Five talking points from Man United vs Derby FA Cup tie
Manchester United made it to the last 16 of the FA Cup on Friday evening as fought hard to snatch a 3-1 victory against Derby County at Pride Park.
Wayne Rooney opened the scoring with a beautiful curler but George Thorne unexpectedly brought the hosts level just before the break. The Red Devils looked a bit disjointed and unimpressive for the majority of the match but managed to claim the lead again thanks to Daley Blind in the 65th minute and Juan Mata added another one late on.
Louis van Gaal will now be able to breathe a bit easier after his much-criticised team made some light work of a potentially tricky FA Cup task against Derby. The United boss stepped into the east midlands bowed down under heavy pressure and cruel scrutiny following months of indifferent results, uninspiring performances and also reports which suggested he even offered to resign after last weekend’s home loss to Southampton.
Here are the five talking points we can share with you from the fourth round cup tie.
Is Rooney back in form
Whether Manchester United have turned over a new leaf this year, that’s up for debate; all the same, mistakes are painfully evident even against a championship side, but it can be said that Rooney finally has been reinvigorated, a new life for the skipper for sure. He has now six goals in his last six appearances, and yesterday night’s excellent curled effort suggests he still has the ability to guide a club of United’s stature, despite the consistency is lacking. It is also evident to the 30-year-old striker that even in a squad as uninspiring as this Red Devils one, he can still produce some marvellous goals.
United’s football still attractive
Yes, it’s true, the opponents were a Championship side, but Manchester United managed to play some decent football last night. After a long time, Rooney’s movement was impressive throughout the match and when the Red Devils actually by-passed Fellaini in the attacking moves they even produced some effective one-touch triangles around the box to delight the fans. As it has been said earlier, van Gaal’s tactical gameplay might not be a natural breeding source of creativity but one can keep it in mind that these players have not fully forgotten how to entertain the football fans.
LVG is wasting Martial on the left
To splash out £36million for a striker is a big gamble and then use him on the wing! Isn’t it ridiculous? But that is exactly what under-fire Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has done with Anthony Martial throughout the season. As the Dutch tactician often fields, Anthony Martial operated well enough to cut in from the left side and his extraordinary pace made a fool of more than one Derby player. But truly speaking he is wasted on the left. The former Monaco hitman most of the time comes out as United’s liveliest player and you are using your biggest threat running through the middle, confined to the touchline. That’s not fair.
Derby gave unnecessary respect to the opponent
No one can doubt, Paul Clement has led some of the biggest names in football but this Derby County have not and it was quite clear early on. They looked a mixture of fear and wander when facing their more noteworthy opponents and it took Clement’s boys 37 long minutes to finally snap out of the emotional shock. They were so much concerned to keep their defensive shape intact that ultimately forgot to move forward and attack United and when the championship side finally attacked they did score with first chance. This United team’s defence is vulnerable and Clement will be very frustrated that his team didn’t realise it sooner.
Tom Ince missed a golden opportunity
It was 2012. Olympic fever was everywhere when Britain proudly talked about Lord Coe, a time when British football fans still dreamt Tom Ince had a bright future in the top flight of English football. Just think, is it distant past! If there was ever the brightest opportunity to show the 23-year-old midfielder is made for the Premier League, it was last night against Manchester United. But did he take the chance? The answer is simply, No. Will he ever manage to take his chance?
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