Manchester United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup after they clinched a 2-0 win over Derby County on Friday night. The Rams provided a decent challenge on the attack front, but ultimately the stronger team prevailed with Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku netting in the final five minutes of the game.
Three Things We Learned:
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s future looks bleak: For the same game on the trot, the Armenia international found himself subbed at the half-time break. Mkhitaryan has been publicly criticized by Jose Mourinho for disappearing from games, and his future is likely to be put into question after his recent failure from the starting lineup. The likes of Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund have been credited with an interest in his signature, but neither are willing to match United’s £35m this month.
Jesse Lingard’s rise at Old Trafford: The England international is often deemed a player for the Cup competitions, but he has made a vast improvement this term, contributing goals in nearly every other game. With the game hanging in the balance, Lingard popped up with a sublime effort from outside the box to give United the lead, and he will be hoping to contribute further towards a potential Cup triumph this term.
Romelu Lukaku returns with a bang: The Belgium international missed the previous outing due to a head injury, and this saw him start from the substitutes’ bench. Coming on for Mkhitaryan at half-time, Lukaku instantly made his presence felt in the opposition half, and he capped the game with a goal and assist. The former Evertonian has had his critics this term, but he has still contributed regularly with an average of 159 minutes per goal.
The victory over Derby County sees United maintain their 100 percent start to the New Year, and they will now shift their attention towards the midweek Premier League outing versus Stoke City at Old Trafford.
Image – Getty