Romelu Lukaku led the way with an impressive double as Manchester United made it through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Manchester United sealed progression to the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup, when they defeated Huddersfiled Town 2-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday. The Red Devils were up and running were early in the game, with Romelu Lukaku handing them the lead within three minutes of kick-off.
However, the Terriers reacted brilliantly to the goal and put the visitors under immense pressure, albeit without managing to find the leveler. Post the break, Manchester United showed their clinical nature, with Lukaku once again finding the back of the net to round off a brilliant counter-attack, after being put through on goal by a sublime Alexis Sanchez pass, to put the result to bed.
The win means Manchester United progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition for the fourth time running, where they will take on Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford in March. And here we rate the performances of Jose Mourinho’s men on the day against the Terriers;
FT: Huddersfield 0 #MUFC 2.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2018
Sergio Romero: 6/10
The Argentine, coming in for David De Gea in goal, did not look all that convincing against corners, but was alert to the situations, each time he was called upon. Nothing spectacular from him, but was fairly reliable when tested.
Ashley Young: 6/10
Starting in place of Antonio Valencia, the Englishman did not get forward very regularly, which was disappointing given how effective he was the one time he romped down the flank to play Juan Mata through. Sound and solid defensively though, and did not give much joy to the home side on his flank.
Chris Smalling: 6.5/10
The England international has been under intense criticism of late, following his display against Newcastle United last week and he did not start off very well on Saturday, getting away with a dodgy hand-ball decision. But, Smalling grew into the game and stood tall in the face of some intense pressure by the Terriers.
Victor Lindelof: 5.5/10
Another unconvincing display from the Swedish centre-half, showing why he is struggling to get game time. Looked overwhelmed and nervy when Huddersfield piled on the pressure, but his passing out from the back was precise.
Luke Shaw: 5/10
It did not help the Englishman’s cause that Huddersfield targeted his flank from the get go, as a result of which he was constantly under pressure. Gave away the ball on a number of occasions, and there were several mishit clearances as well.
Michael Carrick: 6/10
Was very much a bystander in the early phases of the game when the Terriers overloaded the United half. Imposed himself more on the game with time and was his composed and assured self in the middle of the park.
Nemanja Matic: 6/10
Much like Carrick, the giant Serb was pretty much taken out of the equation in the early stages of the game. But, Matic grew into the match as time went by and was a much more imposing presence after the break, winning the ball in the midfield and looking to play it forward.
Scott McTominay: 5.5/10
McTominay got stuck in and worked hard, but seemed to be lacking composure, giving away possession needlessly on a number of occasions in the first-half when United needed to hold on to the ball. Improved after the break, though.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2018
Juan Mata: 7/10
Mata played a brilliant through ball to set Lukaku on his way for the opening goal, showing great composure to find the net just before half-time, only for the goal to be controversially overturned for offside by the VAR. Kept United ticking with his movement and passing.
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
Was a spectator in the first period, as he saw very little of the ball. Did not do much to help Shaw out defensively on the left-side, which left his teammate exposed against the Huddersfield right-back regularly.
Showed his class with a marvelous through ball to set Lukaku up for the second and started to get into his elements after the break, when there were spaces for him to exploit as the home team went looking for a goal.
Romelu Lukaku: 8/10
Man of the match display from the £75 million man. Lukaku showed great pace, power and immense composure to slot home the opener within three minutes of the kick-off. Started the move from his own box, before finishing it off at the other end for United’s second goal after the break.
It was in all sense, a complete striker’s display, one that will only fill him with much confidence ahead of the big Champions League game against Sevilla.
Romelu Lukaku for Manchester United:
Goals – 21
Assists – 6
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) February 17, 2018
Anthony Martial: 6/10
Replaced Sanchez for the final fifteen minutes. Gave the Terriers’ backline some issues with his direct running and dribbling abilities.
Jesse Lingard: N/A
On for Mata with just a little less than ten minutes left to play. Not enough time to make a mark.
Eric Bailly: N/A
Returned to action after a lengthy injury layoff, replacing Lukaku in injury time.