Manchester United 2-0 Derby County: 5 Talking Points
Final score: Manchester United 2-0 Derby County
Goalscorers: Jesse Lingard 84', Romelu Lukaku 90'
Manchester United left it late against a resolute Derby County side and ended the night with a ticket to the fourth round of the FA Cup thanks to the latest of a collection of spectacular strikes from Jesse Lingard and a statement of a goal from Romelu Lukaku in the dying embers of the game.
However, it wasn't as straightforward as the scoreline seems to suggest. Gary Rowett's men were willing to beaver away and pushed United to whip out the best they had. Well, push came to shove and Jesse Lingard, United's unlikely hero of recent times, who has quite a cult following in certain quarters, whipped out a trademark special something from outside the area to tip the scale in United's favour.
Lukaku would later toil side by side with Tony Martial to snuff out all hopes of the travelling Derby faithful and book a seat in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Here are the 5 talking points from the game:
#5 Manchester United experimenting and easing into their new identity
A combination of various factors was gauged and it was declared that Paul Pogba is now free to do whatever he wanted. Except for he wasn't really. Nah, I wouldn't agree. Not until now at least, that is.
When playing in a 2 man midfield with Nemanja Matic, Pogba can get a bit lost in the middle of the park not being able to make ends meet. But with this classic old mixtape that United seems to have unearthed in Lingard, United have found a sweet tune to dance to.
Paul Pogba started out on the left and caused problems for Derby County with his precise passing and the deft ol' drop of the shoulder on one too many occasions. United are well and truly free-flowing once they get into the groove and though they couldn't score for the first 84 minutes, it wasn't for lack of trying.
Mkhitaryan was largely quiet but still facilitated swift movement of the football in the attacking half as Lingard and Paul Pogba called upon each and every attacker to contribute.
Finally, United seem to have a blueprint going forward. Or, it at least looks like there's some order to that chaos for now.