Opinion: Manchester United need to continue playing brilliant and fluid football this season
- United's style of play, which was accentuated by quick passes and interchange of positions, was pleasant to see.
Manchester United cantered to a 3-0 win over Derby County in the fifth round of their Emirates FA Cup match at Pride Park on Thursday.
Regular left-back Luke Shaw and new signing Odion Ighalo were on the scoresheet as the Red Devils made their way to the quarter-finals. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were far better than their opponents on the night and were rewarded with an excellent win.
Although former Red Devils striker and England legend Wayne Rooney turned up for the Rams, he could not tilt the game in their favour. He had a good chance of getting one back for his new side in the latter stages of the game but his pin-pointed free-kick towards the top left-hand side of the goalpost was diverted wide by the acrobatic Sergio Romero. Bearded and sporting a new hairstyle, Rooney was unrecognisable but for his trademark touches and swivels with the ball on his feet.
Solskjaer chose to be conservative against the thirteenth-placed side from the EFL Championship by going with regulars Shaw and Victor Lindelof in the left-back and centre back positions respectively whereas he could have chosen Brandon Williams and Phil Jones for those very roles.
New signing Bruno Fernandes, too, started this game although he was taken off in the 67th minute for Andreas Pereira. The former Sporting CP star has had no respite since coming to Old Trafford in January and deserved to be rested for this tie. The one good decision that Solskjaer made was of starting Juan Mata and Romero.
The former has had very little game time of late and revelled in the freedom given to him as the sole central attacking midfielder by the manager. Romero, too, was excellent, as he bagged another of his famed clean sheets and his performance suggested that perhaps it is time that he starts in the Premier League as well, especially as number one goalkeeper David de Gea is having a torrid time between the sticks.
United played some brilliant, fluid football which was accentuated by quick passes and interchange of positions and it was pleasant to see. They need to continue doing this if they are to challenge for a top-four spot in the Premier League table and book a berth for next season's UEFA Champions League.
Published 06 Mar 2020, 12:09 IST