Manchester, United Kingdom On Tuesday, there was a sense of tranquility at Old Trafford for at least ninety minutes.
With a commanding 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace, Manchester United advanced to the Carabao Cup’s fourth round, marking the first time Erik ten Hag’s squad has won back-to-back games this year.
After leaving the academy, Dan Gore made his senior debut at the age of 19, and midfielder-turned-fullback Sofyan Amrabat made an impressive debut for Manchester United.
The third goal was scored by Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire, who both received minutes from Ten Hag, while Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes were given the night off. After the campaign began with such chaos and lurched from crisis to crisis, it was virtually peaceful.
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“It was definitely a good night,”
Ten Hag remarked afterward. “We controlled the possession, had some excellent attacks, dominated the chances, and scored fantastic goals.”
Ten Hag’s best day as Manchester United’s manager came after winning the Carabao Cup the previous year. Now that the trophy is back in the hands of the team, he hopes to turn things around for the better for a United that isn’t playing well this year.
On Saturday, Palace will return to Old Trafford in the Premier League, the first of five home games for United before the end of October. If United is going to win it all, Ten Hag and his team need to right the ship given that five of their next six games will take place at Old Trafford across all competitions.
What Ten Hag would give to have a peaceful month and to hand the crisis club role in the Premier League off to someone else? Around this time last season, United started to assemble a run that catapulted them into the running for the title and, for a brief while, into the top four.
After six games, he sat ninth in the table and would likely be content to catch up to Brighton, Tottenham, Manchester City, and Liverpool.
Ten Hag stated,
“The togetherness is always there, but of course when you are not winning at United, there is disappointment and frustration.” However, we are aware that we are not where we would like to be, so we must improve both the process and the outcomes, as well as catch up.
Even though United defeated Burnley 1-0 on Saturday to snap a three-match losing streak, there were still moments of weakness at Turf Moor.
When Nathaniel Clyne struck a rare effort high into the seats halfway through the second half, the traveling Palace supporters in the corner of the stadium started singing, “We’ve had a shot, we’ve had a shot.” But Palace were never good enough to test any nerves at the back.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson stated, “The way the game panned out, United had complete control for long spells.” “The truth is that we prepared to face this game. We have to acknowledge that tonight’s events did not unfold as planned.”
It did not help that Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who had joined from United for a fee of £15 million in the summer, had to leave the game after just 20 minutes due to an injury. That looked to be one of those nights when nothing worked well for them.
David Ozoh, a midfielder and second-half substitution, missed a great opportunity to score a late consolation goal when it appeared easier to hit the goal. After a while, the Palace supporters began to laugh and said, “We score when we want.”
As thrilled as Ten Hag will be with United’s three goals, he will also be happy with a second clean sheet in as many days. Opposing sides have looked capable of scoring goals against United a few times this season, especially Brighton and Bayern Munich.
Making his first start of the year, Maguire has been heavily criticized. However, he performed admirably, making a crucial interception in the six-yard box to prevent striker Jean-Philippe Mateta from tapping in with the score at 0-0.
Ten Hag praised Mason Mount, who played 45 minutes after rejoining the club, and Amrabat, who substituted in at left-back and in the middle of midfield.
When it comes to Amrabat, Ten Hag stated, “That’s one of the reasons we signed him.” “He can play where the teams need him.”
Even if the Jadon Sancho scandal is still brewing and important players like Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martínez are still out due to injury, Ten Hag rarely had time after a game to talk well of his club and its members.
Even if the United boss added a caution that “we don’t get too far ahead” in his post-match news conference, the manager nonetheless left delighted with the night’s performance.