Manchester United are through to the fourth round of the EFL Cup, after beating Luton Town away from home 3-0. It was a comfortable victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against a clearly weaker side and the Devils managed to see them off with a rotated starting lineup.
The opener came just before the end of the first half, when Juan Mata materialised the penalty United got in 44th minute. The Devils controlled the game throughout, but the last two goals came only at the end of the match. Marcus Rashford made the most out of Mason Greenwood’s assist to make it 2-0 after 88 minutes and the Greenwood himself scored four minutes later, to make it 3-0.
Here re the things we learned from this match
Manchester United Got The Job Done
This was the most important part of the match. Man United were clear and overwhelming favourites to beat Luton and they did just that. There was not too much fuss nor was there too much energy spent on this game. Solskjaer decided to make numerous changes to the starting lineup and that worked well enough. This season will be a very tough one, shorter than any other before, but with at least the same number of matches.
Solskjaer will have to make use of those fringe players as much as possible and it was good to see Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Fred, Brandon Williams and Odion Ighalo get on the pitch. The quality of play will not be too important in this match, so a job well done tonight.
Dean Henderson Makes A Successful Debut
There was a lot of talk ahead of the start of new season whether Dean Henderson will be loaned out yet again, but the player himself was eager to stay at Man United and fight with David De Gea for that starting place in the lineup. Obviously, the Spaniard is still the number one in this team and it was expected Henderson would be getting his chances in cup matches. This one against Luton Town was his first competitive match for Devils.
And it went very well for him. He earned a clean sheet in a match where he did not have much to do, except for that chance Luton had with ten minutes to go, when the score was still just 1-0. Henderson made a fantastic save with one hand, after a shot from close range and that will only give him more confidence to continue challenging De Gea.
The Devils Lacked Width And It Was Not A Surprise
When we had seen the starting lineup, there was one thing that was coming to mind – Man United might be too narrow going forwards. And exactly that was the case in the end. The reason for those thoughts ahead of the start is quite a simple one. Juan Mata started on right flank and Jesse Lingard on the opposite side. Both players are naturally heavily inclined to come inside, Mata as a left-footed player and Lingard as someone who is very much used to playing centrally rather than closer to the touchline. In the end, none of those unfunctional moves they were making made a problem to United. But Solskjaer should be paying attention to this kind of issues…