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Player Ratings: Mata, Rashford and Greenwood help United breeze past Luton; Henderson clean sheet

Manchester United beat Luton Town 3-0 at Kenilworth Road in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his rotated side struggle in the first half but win a late penalty which was scored by Juan Mata on his 200th start for the club. Late in the second half, minutes after a triple substitution, United struck into life with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood scoring to secure the victory for United, who face Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

There was not much to write about from the first half of the match which should have seen United put Luton away but didn’t. It shows the story of this United squad with most of the quality either rested or on the bench. United lack quality in depth. It was a penalty that separated the two sides after Brandon Williams was brought down inside the box bu George Moncur and Juan Mata, on his 200th start for United, scoring his 49th goal for the club, from the penalty spot.

The second half was not much better for United with attacks being slowed down by Jesse Lingard, who looked so much out of his depth. United were still riding their luck with that penalty but did not seem to be doing much to stretch that lead and put themselves into a position of advantage. Solskjaer made a triple substitution in the 79th minute of the match with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford replacing Odion Ighalo, Donny van de Beek and Juan Mata.

United doubled their lead in the 88th minute of the game with Greenwood playing the ball into Rashford, which seemed like it came off the defender and putting United 2-0 up. That was not it for United though with Greenwood thundering through on goal into added time, doing some stepovers in the box and firing diagonally across the goal and into the back of the net. United wrapped up a 3-0 victory against Luton which puts them into the third round against Brighton and Hove Albion or Preston North End.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Made his debut for United but was not tested all that much. Late in the second half, he produces a fine save to deny an equaliser, looking cool and calm when doing it.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Defensively, Wan-Bissaka was not really challenged and he did get forward for a lot of the match with United out of their have for a large spell of it. Will be happy with the victory. Now on to Saturday.

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3 Eric Bailly

Played well from the start and should have done enough to feature ahead of Lindelof against Brighton on Saturday, but he won't. Covered some distance to stop Luton from taking advantage of the ball being played forward in the second half.

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5 Harry Maguire

Had a chance on goal but missed. Led the team after a poor defeat at the weekend and his team got back to winning ways. He will be happy but not with the depth of the squad, which lacks quality.

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33 Brandon Williams

Played some good football and got forward for United regularly. Won the penalty at the end of the first half after being fouled in the box.

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17 Fred

Did well in midfield and will be happy with 90 minutes on the pitch. He might not be a regular fixture in the team and these cup matches might be where he plays his most football.

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31 Nemanja Matic

It was good to see him back after not featuring for United since the FC Copenhagen match at the start of August. When he's fully fit, he is the best defensive midfielder in the team. Should make the team on Saturday, hopefully.

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8 Juan Mata

Made his 200th start for United and scored his 49th goal for the club, albeit from the penalty spot after Williams was taken out by Moncur.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Started for the first time, making his second appearance of the season. Looked to be on the hunt for a goal, after scoring his debut goal at the weekend. He's going to be a good player once he's fully settled. Replaced in the 79th minute by Fernandes.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Frustrating football player. Slowed a lot of the attacks down for United. Looks lost on the pitch. I'm not sure how much longer his United career will last. He was shown up by Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood late in the game.

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Player Ratings: Mata, Rashford and Greenwood help United breeze past Luton; Henderson clean sheet

He did not really achieve much for United. Art the start of his loan move, he seemed determined to score for United but since the restart of the Premier League last season and into this season, he does not seem to be the same player.

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Substitutes

11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Ighalo 79'. Got an assist with United's second goal of the game, putting United into a good position at 2-0 up. Played well since he was introduced into the game. Scored a in the last minute of added time, starting his season with an goal and an assist, which is great to see.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Replaced Van de Beek 79'. Looked lively as soon as he was on the pitch. With United on the brunt of an attack, switched gears and got United forward. Played a part in Rashford's goal and got an assist for Greenwood's

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata 79'. Scored United's second goal of the game, which will be a relief for him after he suffered from a dip in form since late last season.

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Goals: Juan Mata 44′ penalty, Marcus Rashford 88′, Mason Greenwood 90+2′

Assists: Mason Greenwood 88′, Bruno Fernandes 90+2′

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Williams; Fred, Matic; Mata (Rashford 79′), Van de Beek (Fernandes 79′), Lingard; Ighalo (Greenwood 79′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Dalot, Mengi; James

Bookings: Peter Kioso 67′, Danny Hylton 85′; Brandon Williams 57′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Ighalo supported by Mata, Van de Beek and Lingard will take on Luton in the Carabao Cup

Manchester United have travelled to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup this evening. Nathan Jones’ Luton side have already beaten Norwich City 3-1 and Reading 1-0 in the first and second rounds of the competition this season and will be up for causing more damage to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s season, putting more pressure on the Old Trafford club this season. United, on the other hand, will need to bounce back after their Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace in their first match of the season, which was not a great match to watch for United.

