Luke Shaw and Odion Ighalo were the difference makers as Manchester United beat Derby County 3-0 to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Derby County took the game to their more illustrious hosts from the get-go, with Manchester United’s all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney thwarted by Sergio Romero in the first quarter of the game. The chances slowly started to flow for the visitors, who took the lead through Luke Shaw a little after the half hour mark.
Heading into half-time, the lead was doubled, as Shaw found Odion Ighalo, who scored from close range. The win was then rounded off midway through the second half, with Ighalo grabbing his second of the game. Manchester United will now face Norwich City in the FA Cup quarter-finals and The Hard Tackle runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
Sergio Romero: 8/10
The clean sheets continue to pile up for Romero. In what was his 13th game of the season, Romero ended up keeping his 10th shut out. Over the course of the game, the Argentine made as many as five saves, with the most notable one being his stop to deny Wayne Rooney a dream goal against his former team. One of the best deputy goalkeepers in the world.
Diogo Dalot: 7/10
Back into the starting lineup, Dalot was a bit nervy to begin with against the tricky Louie Sibley and former Manchester United forward Tom Lawrence. However, once he found his feet, he was solid and composed, winning 3 tackles and making 2 interceptions. Going forward he was a threat and created 3 chances and completed 19 passes in the final third. Step in the right direction.
Eric Bailly: 7/10
With Manchester United captain Harry Maguire out injured, Bailly started at the heart of defence, where he provided a solid presence alongside Victor Lindelof. His only major blip on the night was when he allowed Martyn Waghorn to go past him and take a shot at goal. If Maguire is to miss the derby this weekend, Bailly will be crucial for Manchester United.
Victor Lindelof: 7/10
Like Bailly, Lindelof was solid for the most part against Derby, doing well to shut off the threat of Waghorn for large parts of the game. Assured as ever with the ball at his feet, the Swede did not shy away from taking up advanced positions at times, and boasted a passing rate of 91 percent. Solid.
Luke Shaw: 9/10
A real game changer on the night. Right from the get-go, Shaw looked purposeful and barely made any errors bar the odd misplaced pass when Derby were in the ascendancy. Broke the deadlock with a smart volley into the ground to beat Kelle Roos.
Shaw then provided the final ball in the lead-up to Odion Ighalo’s first goal, at the end of a fine run. On top of that, a 91 percent passing accuracy is quite impressive for a player who made most of his passes in the opposition half. One of the best performances in a Manchester United shirt by Shaw.
Scott McTominay: 6/10
Making a third successive start, McTominay did not make the best of starts, as Derby overran Manchester United in the middle of the park. However, the Scot soon collected himself and entered into an engaging duel with Sibley. Incredibly precise with the ball, McTominay completed an astounding 98 percent of his passes. Slowly getting to his best.
A game of hits and misses for the birthday boy, who was not quite at his best against Derby. The Brazilian was a bit sloppy in the early stages and was hurried into misplacing his passes when Derby pressed aggressively. However, after Manchester United took the lead, he was more assured and won seven duels in all over the course of the game.
Juan Mata: 7/10
The orchestrator for Manchester United. A bit slow in getting into the game, Mata kept things simple early on, but slowly got around to trying the more extravagant stuff, showing great understanding with Bruno Fernandes. Set Ighalo up for the third goal of the game, with a delightful deft touch. Proving to be quite an asset this season.
Bruno Fernandes: 6/10
By the lofty standards he has set in his early days as a Manchester United player, this was an off day for Bruno Fernandes. However, even when he is not at his best, the Portuguese is a class apart, as some of his numbers suggest.
Fernandes created the most chances (4) and completed the most passes in the final third (34). Overdid things at times, though, which meant he lost the ball as many as 23 times against Derby. Will need to be back to his very best when Manchester City pay Manchester United a visit next.
Jesse Lingard: 6/10
Getting a rare start, this was Lingard’s chance to impress. However, while he was involved a great deal, the struggling Englishman lacked the cutting edge in the final third, as has been the case for much of the season. Never short of effort, though, Lingard put a shift in when off the ball, winning 3 tackles in the game.
Odion Ighalo: 9/10
The dream spell with Manchester United continues to get better for Ighalo. The Nigerian ran himself into the ground in the initial exchanges, making loads of effort to help out in the defensive phase. In fact, over the course of the game, Ighalo completed each of his tackles while also making a couple of clearances and winning 4 aerial duels.
2 – Odion Ighalo has scored his first brace for an English club since netting twice for Watford against Liverpool in a Premier League tie in December 2015. Threat. #FACup #DERMUN pic.twitter.com/drz3K95TAe
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 5, 2020
The big moments for Ighalo, though, came either side of half-time. He first scored his second goal in Manchester United colours after collecting a pass from Shaw before converting Mata’s cut-back in the 70th minute. Ighalo had as many as four shots on target and on another day, he could have been celebrating a hat-trick. Proving to be a solid addition thus far.
Andreas Pereira: 5/10
On for Bruno Fernandes, Pereira failed to make much of an impact, while both of his shots were way off target. Things are not improving much for the Brazilian international.
Anthony Martial: 6/10
Replacing Fred, Martial played for the final 17 minutes or so and helped see the game out.
Brandon Williams: N/A
A late introduction, Williams was booked late on.
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