Carabao Cup Fourth Round
Swansea City vs. Manchester United
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Date: Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Manchester United saw off Swansea City to reach the quarter-finals of this season’s Carabao Cup.
Jesse Lingard’s eye-catching brace was enough for Jose Mourinho’s side to progress as they look to defend the trophy they lifted back in February.
Bouncing back from Saturday’s shock defeat at Huddersfield, United put in a solid, professional and comfortable performance in response to the weekend’s defeat.
As early as the second minute, captain Chris Smalling headed wide from a corner before Kristoffer Nordfeldt tipped over Lingard’s strike after good work by Anthony Martial.
The same man who threatened to break the deadlock did just that when he latched onto Marcus Rashford’s neat flick from Ander Herrera’s through ball to bare down on goal and slot a finish into the far bottom corner.
There was nearly an equaliser when Daley Blind’s attempted header to clear a cross stuck Ollie McBurnie’s body with the ball falling just wide.
Lingard flashed an effort into the side netting and Scott McTominay fired over via a first time strike from Martial’s lay off.
Onto his stronger left foot, Sam Clucas curled a shot just wide for the hosts and McBurnie’s attempt was too high with half-time then arriving.
After the break, Rashford’s whipped cross was marginally out of the reach of Martial before the lead was doubled just before the hour mark.
Confidence to bring it out from the back, Axel Tuanzebe spread the play to Matteo Darmian, and the Italian’s curled cross found the head of the onrushing Lingard who guided the ball past Nordfeldt.
Tuanzebe somehow flicked the ball over after McTominay’s header was parried from a corner and Sergio Romero palmed over substitute Tammy Abraham’s shot from range at the other end.
Romero then held Jordan Ayew’s tame free-kick from a promising position.
Looking for his hat-trick, Lingard’s low shot was held, substitute Nemanja Matic saw his drive blocked and the game began to peter out down in South Wales.
There was time for Romero to pull off a point blank save from Leroy Fer and full-time saw United progress to the next round.
Mourinho was pleased with the performance and spoke after the game about the response to Saturday’s debacle.
“We were solid and professional since the first minute. We were always in control of the match. I’m pleased with the performances of the team and individuals.”
With much publicised criticism of the players’ attitude since the weekend, the manager spoke highly of this element this time around.
“Since the first minute, we felt we were in the game, we had a couple of corners, we were pressing high on the pitch and it was good.”
“The attitude was very good. I think Romero and Smalling gave us stability,” added Jose.
Up next is a huge clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday lunchtime, with a 12:30pm kick-off.
Mourinho has confirmed that Phil Jones should be fit despite limping off in the first half in Yorkshire, but was an unused substitute on this occasion.
Eric Bailly could also return, with David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan fresh options to call upon when second face third at Old Trafford.
Manchester United: Romero; Tuanzebe, Smalling, Lindelof; Darmian, Herrera (Matic 67), McTominay, Blind; Lingard, Rashford (Lukaku 67), Martial (Shaw 87).
Subs not used: Pereira, Jones, Mata, Mkhitaryan.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Swansea: Nordfeldt; Rangel, van der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson (Naughton 39); Ki, Mesa (Fer 67), Clucas; Routledge, McBurnie (Abraham 72), Ayew.
Subs not used: Mulder, Fernandez, Fulton, Narsingh.
Manager: Paul Clement