Manchester United continued their journey in this seasons Carabao Cup, winning 2-0 away to Swansea in the 4th round of the competition. United now move on to the quarter-finals, as the quest to repeat last year’s success rolls on.
With a heavy fixture list and a tough slate of game coming up, Mourinho used today’s match to give rest to established players while giving youngsters a chance to shine. Romero was given the start in goal, continuing the trend from last season. Lindelof was given another cup start, and a chance to rebound from his horrific showing vs Huddersfield. Youth products Tuanzebe and McTominay started in midfield, while Lingard and Martial took up the wide roles. Up top, Rashford was given the chance to play in his preferred position as a central striker, cementing himself as the replacement in case something happens to Lukaku.
United had the first chance of the game when Martial dribbled by his defender and laid the ball off to Lingard. However, his long range blast was tipped over the ball.
Swansea responded well, creating a chance of their own soon after. A corner was whipped into the area, but it went just over the head of defender Alfie Mawson, and United were able to clear the ball out.
A Swansea long ball was poorly dealt with by Lindelof, and Smalling was needed to come over at deal with the situation. It was another mistake by Lindelof, and United fans hope his confidence doesn’t drop too low, as he is still a young defender with a very promising future.
Manchester United grabbed the first goal of the match 20 minutes in. A Herrera pass from midfield found Rashford, whose beautiful back-heel played Lingard through on goal. The Englishman made no mistake, opening up his hips, and placing his finish into the bottom corner. It was a well worked and well taken goal. The goal also meant that Lingard has now scored in his last 3 English League Cup appearances.
United almost shot themselves in the foot at the half-hour mark. A cross was whipped in by the Swansea winger, and Blind’s clearance was headed right at a Swansea attacker. Luckily for Blind and United, the ball bounced off him just wide of the far post.
Sam Clucas had a late chance right before the half for Swansea, but his curler rolled just wide of the goal.
Both teams had a tepid start to the second half, but United were first to strike at the hour mark when a Darmian cross was expertly headed home by Lingard. It was his second goal of the game, and this performance could lead to more Premier League minutes for Lingard.
Mourinho made a double substitution soon after the goal, with Matic and Lukaku coming on for Herrera and Rashford.
Tammy Abraham, the Chelsea loanee who has had a decent start to the season, came on for Swansea.
He made an instant impact, rifling a shot from outside of the area. Romero, who hadn’t had much to deal with during the match, was able to react quickly and tip the shot over the bar.
Luke Shaw came on for Martial and it was nice to see the promising left back get some crucial first team minutes.
Not much happened after that, and the referee blew for full time.
Manchester United’s next match is in the Premier League, as they host Tottenham on Saturday at Old Trafford.