Post Match Comments: Manchester United 3-0 Ipswich Town – Capital One Cup 2015/16

The horrors of MK Dons have been washed away and that too, in style. Manchester United breezed passed Ipswich Town by beating them 3-0 with a goal each from Wayne Rooney, Andreas Pereira and Anthony Martial. United manager, Louis van Gaal, did not follow suit as last year and started a relatively stronger team with only Pereira representing the promising U21 brigade. The Dutchman however did shuffle a lot of his players for the ones who have been warming benches till today; Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young were given starts.

Regarding this different approach taken to the one against Milton Keys Dons last season, Van Gaal explained that he wanted to avoid what happened last season:

“Last year we were out in the first game against Milton Keynes away. At that time there were a lot of injuries and I played with my second team. We went out and the fans were not so pleased. I thought I should do it in another way. We play also at home so we have to make it enjoyable for the fans as well, our own fans. We have succeeded in doing that and that’s a major point for me. We have no injuries, we have won and we are in the next round.”

In spite of being a relatively less interesting tie, the game was spiced up with Pereira getting the start. A lot of supporters have been rooting for the Brazilian to be given some game time, being impressed by his last season U21 heroics and pre-season performances. He had to wait for his chance, but boy did he grabbed it with both his hands. He was extremely focussed and excellent going forward, throughout the game and only thing needed for making it a perfect competitive debut, came in around 60th minute mark; a brilliantly taken curling free kick. For his consistent and impressive performance, the debutant was awarded the man of the match, mind you he had tough competition in Bastian Schweinsteiger and Daley Blind. Pereira, himself, was pretty pleased with his performance and outcome and termed the experience “special” while saying:

“It’s very special for me to score my first goal at the Stretford End – I always dreamed of this moment.”

Van Gaal had a more balanced reaction to his performance, but he too was impressed by the youngster’s display. He said:

“We have to evaluate again. He had a big participation in that game because he shoots the free-kick in a fantastic way. He’s been training on that. Like all the other players, there is space for improvement for Pereira.”

For the past three games, barring the PSV Eindhoven game, United have scored three goals each per game and suddenly the attack of the team looks strengthened. Rooney must be the most pleased of them all, considering how eagerly the media and the supporters are waiting for him to get back in form. While analyzing the goals from today, the manager said

“The first goal I like the most because it was a fantastic pass from Daley Blind and the way Wayne Rooney finished it was fantastic because it was not so easy. The free-kick was beautiful but we know this is his [Pereira’s] quality, that’s why he may take the free-kick. Of course then there was Anthony’s [Martial] goal. In the last 15 minutes the gaps were bigger and bigger so it was easy for him.”

This brings us to the third goal scorer of the evening and who else can it be but Martial. The Frenchman has made it a custom now, that once on the pitch he has to score. With 4 in 4 games for United so far, he has had an absolute dream start to his Old Trafford career but it is very important for him to not get hyped up in the frenzy and put his head down and keep doing what he does best, score goals. Van Gaal, too, stressed upon this fact:

“He knows that he can score and he can score because of his fellow players. We made it for him two times very easy because we won the game and the gaps are existing. With his speed and composure, he can score. He did it against Liverpool and now again. We are happy but still we have to keep our feet on the ground.”

Losing Luke Shaw to a horrible injury in the Champions League game, wrecked United’s defensive plans and Van Gaal was relieved that no such incident occurred, not even a minor injury, was sustained. Not only, no new injuries occurred, but Phil Jones, who has been sidelined since the start of the season, got a few important minutes to play. Van Gaal commented on this by saying:

“The result was great. We don’t have injuries. I brought in players, I rotated players. Phil Jones has played a lot of minutes. So I’m a happy coach.”

Also, a few minutes after the match ended, the draws for the fourth round took place, pitting Middlesbrough against United, at Old Trafford. Van Gaal on this challenge expressed his opinion saying:

“It is a top club in the Championship. I don’t know much about them. The scout shall analyse the opponents like he did with Ipswich. It is one of the top clubs so it is not so easy. I am very happy with the result. I am happy we are playing at home. We are travelling a lot so it is good to stay at home.”

With the fourth round opponent already known, Van Gaal’s team know what is coming at them. The next few weeks are going to be extremely crucial for United, considering the barrage of games that are coming their way. If United can keep up with the pace and the fitness levels, it looks to be a promising period for the team. But for now, fourth round it is!


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