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Review & Ratings: United knocked Tranmere for six; Maguire, Lingard, Matic and Dalot all did well – Lingard MOTM?

Manchester United beat Tranmere Rovers 6-0 at Prenton Park, their first visit to the stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy at the result which would instil some confidence in the squad who have bounced back from two back-to-back defeats. Goals from Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones, Anthony Martial and a penalty scored by Mason Greenwood secured United’s place in the fifth round draw.

Tranmere started well in the game and pressured United in the opening stages of the match but United soon pressured the League One club. In the tenth minute of the game, seemingly from nowhere, Harry Maguire launched a great strike towards goal, who took a slight deflection but was heading on target anyway, scoring a stunning goal, his first for the club to put United 1-0 up in this FA Cup fixture, assisted by Victor Lindelof.

It did not stop there though as Diogo Dalot scored his first goal for the club just three minutes later, assisted by Anthony Martial. Dalot wriggled into the box, got past two defenders and slammed his shot past the goalkeeper – which might have made him wonder whether this was going to be a long game for him. United seemed to skip past their opposition at a canter in the early stages of this game.

Six minutes after scoring the first goal, United were 3-0 up, this time with Jesse Lingard scoring, his first in 2020 with Maguire providing the assist. The captain burst forward, found Lingard on the edge of the space with lots of space and he curled the ball into the corner of the net. It seemed like this was so easy for United – 3-0 up in 16 minutes with two players scoring their first goals for the club. Good stuff.

United made it 4-0 four minutes before half time with Phil Jones getting his name on the scoresheet too, on this rare occasion. Maguire was brought down from the set-piece, possibly a penalty, however, Jones rose high, beating the defender and goalkeeper but they could not stop the header from hitting the back of the net. What a result so far in this game. Is there another goal on the horizon?

United scored their fifth goal of the game just before half time with Anthony Martial getting his goal. The Frenchman had room at the edge of the box, took the shot on and bent it around the defender, with a slight deflection into the corner of the goal. The last time United faced Tranmere it was a 5-0 win for United and this game looks more of the same. Both teams will look forward to the 15-minute rest at the break.

United started well in the second half with Tahith Chong, who replaced Martial winning a penalty after being fouled inside the box in the 56th minute of the match. Mason Greenwood took the penalty, scoring United’s sixth goal of the game and securing their biggest win of the season and under Solskjaer’s reign as manager of the club. It may have only been Tranmere but this will be a big confidence boost for United ahead of their Carabao Cup second leg clash with Manchester City on Wednesday.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian had some work to do at the start of the game but United soon took control of it scoring five goals inside the first half. In the second half, Romero had to gather a few balls from time to time and made a few diving saves to deny Tranmere, although the shots were not threatening.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Got an assist for the opening goal of the game which Maguire scored. Had to do his bit in defence as Tranmere continued to attack, at times, despite being 3-0 down.

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4 Phil Jones

Jones was booked in the fourth minute of the game, which seemed a bit harsh. He did well in the first half of the game and his presence gave Maguire the space to get forward and get his goal and assist. It did not end there though with the defender scoring the fourth goal with a sublime header.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain opened the scoring, assisted by Lindelof, with a sublime shot on goal in the 10th minute of the match, adding an assist for Lingard's goal in the 16th minute, which was United's third of the game. The captain, after a good performance was replaced by Williams in the 64th minute of the match with United winning 6-0.

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Diogo Dalot

The young Portuguese fullback scored his first goal for the club against Tranmere, assisted by Martial, breaking forward, running past two defenders and hitting the back of the net to celebrate.

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Andreas Pereira

The attacking midfielder played in the centre of midfield again and it worked, but it was Tranmere. He got an assist for Jones' headed goal which was United's fourth of the game. He looked better in midfield and served more as a purpose but against teams like City, playing here won't do United much good.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder played well in the centre of midfield for United. He even got forward as United pressured the home side for much of the first half. He was replaced at the break by Fred.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back played well and got an assist for Martial's 45th minute goal which put United 5-0 up in the game. He played well in the second half too and helped pressure Tranmere getting United forward in search for a seventh goal.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The attacking midfielder scored his first goal of 2020, United's third of the game, assisted by Maguire. He was unlucky coming to the latter stages of the first half not to score again. Lingard was named the Man of the Match by BT Sport.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The academy graduate played well against Tranmere and despite United scoring five first half goals, he was not on the scoresheet. He played well during the match though. Chong won a penalty in the 56th minute of the match with Greenwood scoring it and making it 6-0 for United.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman got an assist against Tranmere for Dalot's goal but just before the break, after a few chances, he got his own goal putting United 5-0 up in the game. Martial was replaced by Chong at the start of the second half.

