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Review & Ratings: Ighalo double sees United finish Derby off in 3-0 victory; Shaw MOTM, Fernandes did well, McTominay back

Manchester United beat Derby County 3-0 in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Pride Park on Thursday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will now progress to face Norwich City at Carrow Road later this month. A goal from Luke Shaw and a brace from Odion Ighalo was enough to put United through. Not a great result for Wayne Rooney though, who was on the losing side in this match.

United started the game in fine fettle, pushing to score an early goal, which was not coming. United had more opportunities on goal than the home side with 10 attempts, three on target, one off target and six shots blocked unto and including United’s opener which was scored by Luke Shaw, although there was a bit of a deflection on Jesse Lingard, who surely would not try to claim that goal?

United scored a second goal in the first half with Odion Ighalo scoring his second goal for the club in the 41st minute of the match. Shaw was integral to the goal with him driving forward and trying to feed the ball to the Nigerian and would have had the assist if the ball did not deflect slightly off the Derby defender. At the end of the first half, United had 12 shots on goal, four being on target, one being off and seven being blocked.

United scored a third goal in the match twenty minutes from time with Ighalo scoring a second of the evening, his third goal for the club. Juan Mata could have had an assist after he squared the ball into the Nigerian but Derby tried to cut out possession but Ighalo regained control of the ball and smashed his shot into the roof of the net. United were 3-0 and heading into the quarter finals of the FA Cup, facing Norwich City.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

Another clean sheet for United and Romero. The best second-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League. Derby had little to throw at him during the match. He was tested by Rooney in added time.

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Diogo Dalot

The Portuguese defender did well at right-back with Wan-Bissaka out injured. He was calm and composed and tried to play the ball forward much of the time. He was not pressure much by Derby.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The iceman played well although Derby did not get much involvement in attack in the game. United were pulling the strings from start to finish.

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3 Eric Bailly

It was good to see Bailly back in the team. I think he should be playing alongside Maguire in the back four ahead of Lindelof at this moment in time. However, with Maguire's injury, it might not happen at the present time, but it should. He was calm and composed despite Derby having few credible shots on goal.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back had a great match against Derby scoring the opening goal, although there was a slight deflection off Lingard and literally teeing up the second goal, which he could have had the assist for if the ball did not deflect off a Derby defender. Williams has helped him raise his game, which was much-needed.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian had a quiet game at times on his 27th birthday. United had Derby in their sights from the kick off and did enough to get the better of them.

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39 Scott McTominay

The midfielder had a good game and certainly seems to be the player with the fire in his belly, chasing down Sibley at times in the game. It is good to see the player back in the team after his injury layoff and he seems to have wasted no time getting back into the team and performing. One of his teammates might want to look at the way McTominay has done this.

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8 Juan Mata

Magic. The Spanish midfielder reads the game superbly well and was one of United's best players in the game. He used the width he was playing in to help United create, which is something United had seen a lot of against Derby. Mata was unlucky not the get an assist for Ighalo's second goal of the game but a defender tried to intercept the ball with Ighalo getting it back before scoring.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder was pulling the strings for United against Derby. In the first half, it looked as if he'd suffered an injury, landing awkwardly after a challenge but he was fine. Fernandes was replaced by Pereira in the 67th minute of the match.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Lingard did well at times but still has a lot to do in order to become a regular starting player for the club. I was not all that impressed with his attacking ability in the game - he should be doing much better than he is. Sad signs that he could be heading into his career decline now.

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25 Odion Ighalo

The Nigerian scored twice for United against Derby, taking his goal tally to three now. It was good to see him join the ranks of Quinton Fortune, who was until tonight the only African player to score for United in the FA Cup.

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Substitutes

Andreas Pereira

Replaced Fernandes 67'. Helped United tick over in midfield after the main creator, recently, was given a short rest ahead of Sunday's big match. I don't think he did much on or off the ball.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Fred 74'. At 3-0 down, Derby would not have been happy seeing him come on. The damage was already done before he replaced Fred with 16 minutes to go.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Shaw 80'. Came on with ten minutes left, giving Shaw a rest after his appearance against Derby which saw him score a goal and turn provider. Williams used his class and skill to keep United ticking.

