Manchester United have beaten Huddersfield at Old Trafford 2-0. Lukaku and Alexis scored in the second half to give the Red Devils three deserved points on the day.
Mourinho named an exceptionally interesting starting XI for today’s match. Rojo and Shaw came into the defense, replacing Jones and Young. Further up the pitch, McTominay came in for Paul Pogba. It is unclear whether the Frenchman picked up a slight knock, and cant go the full 90, or has been dropped by Mourinho after a poor performance vs Spurs. The final change came on the right wing, as Martial was replaced by Mata. It was evident that Martial was not comfortable on the right wing vs Spurs, but it is a bit disappointing to see him dropped right away.
It was an uneventful start to the match, as Huddersfield were more than willing to pack it in defensively and allow United possession.
Lingard had the first chance of the evening, bursting through the Huddersfield defence. Lingard hit a shot from the edge of the area, but couldn’t find the corner as his effort was easily saved.
United came close again, and were denied a stonewall penalty. A cross was punched away by the Huddersfield keeper to the edge of the area. McTominay got a head to the ball before being taken out in the penalty area. However, for whatever reason, the referee waved play on.
Alexis started to get into the flow of the game, but he was constantly forced to drop off and pick up the ball in the midfield. However, he was able to create a dangerous chance when he cut inside from the left wing and ripped a shot to the near post. Lössl was up to the challenge, as the keeper pushed the ball out for a corner.
All in all, it’s was a disappointingly boring first half as United, as they were poor going forward.
Mourinho’s side picked up the pressure to start the second half, and came close to scoring. The ball bounced around the Huddersfield area before falling to Lukaku, who picked out Alexis. The Chilean cut inside and got a quick shot off, but it was blocked by an opposing defender.
United won several consecutive corners, and kept coming close, but were unable to get the opening goal.
United kept pressing forward and finally made the breakthrough. Alexis dispossessed a Huddersfield defender, and Matic picked up the loose ball. He found Mata on the left wing, who hit a beautiful low cross to the near post. The ball picked out Lukaku, who made no mistake from close range, smashing a volley past Lössl to give United a deserved lead.
Paul Pogba came on at the hour mark, replacing Jesse Lingard.
Mata tried another cross to Lukaku, but it was a bit high, and Lukaku was unable to get his header on target.
United begun to play on the counter as Huddersfield threw men forward. Alexis settled a long pass brilliantly before playing it through to Lukaku, but the Belgian was unable to get past his defender.
United finally won a penalty soon after, when Alexis was brought down in the area. It was an easy call, and Sanchez picked up the ball to placed it on the spot.
However, it was a poor penalty from Alexis, as Lössl was able to make a save. Thankfully for United, the rebound fell right to Sanchez, and he made no mistake at the second time of asking, doubling United’s advantage.
Rashford came on to replace Mata, who was absolutely brilliant on the day.
Pogba went for a spectacular goal, going for a long range curler after dancing past three defenders. However, he hit it too far wide.
Martial came on to replace Lukaku, who finally got some needed rest on the bench.
United went for a third goal to put an exclamation on the result, and came close to getting it. Rashford laid the ball off to Martial, who laid it off to Alexis. Sanchez couldn’t create enough space to get a shot off, and the chance went begging.
That would prove to be the last act of the match, as United were able to hold on for the clean sheet.
Manchester United’s next match is a week from Sunday, as the Red Devils travel to St. James Park to face Newcastle United.