Manchester United 1(5)-(3)1 Rochdale: 5 Talking Points | Carabao Cup
On Wednesday night, fans gathered at Old Trafford hoping for a response from the continuously miss-firing Manchester United team. The Red Devils welcomed League One side Rochdale for a third-round tie of the Carabao Cup, knowing very well that they could no longer afford to slip up. Last season, Manchester United were knocked out from this stage of the competition by Deby County via penalties, so Solskjaer knew better than to underestimate his opponents.
This was going to be the first meeting between the two sides in three decades; the last time they played each other was in the FA Cup third round in 1986, when United won the game 2-0. Solskjaer was hoping for a similar outcome this time, however, he still had quite the dilemma while selecting his team. Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw had not recovered yet, and Marcus Rashford was also sidelined with a groin injury he picked up in the 0-2 defeat away to West Ham. Solskjaer did have Paul Pogba available again, and the Frenchman was drafted into the first team.
Manchester United starting XI: Sergio Romero; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo; Jesse Lingard, Fred, Pogba; Andreas Pereira, Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood.
United started the game well, but Rochdale held on to go into the break with the score 0-0. In the second half, the home side went ahead courtesy a Mason Greenwood goal, however, Rochdale hit back through Luke Matheson eight minutes later. The score remained 1-1 after 90 minutes, and the game headed to penalties. United went on to convert all their spot-kicks, while Sergio Romero managed to stop Jimmy Keohane’s kick, helping the Red Devils secure a 5-3 victory. Here are the five talking points from the game.
#5 United fail to secure a clean sheet once again
Manchester United’s defensive woes are world-famous right now. Last season, United’s failure to secure a clean sheet was one of the main reasons for the club’s downfall. As a result, the Red Devils spent the big bucks in the summer to secure the services of Harry Maguire.
However, even with the Englishman marshaling the defense, United had managed just three clean sheets from seven games in all competitions this season ahead of the game against Rochdale. The Red Devils, though, were expected to manage a clean sheet against a team that was 17th in League One.
Solskjaer changed his backline for the game, however, the visitors still managed to score at Old Trafford, through 16-year-old Luke Matheson. It showed how vulnerable the Norwegian’s team still is at the back.