FA Cup: Huddersfield Town 0-2 Manchester United - 5 Talking Points
Manchester United survived a stern test at the John Smith Stadium to overcome Huddersfield Town and progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Romelu Lukaku scored similar goals early in each half - starting the build-ups himself, receiving through-passes from Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez respectively before holding off a Huddersfield defender to beat Lossl and grab a brace.
As far as David Wagner’s Huddersfield are concerned, they can now solely focus on securing survival in their first ever season in the Premier League, while for United it was the ideal preparation before travelling to Sevilla on Wednesday for their Champions League Round-of-16 first leg tie against the Spanish outfit.
Here are some of the talking points from the game:
#1 Lukaku’s early strike eases United’s Pogba worries
The build-up to this game was dominated with rumours of unrest in the dressing room between Jose Mourinho and Manchester United’s world-record signing Paul Pogba regarding the role of the latter in the team. Usually thriving in a free role, Pogba was reported to be displeased of having to sit in a deeper position in a 4-2-3-1 formation, contributing to his poor performances of late.
More eyebrows were raised when hours before United’s trip to the John Smith stadium, Paul Pogba was ruled out of the entire squad due to ‘illness’. Reports suggested that he had been given the axe owing to his recent performances, which were curtly dismissed by Jose Mourinho in his pre-kickoff interview.
However, once the players took to the field, United allayed their off-the-field worries in less than 180 seconds. Romelu Lukaku held the ball up for a while, before feeding Juan Mata. The playmaker then sent the forward through with a neat defence-splitting pass. Lukaku cut inside Terriers’ captain Christopher Schindler, before slamming a shot inside the near post past a wrong-footed Jonas Lossl to give the visitors a much-needed lead.
The Pogba rumours could be shelved for the moment.