him in good stead.
Victor Lindelof – 6.5
The Swede is starting to make the right side of the defence his own in Antonio Valencia’s absence. The player drove up and down the pitch and created problems for Derby going forward. The defender did get troubled by the constant swapping of positions between Sam Winnall, Tom Lawrence and Andreas Weimann, but handled himself well.
Another above average outing for the Swede, who looks more and more at home in United colours with each passing game.
Chris Smalling – 7
The driving factor of United’s clean sheet on Friday, Smalling was a workhorse at the back, deflecting Derby’s attempts at goal while also being a safe target to pass the ball. Not much to say for his performance. Minimal errors, but nothing extraordinary.
Daley Blind – 6.5
Blind was equally good at the back for United in a rare appearance as a centre-back. He sprayed the passes well and did a decent job at keeping the Derby attackers at bay. However, the player clearly is no match for anyone with pace in their skill set and is not a viable option in key matches going forward.
Luke Shaw – 7.5
🔴⚫ Luke Shaw (22) vs Derby:
3/5 aerial duels
Back at it again with the decent performances. pic.twitter.com/f32Tpr2ysu
— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) January 5, 2018
The Shaw renaissance continued at Old Trafford on Friday, with the left-back putting in another great shift on both ends of the pitch. The player overlapped the attackers many-a time and was a constant threat to Derby’s defence with his runs. Great outing and one which could salvage his United career.
Ander Herrera – 9
Honestly, a throwback to the Herrera people got accustomed to seeing last season – the Herrera that seemed to have been lost in oblivion this season so far. The Spaniard had the most number successful passes (94) – 20 more than any other player on the pitch.
Defensively as well, Herrera lodged six successful tackles – twice as many as any other player. Overall, the player put on a masterclass in midfield, allowing Pogba to venture forward while being the ever-reliable presence in front of the defence.
Paul Pogba – 7.5
Pogba got in the right places, as he usually does. But, the midfielder was mainly a threat from long range only. He created a fine chance for Jesse Lingard in the first half, only for the academy ace to fire it into the crowd from inside the box. His free-kick was parried away by Scott Carson, as were his other shots that did find their way to the target.
Juan Mata – 6.5
A very average outing from the Spaniard. Mata was a general threat in the first half with his movement. But, he failed to have much of an effect and would hope to improve on this trepid display.
Jesse Lingard – 9
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 4, 2018
Another masterclass from Lingard, who has turned into the main driving force for United in the last few games. Lingard was a constant threat with his movement and had a couple of chances in the first half itself. But, the player proved his penchant for scoring above-ordinary goals again, this time with a wicked half-volley from the edge of the box.
A player who looks to be finally hitting his peak.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5
Possibly the only Manchester United player who looked abysmal on Friday. The Armenian looked out of pace and out of sorts, misfiring passes and crosses, much to the frustration of United fans. A brilliant player who looks, apologetically, on the decline and heading towards an exit.
Marcus Rashford – 7
Rashford does look out of form. But, like Lukaku did when not getting on the scoresheet, the striker found himself in the right positions often, but not being able to make the most of the chances that came his way – he had three good chances to convert, all headers.
He hit the post in the second half as well and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Looks bereft of confidence, but there isn’t a lack of drive in the attacking sensation.
Romelu Lukaku – 7.5
Lukaku was very lively after coming on in the second half. Lukaku had several chances to get himself on the scoresheet, but he finally got the goal his display warranted as Martial laid the ball on the platter in a classic Manchester United counter attack. Good for his confidence.
Anthony Martial – 7
Martial was brought in to break the deadlock and while it took some Lingard magic to open up the proceedings, the Frenchman did have an impact in the match, with an assist for Lukaku’s goal. Was good in attack and would be hoping to return to the lineup in the next game.
Marouane Fellaini – N/A
Brought on to get a goal with 10 minutes left, Fellaini did not do much and he had too little time to warrant a rating.