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Substitutes

17 Fred

Replaced Matic 46'. The Brazilian got half a rest, keeping Matic fresh, which is good for Wednesday. He played well and kept United ticking at times.

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Tahith Chong

Replaced Martial 46'. The academy graduate won the penalty for United after coming on at the start of the second half, Greenwood scored United's sixth goal of the game.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Maguire 64'. Did well playing in a back three although he was not really tested by Tranmere.

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Goals: Harry Maguire 10′, Diogo Dalot 13′, Jesse Lingard 16′, Phil Jones 41′, Anthony Martial 45′, Mason Greenwood 56′ (pen)

Assists: Victor Lindelof 10, Anthony Martial 13′, Harry Maguire 16′, Andreas Pereira 41′, Luke Shaw 45′

Manchester United: Romero; Lindelof, Jones, Maguire (Williams 64′); Dalot, Pereira, Matic (Fred 46′), Shaw; Lingard; Greenwood, Martial (Chong 46′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Bailly; Mata, James

Bookings: Scott Davies 55′; Phil Jones 4′

Confirmed Starting XI: Greenwood and Martial lead the line against Tranmere; three at the back for United?

Manchester United will face Tranmere Rovers in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Prenton Park this afternoon. The League One side beat Premier League club Watford in their third round replay on Thursday evening, winning 2-1 in extra time after their 3-3 draw at the start of the month, setting up the home clash with United, at what could be considered as a bad time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

United’s best chance of silverware this season is by winning the FA Cup although they are still in the Carabao Cup despite losing 3-1 at Old Trafford to holders Manchester City just over a fortnight ago. The second leg of the semi-final will be played at the Etihad on Wednesday with it seeming like United will be out of the cup with City defending their trophy at Wembley early in March.

United need to solve some problems within the club at this present time, the first would be the lack of quality in the squad which can be seen each time United plays a game of football. The same excuses are ever present; January is a tough month to sign players, we only want to sign players who fit in with the direction the club wants to travel, the lis really is endless. The other main problem is the hierarchy of the club not really showing that they want the club to achieve on the pitch, just financially.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Lindelof, Jones, Maguire;

Dalot, Pereira, Matic, Shaw;

Lingard;

Greenwood, Martial

Substitutes:

Grant; Bailly, Williams; Mata, Fred, James, Chong

Tranmere Rovers:

Davies;

Caprice, Clarke, Monthe, Ridehalgh;

Danns, Perkins;

Morris, Jennings, Taylor;

Ferrier

Substitutes:

Pilling, Mullin, Gilmour, Payne, Hepburn-Murphy, Wilson, Woods

United and Tranmere have played one matches in this history of both clubs with that match being played in 1976. United won that match 5-0 which was played in the second round of the League Cup at Old Trafford. Gerry Daly scored a brace with other goals coming from Stuart Pearson, Gordon Hill, and Lou Macari. United’s first team has not faced Tranmere since this match.

However, this season United’s U21s took part in the Leasing.com EFL Trophy and they faced Tranmere at the start of December, losing 3-2 with Tahith Chong scoring both of the goals for United. There are no other matches against Tranmere in the history of both clubs. Solskjaer will need to have done his research on the team as the club has little time to sort out tactics, not that they alone can win the match.

How Manchester United could look against Tranmere Rovers; 4-3-3 with James, Martial and Greenwood leading the line, Mata the brain of the team and Bailly back in defence?

Manchester United will travel to Prenton Park to face Tranmere Rovers in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to come back from back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Burnley (both 2-0 scorelines) to get back to winning ways. It seems to be one step forward and two steps back for United this season, which is not great for the first season of the major rebuild Solskjaer is trying to do.

