Manchester United ended up beating Championship side Luton Town 3-0 earlier tonight in the Carabao Cup’s Third Round but it took a late quick-fire double from substitutes Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood to seal the tie.
United headed into tonight’s game off the back of a majorly poor performance last weekend against Crystal Palace in a league opener which saw the Reds suffer a crushing 3-1 defeat.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a much changed side for tonight’s game with only club captain Harry Maguire keeping his place from the weekend.
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After a very flat first-half which was only saved by a Juan Mata penalty late-on, the Reds headed back out after the break looking to put the tie beyond Luton’s reach.
Despite remaining in control, debutant keeper Dean Henderson prevented a major scare after pulling off a wonder save which stopped the Hatters drawing level.
Solskjaer opted to bring on reinforcements late in the second-half and the Norwegian’s decision paid off after English duo Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood combined in a quick-fire double in the 88th and 92nd minute to put the Third Round match to bed.
The Reds now head into the cup’s Fourth Round where they will face-off against either Brighton and Hove Albion or Preston North End.
Here are three things we learned from tonight’s game though.
The number-one jersey doesn’t weigh heavy on Henderson
The young Englishman made his United senior debut tonight and after witnessing the fierce criticism team-mate David De Gea has faced in recent times, there is no doubt that there was definitely a need to impress tonight and he didn’t let us down.
Henderson didn’t put a foot wrong all night and when called upon pulled off a wonder save to keep the tie in United’s favour. The 23-year-old really has forced Solskjaer into a goalkeeper dilemma in the form of deciding which one of his number-ones should feature against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League next weekend.
For me, it has to be Henderson.
Lingard’s determined to fight for his Man United career
After falling out-of-favour at the back end of last season and with speculation surrounding his imminent future mounting, Lingard has definitely entered a crucial point in his United career.
The attacking midfielder was awarded with a place in United’s starting line-up tonight and he didn’t disappoint.
Despite being unable to get himself on the scoresheet, the 27-year-old was arguably one of the best players on the pitch.
He looked enthusiastic and energetic right from the kick-off. The lad definitely looked like he had a point to prove.
By no means a first-team starter week in, week out, Lingard did look like he could be valuable squad player throughout the rest of this season though.
Bailly’s unpredictability is worth the risk
With mounting pressure on regular centre-back pairing Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, Solskjaer opted to switch things at the back up tonight as he awarded Bailly with a cup start.
The flamboyant Ivorian started in place of Lindelof and it didn’t take long for Solskjaer to see why fans have been calling to see him feature more often.
There were several moments in the game when captain Maguire was caught out of position and failed to break Luton’s attack up which prompted his pacey centre-back partner to cover for him, which he did with ease.
Fitness and injury dependent, Bailly without a doubt offers so much more to the back-line.
After the UK Gov’s announcement today that they will be scrapping plans to reintroduce fans back into stadiums, prompting financial uncertainty to continue to loom large, Solskjaer may have no choice but to take a punt on Bailly.