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Goals: Luke Shaw 33′, Odion Ighalo 41′, 70′

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Romero; Dalot, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw (Williams 80′); Fred (Martial 74′), McTominay; Mata, Fernandes (Pereira 67′), Lingard; Ighalo

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Tuanzebe; Matic; Greenwood

Bookings: Wayne Rooney 45+2′; Luke Shaw 17′, Eric Bailly 64′, Brandon Williams 90+3′

Confirmed Starting XI: Ighalo leads the line against Derby; Fernandes, Mata, Dalot and Bailly all start; Tuanzebe on the bench

Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action this evening as they travel to face Derby County at Pride Park. Phillip Cocu’s side will be seeking to do what they did under Frank Lampard – beat United and earn a quarter-final place in the tournament this season. However, at Pride Park, United have a good record, winning in their last two visits, losing in the one before which was about a decade ago.

Solskjaer will be hoping that United do better than they did against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, coming away with a point after a 1-1 draw, which could have easily been a defeat for United with VAR cancelling out a late winner for the home aide. VAR will not be involved at Pride Park on Thursday though. United need to ensure their eight match unbeaten run continues ahead of Sunday’s test.

United will be back in Premier League action this weekend with Manchester City travelling to the Theatre of Dreams for the second Manchester derby (in the league) this season, effectively the fourth derby of the season with the Carabao Cup matches included. A win against Derby will keep the belief high and despite winning at the Etihad twice this season, doing it at home will be more important.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Dalot, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

Mata, Fernandes, Lingard;

Ighalo

Substitutes:

De Gea; Tuanzebe, Williams; Pereira, Matic; Martial, Greenwood

Derby County:

Roos;

Bogle, Evans, Forsyth, Lowe;

Sibley, Bird;

Knight, Rooney, Lawrence;

Waghorn

Substitutes:

Hamer, Shinnie, Marriott, Clarke, Martin, Davies, Whittaker

United and Derby have played a total of 107 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 46 times, drawn 29 times and lost 32 times. United and Derby last met in the Carabao Cup back in September 2018, a 2-2 draw, 8-7 penalty loss in a match which saw Sergio Romero sent off and Lee Grant coming off the bench to make his first appearance for the club.

In the previous four matches, three of them in the Emirates FA Cup, another in the League Cup, United have won them all, scoring 13 goals, conceding four and keeping one clean sheet. The last time United were defeated at Pride Park was in January 2009, a 1-0 defeat in the League Cup with Kris Commons scoring the only goal of the game. United have been to Pride Park twice since (2009 and 2016) winning both matches.

How Manchester United could look against Derby County; 4-3-1-2 with Ighalo and Martial leading the line, Fernandes in behind and McTominay, Matic and Fred in midfield?

Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action on Thursday evening as they travel to face Derby County at Pride Park. Phillip Cocu’s side will be seeking to do what they did under Frank Lampard – beat United and earn a quarter-final place in the tournament this season. However, at Pride Park, United have a good record, winning in their last two visits, losing in the one before which was about a decade ago.

Solskjaer will be hoping that United do better than they did against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, coming away with a point after a 1-1 draw, which could have easily been a defeat for United with VAR cancelling out a late winner for the home aide. VAR will not be involved at Pride Park on Thursday though. United need to ensure their eight match unbeaten run continues ahead of Sunday’s test.

United will be back in Premier League action this weekend with Manchester City travelling to the Theatre of Dreams for the second Manchester derby (in the league) this season, effectively the fourth derby of the season with the Carabao Cup matches included. A win against Derby will keep the belief high and despite winning at the Etihad twice this season, doing it at home will be more important.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup at Pride Park on Thursday evening…

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero has been a player United need when he has ben called upon this season. Calm and composed, the Argentinian is a great stand in goalkeeper. With David De Gea in a period whereby his form has come under question, giving him the time to overcome that in training, especially ahead of an important match against Manchester City at the weekend. Romero gives his best every time he plays and has kept many clean sheets when he has played this season.