United might be a much changed side in the Carabao Cup this season and it is expected that goalkeeper Dean Henderson will make his first competitive start for his club in the match against Luton, which could see him put some pressure on David De Gea, who conceded three goals in the Premier League opener. Solskjaer may rest some of the more experienced players in the squad, although right now, that would be a big gamble in a game that could eclipse that 4-0 defeat to MK Dons under Louis van Gaal’s reign as manager of the Old Trafford club.

There is a lot of work for United to do this season and the last of pre-season matches, despite being out of action for a month, with some players being involved in their countries UEFA Nations League matches earlier this month, meaning they have been playing some football during what was the summer break for this year. Solskjaer has been let down by the club this summer with strengthening required in defence; both the centrally and at left-back, the right-wing position and a striker, with a lack of depth up front for United, especially if there are injuries.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Williams;

Fred, Matic;

Mata, Van de Beek, Lingard;

Ighalo

Substitutes:

Grant; Dalot, Mengi; Fernandes, James; Rashford, Greenwood

Luton Town:

Shea;

Kioso, Lockyer, Brdley, Norrington-Davies;

Shinnie, Tunnicliffe, Moncur;

Clark, Hylton, LuaLua

Substitutes:

Cranie, Pearson, Cornick, Lee, Sluga, Ruddock, Collins

United and Luton have met 39 times in league and cup football with the first match being played in 1897 and the last time both teams met being in 1992. United have won 28 times, drawn seven times and lost four times. United have scored a total of 90 goals, conceding 26 goals and keeping a total of 20 clean sheets. 30 of the matches were played in the old English League Division One, eight played in Division Two and one match was played in the FA Cup. United and Luton have never met in the League Cup.

United are undefeated against Luton with the last defeat coming in 1987, a 2-1 Division One defeat with Bryan Robson scoring United’s only goal of the game. United drew the next match that year before winning the next eight, scoring 24 goals on the way. The last match was a 1-1 draw with Lee Sharpe scoring United’s goal. It may not be the best time to visit Luton as they are currently unbeaten in six matches, including two pre-season matches, two Championship matches and two Carabao Cup matches.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-3-3] Van de Beek and Fernandes the key to beating Luton Town?

Manchester United will travel to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup this season. Nathan Jones’ Luton side have already beaten Norwich City 3-1 and Reading 1-0 in the first and second rounds of the competition this season and will be up for causing more damage to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s season, putting more pressure on the Old Trafford club this season. United, on the other hand, will need to bounce back after their Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace in their first match of the season, which was not a great match to watch for United.

United might be a much changed side in the Carabao Cup this season and it is expected that goalkeeper Dean Henderson will make his first competitive start for his club in the match against Luton, which could see him put some pressure on David De Gea, who conceded three goals in the Premier League opener. Solskjaer may rest some of the more experienced players in the squad, although right now, that would be a big gamble in a game that could eclipse that 4-0 defeat to MK Dons under Louis van Gaal’s reign as manager of the Old Trafford club.

There is a lot of work for United to do this season and the last of pre-season matches, despite being out of action for a month, with some players being involved in their countries UEFA Nations League matches earlier this month, meaning they have been playing some football during what was the summer break for this year. Solskjaer has been let down by the club this summer with strengthening required in defence; both the centrally and at left-back, the right-wing position and a striker, with a lack of depth up front for United, especially if there are injuries.

How United have faired against Luton Town, although the two clubs have not met competitively since 1992.

United and Luton have met 39 times in league and cup football with the first match being played in 1897 and the last time both teams met being in 1992. United have won 28 times, drawn seven times and lost four times. United have scored a total of 90 goals, conceding 26 goals and keeping a total of 20 clean sheets. 30 of the matches were played in the old English League Division One, eight played in Division Two and one match was played in the FA Cup. United and Luton have never met in the League Cup.

United are undefeated against Luton with the last defeat coming in 1987, a 2-1 Division One defeat with Bryan Robson scoring United’s only goal of the game. United drew the next match that year before winning the next eight, scoring 24 goals on the way. The last match was a 1-1 draw with Lee Sharpe scoring United’s goal. It may not be the best time to visit Luton as they are currently unbeaten in six matches, including two pre-season matches, two Championship matches and two Carabao Cup matches.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Luton Town in the Carabao Cup at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening…

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

It is safe to say that David De Gea needs to be tested as the Manchester United number one goalkeeper and Dean Henderson is the player that will take the challenge to the Spaniard this season. Granted, Henderson is classed as a rookie goalkeeper but he’s got good prospects and seems to have confidence in himself, which is great to see. Henderson being installed as the United number one this season is not something that will happen overnight and not something that De Gea would allow to happen without a challenge but it is something that inevitably will happen.

