Report: Lukaku and Sanchez both score to see off Huddersfield Town

Manchester United beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. It was a goalless first half with United breaking the deadlock in the 55th minute through Romelu Lukaku, who scored his 19th goal of the season so far, assisted by Juan Mata. Alexis Sanchez won a penalty in the 68th minute, Jonas Lossl making the save but scoring the rebound.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes from the side which were beaten at Wembley by Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. Paul Pogba was dropped to the bench and Phil Jones was dropped completely. David De Gea also made his 300th appearance for United. United held a minute’s silence for the Busby Babes and everyone else involved in the Munich Air Disaster, prior to commencing the match.

United started the game strongly, much better then they did at Wembley. Jesse Lingard collected a loose ball on the edge of the Huddersfield box in the sixth minute of the match, building the attack in the wide positions. Mata slipped the ball into Lingard but he ran the ball out of play with the linesman giving United a corner. A minute later, United were advancing again, pressuring the visitors.

In the ninth minute of the match, United, through Lingard, got through again, the Academy graduate forcing a save from Jonas Lossl to deny the home side from taking the lead. By the 13th minute of the match, Huddersfield had a bit of the ball, getting forward but seeing their chance to get back into the game thwarted after putting the ball out of play.

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Scott McTominay, playing ahead of Paul Pogba today, was fouled in the 15th minute by Philip Billing with United winning a free-kick from the foul. McTominay was fine to continue after the challenge. Rajiv van La Parra fouled Antonio Valencia a few minutes later and was told by the referee that it was his last foul before he was booked.

In the 19th minute of the match, McTominay was forward, winning the ball with his header then taken out by Terence Kongolo. It should have been a penalty to United as McTominay won the ball, Kongolo didn’t. McTominay, suffering his second foul of the game, was back on the pitch and ready to continue soon after the challenge.

In the 22nd minute, Juan Mata put a superb ball into the box for Luke Shaw who then tried to pass to Romelu Lukaku, who was inside the box but the ball was cleared. Lingard then won United a corner on the right side of the pitch. In the 24th minute, Van La Parra was down, seemingly injured on the left but as soon as the ball came towards him, he jumped up and started running. Magical recovery.

Alexis Sanchez had a chance to break the deadlock in the 26th minute of the match, receiving the ball on the edge of the box, cutting inside and unleashing his fierce effort towards the near post but Lossl managed to make the save. The Chilean could have opened his Manchester United account. Mata was then booked for a foul on Zanka – the second player to be booked in the match so far.

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Huddersfield made their first substitution of the match in the 35th minute with Billing coming off and former Manchester City player Aaron Mooy coming on. In the 36th minute, Lingard had a shot from range but Lossl made the save well. Huddersfield then won a corner at the other end, which came to nothing for the visitors.

In the 38th minute, Lingard again was causing some trouble for the visitors, him being allowed into the box and able to run around the keeper but a mixture of the angle and his dinked cross saw the ball collected by Lossl rather than breaking the deadlock in this game. United had another chance with five minutes of the half left, Mata and Lukaku trying to break the deadlock, which was denied.

Sanchez seems to be a player who does get some attention from the opposition as he is always being challenged and ends up on the ground. In the 44th minute of the match, he was deep in his own half winning a free-kick for a challenge on him. United seemingly need to be doing much better in this game, pushing relentlessly for that opening goal of the game.

United seem to have a distinct lack of width in this game and Huddersfield are so far, defending so deep. Two minutes were added on at the end of the half with United having some attacking momentum, just not enough to find a goal to break the deadlock. Sanchez was booked for a challenge in the latter stages of added time, just before the half ended. Still 0-0 at Old Trafford.

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At the start of the second half, Mourinho had made no changes with United coming out aiming to win the match. In the 47th minute of the match, Sanchez had another opportunity to open his account, his effort being blocked by Tommy Smith, who earned himself a booking for the block which saw Sanchez being fouled on the left flank.

United started the second half playing some good attacking football, pressuring Huddersfield from the whistle. Sanchez had been targeted for his ability to turn quickly, being brought down from time to time. The Chilean looked sharp though, despite being unable to create that moment of magic to change the game.

United broke the deadlock in the 55th minute of the match with Romelu Lukaku scoring his 19th goal of the season, assisted by Juan Mata with a great cross from the left flank. It just shows how much Mata has left to offer a team such as United and why Mourinho has activated the clause to keep him at the club for another year. Jonathan Hogg was booked in the 59th minute for a foul on Lingard.

Huddersfield made a second change of the game with Christopher Schindler being replaced by Michael Hefele. Around the 62nd minute mark, Mourinho was giving Paul Pogba some instructions with him getting ready to come on momentarily. The substitution was made in the 64th minute with Pogba replacing Lingard after Sanchez was fouled at the edge of the Huddersfield area.

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United won a penalty in the 68th minute of the match after Sanchez was fouled in the box. The Chilean took the penalty with Lossl making the save but Sanchez advancing and scoring the rebound to put United 2-0 up in the match which his first goal for United. In the 71st minute, Marcus Rashford replaced Mata with Mourinho making his second change of the game.

United were seemingly home and dry in this match, recovering from that humiliating 2-0 defeat to Spurs midweek. Manchester City drew 1-1 with Burnley earlier today, which will see the difference between the two clubs become 13 points, which is better than it could have been despite Mourinho already conceding the title to City this season. Mind games or has he really conceded it?

Mourinho made his third and final change in the 77th minute of the match with Anthony Martial replacing Lukaku with the Belgian leaving the pitch to a standing ovation by the Old Trafford faithful. Huddersfield made their final change in the 81st minute of the match with Tom Ince replacing Van La Parra.

United broke through in the 83rd minute of the match with Sanchez on the advance. He squared the ball for Pogba but it was just too far ahead of him to make the attack anything special. Huddersfield were able to make the clearance and breathe a little easier. In the 86th minute, David De Gea touched the ball for the first time in about half an hour.

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Two minutes from time, United were still thinking about scoring with Sanchez looking to find the space to shoot only to be ushered out of the box by Zanka. It did not stop United from attacking though and neither should it. There were three minutes added at the end of the match which ended in a routine victory for United. They now have a week before they face Newcastle United at St James Park.

Key Moments:

55′ Juan Mata slipped down the left, getting behind the fullback, putting in a superb cross into the box. Romelu Lukaku found the cross, had one touch of the ball, a tough which put it into the back of the net, beating Lossl into the bottom left corner.

68′ Alexis Sanchez won a penalty after Hefele fouled him in the box. The Chilean stepped up to take the penalty, seeing his effort thwarted by Lossl before banging in the rebound to score his first Manchester United goal.

Man of the Match: Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean made his first appearance at Old Trafford for his new club on Saturday afternoon. Whilst he did not have the best of times in the first half, he came out running in the second half and was the inspiration for United. His ability on the ball is going to be immense when he is fully settled in the side.

He seemed to be a target for the Huddersfield players, getting him on the ground after every challenge. Sanchez eventually won a penalty for his club, failing to score from the spot but following up on the rebound and opening his Manchester United account. In two games now, Sanchez has an assist and a goal, which is a great start. Long may it continue.

Match Statistics:

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 55′, Alexis Sanchez 68′

Assists: Juan Mata 55′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; Matic, McTominay; Mata (Rashford 71′), Lingard (Pogba 64′), Sanchez; Lukaku (Martial 77′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Lindelof, Young; Carrick

Bookings: Juan Mata 27′, Alexis Sanchez 45+2′

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