United need to get something sorted in order to move forward. This month, which is an important month for the rebuilding of the squad seems to have seen United linked to many players with little happening. The main talking point is the fact that Ed Woodward seems to have hired public relations to better his image, taking the blame off himself with suggestions that he’s seen the Glazers stop him from signing players, which seems unbelievable. This seems to be going from bad to worse, proving the Glazers are the leeches sucking the life, money and history from this once great club.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Tranmere Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round at Prenton Park on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian is expected to take over from David De Gea as he has in most of the cup matches so far this season. In the eight appearances he’s had for the club this season he has kept seven clean sheets – two more than De Gea has kept this season. Romero is a decent goalkeeper and probably the best number two goalkeeper in the Premier League. United are lucky to have him and the fact that he is not creating much pressure to become the number one goalkeeper at the Old Trafford club. United could find themselves in a predicament with goalkeepers in the summer with De Gea, Romero and Dean Henderson at the club with the English goalkeeper setting his sights on De Gea’s number one shirt after his top performances this season whilst on loan at Sheffield United.

Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Brandon Williams

Solskjaer needs to find a way of getting the best out of the defence this season. Spending more than £130 million in the summer does not seem to have done much for the squad. The season started off well but soon the goals were being leaked left, right, and centre. Aaron Wan-Bissaka probably needs a rest despite being the best defensive player on the pitch against Burnley and also being the player trying to create by going forward, despite it not being his strong point. Harry Maguire has not been the best recently either and has made mistakes. A strong midfield ahead of the defence would make it better but the club does not seem to be doing much to get things moving in signing players this month. Diogo Dalot could come in for Wan-Bissaka, although I fully expect him to start on Sunday. Victor Lindelof could be back after illness stopped him playing against Burnley and Eric Bailly could make his first start of the season. Brandon Williams should keep his place at left-back – as far as I am concerned, there is no competition for him in this position.

Midfield: Fred, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata

The midfield needs new additions. Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay have missed the last eight matches due to injury, something which is really causing problems in this area. There is little creativity in the midfield which is affecting the number of goals the forward players can score. Many of the players that could play in these positions do not have the quality to play for the club. Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong have all been pretty poor this season. It would, right now, leave Fred, who has played the last ten matches in a row, playing 90 minutes nine times and coming off the bench once and Nemanja Matic, who has played the last eight matches in a row, starting in seven and playing 90 minutes six times, to operate in the central midfield positions. Juan Mata is the attacking midfield player in the best form so far this season, playing in the last four matches in a row, scoring one goal and assisting two more. Mata may be considered a veteran of the game but his footballing brain is one of United’s best attributes right now – that is how far the club has fallen in the past seven years.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Daniel James

United desperately need reinforcement in the attack after Marcus Rashford was riled out for the foreseeable future. Even with him in the squad, United lack at least one attacking player. However, with a week to go before the transfer window closes, nothing legitimate seems to be happening. Over the last few matches, Anthony Martial has not been playing like a striker, as he’s not a striker. He played better outside of the box, primarily on the left-wing where he’s played much of his football for the club. Mason Greenwood should start in this game, it is possible that he could get something from the game, although that is not guaranteed, even though he has scored nine goals this season. Daniel James should really be rested but there is nothing there to replace him with. He’s getting criticised for all sorts of things but he should not have played this much football in his first season but with a lack of summer signings to strengthen the squad, nothing could be done to get United ready for the season. Something is majorly wrong at Manchester United.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Phil Jones, Tim Fosu-Mensah; Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong

The bench is an area that should be stocked with players who have something to offer as impact players late in the game. However, that is not the case at this moment in time. There are too many players who do not offer much to the team taking their places on the bench, offering next to nothing if they are brought into the fold. Lee Grant will most likely be the substitute goalkeeper for this match with De Gea rested for the game against Manchester City next week, Phil Jones and Tim Fosu-Mensah could be the defensive-minded players on the bench – Jones did well against Burley despite playing few minutes this season. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong could be the attack-minded players from the bench, however, all of them have produced little this season, which is worrying.

Preview: Manchester United lacking desire, determination and ability to win as Tranmere Rovers trip nears in the FA Cup

Tranmere Rovers -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

Prenton Park, Birkenhead

Sunday 26 January 2020, KO 15:00 GMT

Referee: Lee Mason Assistants: Simon Bennett, Daniel Robathan Fourth Official: Darren Bond

Manchester United will face Tranmere Rovers in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Prenton Park on Sunday afternoon. The League One side beat Premier League club Watford in their third round replay on Thursday evening, winning 2-1 in extra time after their 3-3 draw at the start of the month, setting up the home clash with United, at what could be considered as a bad time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

United’s best chance of silverware this season is by winning the FA Cup although they are still in the Carabao Cup despite losing 3-1 at Old Trafford to holders Manchester City just over a fortnight ago. The second leg of the semi-final will be played at the Etihad on Wednesday with it seeming like United will be out of the cup with City defending their trophy at Wembley early in March.

