Holders Manchester United advanced effortlessly into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with a comprehensive victory against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. The match was between two teams competing in the Premier League.
Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro scored for United in the first half to put them in position to advance to the round of 16. Casemiro also provided the cross that Anthony Martial converted with a first-time shot ten minutes after the break.
This must have been the kind of uncomplicated night that United manager Erik ten Hag had been hoping for after his team endured a variety of forms of mayhem over the last several weeks. As a result, his team was able to execute the most successful win of a season in which they had battled thus far.
Ten Hag was at least able to integrate to a certain extent certain crucial parts of his United puzzle thanks to the return of Mason Mount to the starting eleven and the fact that fellow summer recruit Sofyan Amrabat made his debut start, albeit at left back.
There were several examples of controlled possession, which is something that many of Ten Hag’s followers had hoped to see implemented by this stage but had been unhappy to see not happen.
Both Amrabat and Mount were successful in carrying out the game plan, which apparently consisted of creating an overload on the United right side of the field by lofting crosses from the left side of the field.
In particular, Morocco international Amrabat stood up as an intriguing option for the left defender position. The player who is currently on loan from Fiorentina had a few misses early on with his shots, but other than that, he played quite well. He showed a fantastic passing range, a lot of energy, and the ability to recognize danger when it presented itself.
Full-back partner in crime Garnacho scored the game’s first goal when Diogo Dalot raced onto a pass sent by Facundo Pellistri and dragged a low cross back for him to complete. Six minutes later, a magnificent corner kick taken by Mount found Casemiro, who doubled the home team’s lead and effectively ended the match with his goal.
It was Martial’s first goal of the season, and it came in his first appearance at Old Trafford since Ten Hag was booed for bringing him on in place of Rasmus Hojlund against Brighton. Martial’s shot came from an acute angle, and it was his first goal of the season.
After sitting on the bench for the majority of the game, goalkeeper Andre Onana was had to make two outstanding stops in the game’s final moments. On both instances, Onana was successful in blocking two close-range shots from Palace attacker Jean-Phillippe Mateta.
After only 19 minutes of action on his Eagles debut against his previous club, goalkeeper Dean Henderson was forced off with muscular pain after making a simple clearance. This was the final blow to an otherwise poor night for the Eagles, who will be back in action on Saturday in the Premier League at this venue.
The “spirit of the united” was always positive.
Following their victory at Burnley on Saturday, head coach Ten Hag expressed contentment with his team’s performance and the belief that they are making steady advancements in their development.
The previous streak included three consecutive losses, as well as four losses in a row across the span of five games, either side of the break for international competition.
“It was a good night, we played quite well, and we dominated the game,” he remarked. “It was a good night.”
“If you don’t win, there will naturally be feelings of frustration and disappointment, which will lead to a decline in mood. However, there was always a positive mood, and there was and still is a sense of solidarity among the members; this was evident on the day in question.
“At Burnley, we took a step forward in terms of how we defended, in terms of the togetherness, and today on the ball, we took another step forward.”
“There is still a lot more to come, but we’re making progress,” the speaker said.