FA Cup: Derby County 1-3 Manchester United - Match Report
Goals from Wayne Rooney, Daley Blind and Juan Mata ensured Manchester United progressed to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup. The visitors tore apart Derby multiple times as they looked to save their manager from facing the wrath of the media again.
Derby XI: Carson, Christie, Keogh, Martin, Shackell, Johnson, Butterfield, Blackman, Ince, Thorne and Warnock.
Manchester United XI: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Mata, Lingard, Martial and Rooney
The game started brightly with United constantly pressurising the keeper and testing him with teasing efforts with Anthony Martial especially impressing the most on the left-wing. While Rooney's goal was impeccable and flawless technique, Martial's run into that position from the midfield should not be underestimated. The Frenchman's direct runs tormented the Derby defence time and again through the 90 minutes he played for.
Derby – who aren't in the best of form – in the Championship looked jaded throughout the contest but made good of United's mistake to score an equaliser through George Thorne. The striker was put through by a lovely overhead pass and he controlled it once and shot past David de Gea – albeit thanks to a deflection.
That striker by Thorne got some confidence back into the Derby side who then on looked dangerous for the rest of the first half.
United began the second half on the front foot making darting runs behind the Derby defense and always looked to play the ball through but Derby learnt to resist as they went along until the moment Blind decided otherwise. While Smalling has been getting the plaudits in recent times, Blind had an incredible role to play in United's win here.
Daley Blind, who even though let in a goal looked solid alongside Chris Smalling while constantly looking for an outlet up front while on the ball. The Dutchman made a good run from one end of the field to the other before connecting sweetly with a Lingard cross to give Manchester United the lead once again.
Derby didn't quite look very confident on the ball but made the best they could when they did. Tom Ince – who was widely expected to make an impression against United – had a dull game and could have done a lot better.
The third goal was a thing of beauty as Martial ran past the whole of the Derby midfield and defence and then cut the ball back into the feet of Juan Mata who beautifully placed the ball into the bottom corner of the goal to ensure United's passage.
This victory was much needed for the Red Devils and will look to refocus their attention on the Premier League with the arrival of giant-killers, Stoke City.