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

The defence has been in good form at this stage of the season. Against Derby though, one change will be needed. Victor Lindelof needs to sit out of matches for a period of time as he has not been the confident player that he has been in the past. Eric Bailly should be given the chance to form a partnership with Harry Maguire in the back for. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should keep their places as the fullbacks in the starting XI for this game. United have only conceded two goals in their last eight matches, which is seeing them head in the right direction at an important stage of the season – the business end.

Midfield: Fred, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay

The midfield has been gaining strength with injured players coming back at an important time. With the signing of Bruno Fernandes and the return to fitness and form of Scott McTominay, added to the fact that Paul Pogba is nearing his long-awaited return, the strength in the midfield will be the best it has been for a number of years. Against Derby, I expect to see a three-man midfield, like the one which played against Everton on Sunday with McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred all starting.

Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese international has been a breath of fresh air since he signed for the club in January. In six appearances so far, Fernandes has three goals, two assists and four MOTM awards from the club. This is great to see with United lacking creativity in the team this season with Pogba and McTominay on the sidelines for long periods of time. Fernandes is he guy that can do the damage to the opposition that United have been seeking for a while. Having him play ahead of a three-man midfield and behind a two-man forward line could be devastating for Derby and other opposition this season.

Forwards: Odion Ighalo, Anthony Martial

United have a good striker in Odion Ighalo and after he scored his first goal for the club in the UEFA Europa League against Club Brugge, he will be seeking to score many more. The Premier League has been a happy hunting ground for him in the past and he could unlock that soon. Against Derby though, he could get himself to cut his teeth a bit more, showing the Championship side the difference between the two clubs now. Playing with Anthony Martial could be key with Martial doing a lot more in attacking areas than other players with Ighalo being in the box to latch onto crosses and hold up the play in the box with United on the attack. It could be a match to unlock the goals.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard; Mason Greenwood

Solskjaer will need to have players available on the bench if the need arises for them to be involved in the game. David De Gea will be the goalkeeper on the bench and will be beneficial if needed. In defence, Axel Tuanzebe could be on the bench giving some different options with Diogo Dalot and Brandon Williams offering in both fullback positions, also at wing-back if the formation needs to be changes. In midfield, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard could offer something, the latter option needs to start doing just that. In the forward area, Mason Greenwood could be the player to offer something from the bench, if it is needed but it would be good to see him involved somewhere.

Preview: Manchester United seeking to lock the Rams out of the Emirates FA Cup at Pride Park; Ighalo, Martial and Fernandes key to this

Derby County -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

Pride Park, Derby

Thursday 5 March 2020, KO 19:45 GMT

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Ian Hussin, Daniel Robathan Fourth Official: Lee Mason

Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action on Thursday evening as they travel to face Derby County at Pride Park. Phillip Cocu’s side will be seeking to do what they did under Frank Lampard – beat United and earn a quarter-final place in the tournament this season. However, at Pride Park, United have a good record, winning in their last two visits, losing in the one before which was about a decade ago.

Solskjaer will be hoping that United do better than they did against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, coming away with a point after a 1-1 draw, which could have easily been a defeat for United with VAR cancelling out a late winner for the home aide. VAR will not be involved at Pride Park on Thursday though. United need to ensure their eight match unbeaten run continues ahead of Sunday’s test.

United will be back in Premier League action this weekend with Manchester City travelling to the Theatre of Dreams for the second Manchester derby (in the league) this season, effectively the fourth derby of the season with the Carabao Cup matches included. A win against Derby will keep the belief high and despite winning at the Etihad twice this season, doing it at home will be more important.

Form: United unbeaten in their last six matches, winning three times and drawing three times. Derby not in great form with two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six matches.

