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After a disappointing draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, Manchester United travelled to Pride Park for the 5th Round of the FA Cup, hoping to maintain their eight game unbeaten run. The Red Devils qualified for the Quarter-Finals with a 0-3 win at Pride Park against Wayne Rooney’s Derby County side and Solskjaer’s side will now play their third FA Cup away match in a row with another trip to Carrow Road set to take place at the end of March.
Derby County made four changes to the side that blew Sheffied Wednesday away with Hamer, Wisdom, Clarke and Martin swapped out for Roos, Evans, Lowe and Sibley as Cocu decided that the Ram’s priorities lay in the Championship. Wayne Rooney started and captained Derby against his former club alongside Tom Lawrence who only made one appearance for the Red Devils under the current Wales manager, Ryan Giggs.
Manchester United made a few changes to the side cancelled out by Everton with Martial, Greenwood, Matic, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire and De Gea out and Ighalo, Mata, Lingard, Dalot, Bailly and Romero coming in. Juan Mata captained the side in the absence of Harry Maguire who rolled his ankle in training.
Roos, Bogle, Evans, Forsythe, Lowe, Sibley, Bird, Knight, Rooney (c), Lawrence, Waghorn
Romero, Dalot, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Mata (c), Fernandes, Lingard, Ighalo
The game started as United normally do, slugglisly and giving the ball away cheaply with Bruno, McTominay and Shaw being the main culprits. Derby County offered the best chances of the first half an hour with Sibley coming close with a fantastic effort narrowly missing the target and Wayne Rooney forcing Romero into a good save from a freekick cheaply given away by Luke Shaw. Odion Ighalo was finally brought into the game but by a Derby mistake and forced a decent stop by Kelle Roos but the scoreline did not remain barren for long. Luke Shaw drove into the final third and played a sharp pass into Jesse Lingard who scuffed both his efforts, the ball fell to Fernandes whose shot was also blocked before Shaw met the ball, hit it into the ground and the effort looped over Kelle Roos in goal and doubled the left back’s career tally with his first of the season. While the goal may have deflected onto Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw has claimed the goal and as it stands he will be awarded the goal. United came to life with the goal as Derby sought the equaliser. The England international was involved once again as he drove into the final third and played a smart ball to Odion Ighalo who had a bit of luck with the deflection but finished with ease as he also doubled his United goal tally and his second goal in two starts. The first half ended with both teams trying to get a goal but on a sour note overall with Welsh international, Tom Lawrence coming off with an unfortunate injury and replaced by Morgan Whittaker.
United began the second half the same as the first, on the backfoot. Derby played well and tried to get back into the game and a stunning cross from Wayne Rooney found Waghorn and guided his header just wide of the post. United grew into the game and grew in confidence and Bruno, Mata and Lingard began to form pasing triangles but failed to create any clear-cut chances. Fernandes was subbed after 65 minutes with one eye on the Manchester Derby and Andreas Pereira coming on for a rare opportunity. Waghorn also made way for the Play-Off Semi-Final hero, Jack Marriott but it was United who scored next. Ighalo fed Juan Mata down the right hand side who returned the favour and teed up the Nigerian whose first shot was blocked but the second was rifled into the roof of the net. Fred was the next to come off as Anthony Martial came on and pushed Juan Mata into a deeper role. Rooney fed Marriott down the right hand side and forced a great save from Sergio Romero. Ighalo had a chance to earn a hattrick and the first Manchester United hattrick since Ibrahimovic’s treble against Saint-Etienne in 2017 but skewed his effort wide of the post. Williams came on for another short feature with Shaw rested for the last few minutes and Shinney came on for the youngster, Sibley who had a great evening. The last event of the evening was the chance for Wayne Rooney’s moment with another freekick and despite getting everything right, Romero denied his former teammate with a stunning save. United qualified for the next round against Norwich who dumped Spurs out the day before and will play their fourth away FA Cup match in as many games. A good match and great performance from United as they push for their first silverware in three years.
Sergio Romero 8.5/10
Three great saves and a commanding appearance from the Argentine.
Diogo Dalot 7.5/10
Composed in defence and played some good balls into the box.
Eric Bailly 8/10
Solid in defence and did well when needed. If Maguire is out or Manchester United play a back three against Manchester City, he could be an important player and certainly so for the rest of the season.
Victor Lindelof 8/10
Seemed to deal with the attackers well and after a slightly nervy performance against Everton, he may have got the boost he needed ahead of the derby.
Luke Shaw 9/10
He played very well and scored and assisted in this match. Regardless of the goal and assist, this is the standard he should stay to when playing as a fullback. He will be important in fending off Mahrez on the right hand side and getting the ball moving on the left.
Scott McTominay 7/10
A bit nervy and lost the ball a few times but he is recovering from a long term injury so no one should be concerned about this. A tasty battle between him and Sibley developed and going into the Manchester Derby, this is the kind of aggression missing from the last few of these games.
Got the ball moving and kept to his normal standard this season. Came off ahead of the derby as his energy and drive will be desperately needed.
Juan Mata 8.5/10
Very good performance from the Spaniard who showed his quality in these kinds of matches and demonstrates his role this season in the FA Cup and Europa League.
Bruno Fernandes 8/10
While he still provided a creative spark and got the game going, it wasn’t his best performance in a United shirt, probably because he’s set the bar so high. Will be vital for the derby and was rightfully subbed after 65 minutes as we need him at his best on Sunday.
Jesse Lingard 6.5/10
Was an extra body and while he did have some positive moments, it was still not a good enough performance to warrant a start in the Premier League.
Odion Ighalo 9/10
A poacher’s brace and while it was Derby County he has shown he gets into the right areas and has the ability to get goals. He might not start against City but he may be called upon to make an impact off the bench.
Andreas Pereira 6/10
Ok. That’s all really. Does not warrant a start in any competition.
Anthony Martial 6.5/10
Lively but no end product but the right decision to put him on and keep him sharp. Will indefinitely start against Man City and will be pivotal if United are to be victorious in the derby.
Brandon Williams N/A
Rarely had enough time to make a difference and is likely to remain second place at left back for the rest of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 8/10
Was forced into a few changes due to injury but kept a strong-ish squad in respect to the ability Derby do have despite what the Championship table may show. Playing Mata on the right seems to work in these kind of games and links well with Bruno and good to get as many minutes on McTominay’s belt going into the final stretch of the season. Correctly took of Bruno, Fred and Shaw as their energy will be needed on Sunday and hopefully with Maguire and Wan-Bissaka back, Ole can do the double over Pep this season.
Referee: Craig Pawson 7/10
I was very critical of this referee in the game at Anfield where he let the occasion get the better of him and cause a fair few human errors in his job. His performance was better in this FA Cup match although missed a potential handball and violent conduct from Sibley on McTominay which does show the use of VAR in the top divisions certainly. Definitely found his level as he is not good enough to warrant a position as a Premier League referee.