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Player Ratings: United beat Brighton 3-0; Mata MOTM, Pogba took free-kick well, Henderson’s fine performance

Manchester United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Scott McTominay opened the scoring at the end of the first half with Juan Mata doubling United’s lead in the 73rd minute of the match before Paul Pogba scored from a free-kick in the 80th minute of the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy with the victory which sees United into the quarter-final draw which will happen after the Liverpool v Arsenal match on Thursday evening, which is the day United also find out their fate in the UEFA Champions League this season.

It was a similar match against Brighton as the match against Luton Town last week. There was not a lot going on in the first half, then at the end of the half, United manage to open the scoring. United won a free0kick with Juan Mata taking it with his left foot. Scott McTominay was there unmarked to head the ball across goal and into the back of the net scoring his first goal for the club since that long-range goal against Manchester City at Old Trafford before the coronavirus lockdown.

Despite being 1-0 up in the game, United were not getting the better of this Brighton side in a game that was a polar opposite to the match at the same stadium at the weekend. Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 69th minute with Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba replacing Odion Ighalo and Daniel James. United doubled their lead through Mata in the 73rd minute with an assist by Donny van de Beek with Mata starting the move, playing the ball to Brandon Williams with Van de Beek getting the flick to fins Mata for his to score United’s second of the game.

United tripled their lead in the 80th minute after Joel Veltman became the second player of the match to be booked after taking Rashford out giving United a free-kick, Pogba took the set-piece which took a heavy deflection from the Brighton wall then in off the post to put United 3-0 up in the game, which seemed to be game over for Brighton. It was a polar opposite of Saturday’s match which saw United score three goals, one after the full time whistle was blown. It would seem United had done enough to get into the draw for the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Thursday.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Solid display from the 23-year-old making his second appearance for the club. His save to deny Trossard will be something he will be happy with.

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Diogo Dalot

Made some forward bursts during the match but it was not a performance to suggest he should be playing ahead of Wan-Bissaka.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Booked in the second half. It was an easier match for United than the match on Saturday but he still looked flustered.

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3 Eric Bailly

A great displayed from Bailly who should have put himself into contention to replace Lindelof against Spurs on Sunday.

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33 Brandon Williams

It was a good game for Williams. He may have cut inside too often but I am sure he will have learned from that.

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39 Scott McTominay

Had a good game for United and got himself a goal which was assisted by Mata, who also got one for himself. It was good to see him back to the ability we all know he has.

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17 Fred

Kept the midfield ticking over but in terms of what he offered, he should be putting a bit more so he can get back in contention to take the place of Matic, or Pogba in the midfield regularly. Replaced by Lingard in the 81st minute of the match.

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8 Juan Mata

Man of the Match for me. Most creative player for United with a goal and an assist. His pace is not quick but his mind is.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Made some nice touches of the ball throughout the match and linked in well for United. maybe it is time to get excited about what he could offer the club going forward. Got an assist for Mata's goal.

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21 Daniel James

Struggled. Seems to be out of sorts and a great distance away from the form he started in at the club. Rightly replaced by Pogba in the 69th minute of the match.

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25 Odion Ighalo

Missed a good chance to get United going. The Nigerian does not seem to be performing well for United, which is alarming with the transfer window about to close and United not reinforcing their attack in any way, shape of form.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Ighalo 69'. Made some excellent runs into the box and won the free-kick which Pogba scored the third goal of the game.

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6 Paul Pogba

Replaced James 69'. Scored a great free-kick in the 80th minute of the match to put United 3-0 up in the game and into the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Fred 81'. Had little involvement in the game and what he did was typically frustrating, as has been the case from Lingard.

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Goals: Scott McTominay 44′, Juan Mata 73′, Paul Pogba 80′

Assists: Juan Mata 44′, Donny van de Beek 73′

Manchester United: Henderson; Dalot, Lindelof, Bailly, Williams; McTominay, Fred (Lingard 81′); Mata, Van de Beek, James (Pogba 69′); Ighalo (Rashford 69′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Fosu-Mensah, Mengi; Greenwood

Bookings: Dan Burn 43′, Joel Veltman 79′; Victor Lindelof 86′

Written by John Walker

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