Manchester United: DWWDWD

Everton 1-1 D, Club Brugge 5-0 W, Watford 3-0 W, Club Brugge 1-1 D, Chelsea 2-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D

Derby County: WLDDLW

Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 W, Queens Park Rangers 2-1 L, Fulham 1-1 D, Huddersfield Town 1-1 D, Bristol City 3-2 L, Swansea City 3-2 W

Top Scorers: 72 goals scored for United this season with Derby managing just 51 goals in all competitions. Could Rooney score against United? Fernandes to steak the show again?

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 15 – Anthony Martial, 11 – Mason Greenwood, 4 – Scott McTominay, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Odion Ighalo, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United have done well recently, sitting eight matches into an unbeaten run which has seen them add some pressure on Chelsea for a place in the top four this season. In those eight matches, United have scored 19 goals, conceding two goals, and keeping six clean sheet. United need to keep pushing on, stopping the draws, with three of them in the last eight matches. This match will be crucial, as will the matches for the rest of the month with United also heading back into the UEFA Europa League.

Derby County Goals: 12 – Martyn Waghorn, 9 – Tom Lawrence, 8 – Chris Martin, 4 – Jason Knight, Wayne Rooney, 3 – Duane Holmes, Jack Marriott, 1 – Jayden Bogle, Lee Buchanan, Matthew Clarke, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Malone, Jamie Paterson, Graeme Shinnie, Andre Wisdom

Derby have not been in great form recently. They currently sit in thirteenth place in the Championship table after 36 matches, winning 12, drawing 12 and losing 12 matches this season. In their last six matches, two wins, two draws and two defeats puts them in mixed form. However, Derby has scored 11 goals, conceded 10 goals, keeping no clean sheets, which could be problematic for them against the likes of Ighalo, Martial and Fernandes, not to mention Mason Greenwood, if he gets the opportunity to play in this match.

Team News: Rashford, Pogba and Grant out of action for the Derby match whereas Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah and James could be back in the squad.

Heading into the match against Derby, United have just three players on the sidelines through injury after Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah both returned to action for the U23s against Stoke City. Marcus Rashford (lower back), Lee Grant (wrist), Paul Pogba (ankle) will still be out of action. Daniel James (knock) could be fit in time to face Derby after missing the 1-1 draw with Everton.

Derby manager Phillip Cocu could still be without Duane Holmes (ankle), Ikechi Anya (calf), Krystian Bielik (knee), Tom Huddlestone (hamstring) for the visit of United to Pride Park but George Evans (calf) could boost the manager’s squad after seemingly recovering from his injury. Wayne Rooney and Tom Lawrence could both face their former club which could be a big night for them.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial and Ighalo leading the line, Fernandes in behind with midfield three of McTominay, Matic and Fred against Derby at Pride Park?

I don’t think Solskjaer will make many changes for this match, not in the starting XI anyway. United need to win to keep their hopes of a trophy this season alive. Odion Ighalo and Anthony Martial should lead the line with Bruno Fernandes in behind them. A midfield three of Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred would work like it did on Sunday. The four man defence of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka with Sergio Romero in goal.

Match Prediction: United looking to beat Derby after losing on penalties in their last match back in September 2018. United have not lost at Pride Park since January 2009.

United and Derby have played a total of 107 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 46 times, drawn 29 times and lost 32 times. United and Derby last met in the Carabao Cup back in September 2018, a 2-2 draw, 8-7 penalty loss in a match which saw Sergio Romero sent off and Lee Grant coming off the bench to make his first appearance for the club.

In the previous four matches, three of them in the Emirates FA Cup, another in the League Cup, United have won them all, scoring 13 goals, conceding four and keeping one clean sheet. The last time United were defeated at Pride Park was in January 2009, a 1-0 defeat in the League Cup with Kris Commons scoring the only goal of the game. United have been to Pride Park twice since (2009 and 2016) winning both matches.

Derby County 1-3 Manchester United

copyright: JW