Henderson has the making of a great goalkeeper as he has risen up a division each time he has been loaned out by the club, spending two seasons at Sheffield United, which has gone a long way into his development with a confident player Wirth aspirations to become a United and England number one during his career. De Gea will need to find some form to raise the challenge with Henderson, which could bring out the best of both goalkeepers this season and beyond. Henderson may have to settle for cup competition this season – maybe not the Champions League though.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United conceded three goals in the Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday and that is not a problem that United want to make worse this season. Last season, the club conceded 36 goals during the entire 2019/20 season and conceding three goals in the opening match of the season will need to be set as a reminder to become better. Ideally, signing a competent partner for Harry Maguire would help in a way, as would the players playing to their potential. Solskjaer will have told the players that they need to be doing better – hopefully!

Against Palace, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Eric Bailly did not feature for United. Both should be starting against Luton in a big to up their match fitness so they can get up to speed and help drive United further forward. Harry Maguire will end up keeping his place in the team as will Luke Shaw as both look to build on their match fitness. At this moment in time, hope if the best thing we have as supporters of the club and personally, I hop that Ed Woodward and the Glazers have seen the problems at the club by now and should be talking about solving them – but will they?

Midfield Three: Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek

United should have started with Donny van de Beek against Palace as it might have been so much different. When the Dutchman signed for the club this summer, it made me think that United had the best midfield that they have had since Sir Alex Ferguson but it just did not work against Palace with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in a midfield two and Bruno Fernandes playing further forward. Against Luton, Solskjaer will probably rest Pogba as he was not the best player on the pitch against Palace but he was not the worst either.

Fred might be a good option against Luton which might help raise the player’s confidence level after a tough 2019/20 season but Solskjaer should not be dropping Fernandes and Van de Beek should be starting. United could play better in midfield three with three forwards ahead of them and possible the fullbacks overlapping the midfield to bee with the wide forwards. United need to find confidence in their game as last season, in the Europa League, the long spell of confidence and attacking winning football seemed to drop off and needs to be found again and restored in the team.

Forward Three: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

United had a great trio of attackers last season and they were responsible for 63 goals and 28 assists – a total of 91 goal contributions which is the best form the forwards for the club have been in for a long time. Marcus Rashford was in great form before suffering from a break in his back, which kept him out of action from January until the end of the lockdown. The contributed to the fact that United brought in Odion Ighalo on a loan spell until the end of the 2019/20 season, which was then extended, because of the coronavirus pandemic, until the end of January 2021.

Rashford has been poor, not contributing much and it has been making the attack seem a little out of balance. United should be seeking to bring in a right-winger, that will add balance to the squad and give United more options up front. Mason Greenwood was alive wire last season but he, like Rashford and Anthony Martial, will need to find his form again. Martial was the clubs top scorer last season and many were confident ahead of the Palace match but left disappointed. United need to find the key to unlocking their potential, rather that sitting back and looking out of options.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Victor Lindelof, Teden Mengi; Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo

When you look at some of the options on the bench for United, you can see why the club seems to be having problem after problem. Are the players motivated to play for United or do they value the money in their bank accounts at the end of each month? It should be a privilege to play for United but the ownership of the club has stuck with the dead wood for far too long, even rewarding them with new contracts despite the same things happening time and time again. United need to find a solution and that would be finding a football man to deal with football things.

The bench should have the drive and determination to win matches for United of the starting XI struggle to do so are need help holding onto a lead. This shows how far United have fallen. David De Gea will probably be on the bench for this match seeing as Sergio Romero is not in the picture anymore. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Teden Mengi could provide some options, the latter did well against Aston Villa in the friendly more than a week ago. In the midfield, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard Scott McTominay could play a part with Odion Ighalo the only forward on the bench, which is a problem in itself.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Solskjaer needs to guide United back to winning ways against Luton

Luton Town -v- Manchester United

Carabao Cup

Kenilworth Road, Luton

Tuesday 22 September 2020, KO 20:15 BST

Referee: N/A Assistants: N/A, N/A

Fourth Official: N/A

Manchester United will travel to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup this season. Nathan Jones’ Luton side have already beaten Norwich City 3-1 and Reading 1-0 in the first and second rounds of the competition this season and will be up for causing more damage to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s season, putting more pressure on the Old Trafford club this season. United, on the other hand, will need to bounce back after their Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace in their first match of the season, which was not a great match to watch for United.

United might be a much changed side in the Carabao Cup this season and it is expected that goalkeeper Dean Henderson will make his first competitive start for his club in the match against Luton, which could see him put some pressure on David De Gea, who conceded three goals in the Premier League opener. Solskjaer may rest some of the more experienced players in the squad, although right now, that would be a big gamble in a game that could eclipse that 4-0 defeat to MK Dons under Louis van Gaal’s reign as manager of the Old Trafford club.