United need to solve some problems within the club at this present time, the first would be the lack of quality in the squad which can be seen each time United plays a game of football. The same excuses are ever present; January is a tough month to sign players, we only want to sign players who fit in with the direction the club wants to travel, the lis really is endless. The other main problem is the hierarchy of the club not really showing that they want the club to achieve on the pitch, just financially.

Form: United dire in terms of form heading into the FA Cup fourth round. Tranmere have already knocked out Watford and will be looking to take advantage of United’s problematic predicament.

Manchester United: LLWWLD

Burnley 2-0 L, Liverpool 2-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Norwich City 4-0 W, Manchester City 3-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D

Tranmere Rovers: WLDLDL

Watford 2-1 W, Ipswich Town 2-1 L, Southend United 0-0 D, Leicester City U21 2-1 L, Watford 3-3 D, Coventry City 4-1 L

Top Scorers: With Marcus Rashford out of the picture, a goal scorer needs to step up to carry the burden for the foreseeable future.

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 11 – Anthony Martial, 9 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United have been dire since the start of 2020. The started the new decade with a defeat away to Arsenal, then a 0-0 draw with Wolves, a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, a 4-0 victory over Norwich City, a 1-0 over Wolves (FA Cup replay) then a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool and more recently a 2-0 defeat to Burnley. United just do not seem to have the desire, determination, hunger or ability to win as a collective team.

Tranmere Rovers Goals: 8 – Morgan Ferrier, 5 – Connor Jennings, Kieron Morris, Paul Mullin, 4 – Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Stefan Payne, 3 – Oliver Banks, Corey Taylor, Emmanuel Monthe, 1 – Liam Ridehalgh

Tranmere are struggling in League One this season, sitting in 21st place in the league with just 22 points after 25 matches this season. The club has scored 28 goals in the league this season, conceding 45. It makes you wonder if they are exactly the type of team to play up against United and get a result, which would be good for them. However, United, after back-to-back defeats should be looking to strike back.

Team News: United have an experienced core of players on the sidelines with other lacking the ability to play for this once-great club. These players need to stand up and be counted.

United will be without an experienced core of players, including; Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rojo with the likes of Axel Tuanzebe also injured and Tim Fosu-Mensah lacking match fitness. Victor Lindelof was missing from the defeat to Burnley due to illness but he should be back in contention for this match. Eric Bailly was an unused substitute in that game and the pair could give Harry Maguire a rest.

Tranmere could still be without Ollie Banks, Mark Ellis and Evan Gumbs for the visit of United to Prenton Park on Sunday. However, Calum Woods, who came on in extra time in the 2-1 victory over Watford on Thursday could be a boost for the club. The 120-minute game on Thursday could be a problem for the fitness and recovery of the players as they ready themselves to face United to end a busy week.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial, James, Mata, and Greenwood to do the business to see United into the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup?

Solskjaer has few rotation options in his squad, unless he brings youth through this weekend, which is not something he has done so far this season – the majority of the time anyway. The likes of James Garner, Largie Ramazani, Ethan Laird could all get stuck into matches like this. However, I think he will play it safe meaning more of the same inability to pull much out of the bag. I will wait an see what happens though.

Match Prediction: One match played against Tranmere in the history of both clubs, at least at first team level. This will be relatively new ground for Solskjaer and United.

United and Tranmere have played one matches in this history of both clubs with that match being played in 1976. United won that match 5-0 which was played in the second round of the League Cup at Old Trafford. Gerry Daly scored a brace with other goals coming from Stuart Pearson, Gordon Hill, and Lou Macari. United’s first team has not faced Tranmere since this match.

However, this season United’s U21s took part in the Leasing.com EFL Trophy and they faced Tranmere at the start of December, losing 3-2 with Tahith Chong scoring both of the goals for United. There are no other matches against Tranmere in the history of both clubs. Solskjaer will need to have done his research on the team as the club has little time to sort out tactics, not that they alone can win the match.

Tranmere Rovers 0-1 Manchester United

copyright: JW