Manchester United traveled to the small confines of Huish Park to take on upstart League Two opposition, Yeovil Town in a 4th round tie looking to book its place in the quarterfinal of the FA Cup. United did what it needed to pick up the win, and will await the draw for the next opponent hoping to book a trip to Wembley.
What would usually be a ho-hum fixture on the United schedule had a boost of excitement when the team sheets came out and United’s revealed the realization of the Sanchez transfer saga. The Chilean found himself on the left side of the United attack and did not disappoint on his debut for the Red Devils.
United came out in a 4-3-3 choosing to go without a target striker as Ibrahmovich continues to be unfit, and Lukaku desperately needs breaks in the schedule. As has been the case throughout the FA Cup run under Mourinho, Romero got the start in goal.
The backline was comprised of from right to left, Darmian, Lindelof, Rojo, and Shaw.
The United defense figured to have to withstand an early challenge by the home squad, and for about 20 minutes, Yeovil town was a threat to the United goal.
A good delivery on a free kick forced Romero into a save off a header in the box, and later on the keeper was equal to another free kick that Romero was forced to punch out of his box.
Once United settled into the game, it was formidable and dangerous in attack as expected.
The midfield was made up of McTominay on the left, and Herrera on the right and in the middle, United legend Michael Carrick got the nod days after announcing that this season would be his last in the Premier League and of his career.
The trio provided solid linkup play between the back line, and the attacking forwards Sanchez, Rashford and Mata.
Sanchez fit in nicely up front and figured into the attack all match long.
His build up play contributed to the first half goal.
Sanchez played the ball toward the center of the box and confusion between Yeovil’s keeper, Artus Krysiak and his back line, left a loose ball on which Rashford could pounce. Rashford calmly slotted the ball over the keeper’s outstretched arm and into the net to give United the lead.
The goal had to feel good for Rashford who had suffered a dip in form, and needed a boost in confidence the goal may provide
Earlier in the half, Sanchez played a nice pass to the top of the box that McTominay nearly put into the bottom corner were it not for a very good save from Krysiak.
The score was 1-0 at half time.
The second half belonged to United.
In the 61st minute, Sanchez drifted centrally, made a run toward the right side of the box, and slotted a pass across his body to the unmarked Ander Herrera who found the back of the net to double United’s advantage, and send the team on its way.
United remained in control of the action for the second half, until the substitutes got in on the act.
Angel Gomes, who saw his first action of the season, and second appearance for the senior club after his debut against Crystal Palace last season, showed a flash of his potential on a run at goal in the match’s waning moments.
With the clock approaching 90 minutes, fellow substitute Jesse Lingard continued his great form as he made a strong run at goal down the right side and with the Yeovil defense on its heels, he fired one past the keeper to push the lead to 3-0.
The final act was from substitute Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian enjoyed a break on the bench for most of the match, and subbed on in the 65th minute.
The United backline was into the attack all match, and Marcos Rojo was rewarded for his efforts.
The defender made a strong attacking run and picked out the run of Lukaku who was unmarked in the center of the box. Lukaku hit the perfect cross first time and United had their fourth goal of the match.
It was utter dominance from United from approximately the 20th minute on, and a successful debut from Alexis Sanchez.
United will await the draw as it booked its place in the round of 16, and the squad will continue the Premier League slate with a match at Wembley against Tottenham on January 31st.