There is a lot of work for United to do this season and the last of pre-season matches, despite being out of action for a month, with some players being involved in their countries UEFA Nations League matches earlier this month, meaning they have been playing some football during what was the summer break for this year. Solskjaer has been let down by the club this summer with strengthening required in defence; both the centrally and at left-back, the right-wing position and a striker, with a lack of depth up front for United, especially if there are injuries.

Form: Luton in better form than United but could this upset the angry beast within and cause United to hit back hard in order to get back to winning ways?

Manchester United: LLLWWW

Crystal Palace 3-1 L, Aston Villa 1-0 L (F), Sevilla 2-1 L, FC Copenhagen 1-0 W, Linzer ASK 2-1 W, Leicester City 2-0 W

Luton Town: WWWWWW

Derby County 2-1 W, Reading 1-0 W, Barnsley 1-0 W, Norwich City 3-1 W, Northampton Town 3-0 W (F), Wealdstone 3-0 W (F)

Top Scorers: Luton’s James Collins has four goals to his name this season, in four matches. United have played one competitive match with Donny van de Beek the only goal scorer.

Manchester United Goals: 1 – Donny van de Beek

United have not been in great form recently. The lack of a proper pre-season is a big factor with the coronavirus delaying football for much of last season. United were still in UEFA Europa League action in August, meaning they only had time to play one pre-season match, against Aston Villa last weekend, which resulted in a 1-0 defeat to United, who were lacking nine first team players. This weekend in their opening Premier League match, Crystal Palace beat them 3-1 with Van de Beek scoring United’s only goal.

Luton Town Goals: 4 – James Collins, 2 – Jordan Clark, 1 – Luke Berry

Luton are in good form this season, winning their last six matches (two of them pre-season matches). In their Carabao Cup clash against Norwich City, the Hatters won 3-0 with James Collins scoring a hat-trick. Then a 1-0 Championship victory over Barnsley, Collins scored his fourth goal of the season. In the Carabao Cup, a victory over Reading with Jordan Clarke scoring his first goal of the season. This weekend Luton beat Derby County 2-1 in the Championship with Clarke and Luke Berry scoring the goals.

Team News: United could rotate the squad for the visit to Luton, however, that gamble could backfire so United may need their strongest squad for this fixture.

Solskjaer is currently without Phil Jones (knee), Axel Tuanzebe (ankle/foot), Sergio Romero (unavailable for selection) and Nemanja Matic (lacking match fitness) ahead of the visit to Kenilworth Road for the third round of the Carabao Cup this season. The Norwegian could opt to give youth a chance in this fixture, which could be a gamble for United, or give some fringe players a chance to earn themselves a place in the squad this season. Dean Henderson could replace David De Gea as the goalkeeper for this match with a few other changes across the squad.

Luton have no injuries are suspensions at this stage of the season, which is good for them. They will face Watford in the Championship away from home on Saturday, which is not a million miles away, it will give them the benefit to rotate their squad or even continue with their first choice XI which is the option I feel Nathan Jones will take – aiming to get the better of United being that Luton are six matches into the season, including two pre-season matches, with United just two matches in – one pre-season match and one competitive fixture with United losing both.

Predicted Starting XI: Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Fred, Donny van de Beek and Mason Greenwood to be recalled into the starting XI against Luton?

Solskjaer will have a gamble on his hands in this Carabao Cup third round match against Luton on Tuesday evening. If he rests some of his better players, it could well be that Luton beat United and this is similar as Louis van Gaal’s MK Dons moment. He might need to keep a strong side, with some rotation, to keep match fitness building ahead of the match against Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend. United need to find a way to get back to winning ways. They have lost their last three matches against Sevilla (UEFA Europa League semi-final), Aston Villa (friendly), and Crystal Palace (Premier League opener). A win is needed from this match.

Match Prediction: United are unbeaten against Luton going all the way back to 1987 – the year after Sir Alex Ferguson started managing the club. Luton are unbeaten this season, United in poor form.

United and Luton have met 39 times in league and cup football with the first match being played in 1897 and the last time both teams met being in 1992. United have won 28 times, drawn seven times and lost four times. United have scored a total of 90 goals, conceding 26 goals and keeping a total of 20 clean sheets. 30 of the matches were played in the old English League Division One, eight played in Division Two and one match was played in the FA Cup. United and Luton have never met in the League Cup.

United are undefeated against Luton with the last defeat coming in 1987, a 2-1 Division One defeat with Bryan Robson scoring United’s only goal of the game. United drew the next match that year before winning the next eight, scoring 24 goals on the way. The last match was a 1-1 draw with Lee Sharpe scoring United’s goal. It may not be the best time to visit Luton as they are currently unbeaten in six matches, including two pre-season matches, two Championship matches and two Carabao Cup matches.

Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW