Manchester United are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after a 4-0 win over Yeovil Town at Huish Park.
Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku scored the goals to see United through as Alexis Sanchez failed to find the net on his debut for the club.
Here are five things we learned…
Martial in, Rashford out
If you could read one thing into tonight’s line-up, it’s with how Jose Mourinho will manage his forwards for the second half of the season. Anthony Martial was omitted from the squad altogether after his thrilling form of late, while Lukaku started on the bench before adding the fourth goal. But Rashford started.
He looks as though he could be the fall guy for Sanchez in terms of losing his starting place and be restricted to the impact-sub role that Martial has filled so large parts of the season. His goal would have done him the world of good, both in confidence and in the eyes of Mourinho – it was a great example of hard work and a never-give-up attitude to force the mistake.
Shaw to stay
If Luke Shaw was to leave Manchester United it would be done this month. With his contract expiring in the summer, the club would have cashed in on him if they were to let him go. He has experienced a renaissance though in recent months and that was continued against Yeovil.
He is the only natural left-back in the first-team squad and he is beginning to earn the trust which he never really instilled in Jose Mourinho in his previously 18 months under his tutelage. If he can kick on from here under a new contract then it could save United a signing in the summer.
Best chance of silverware
Mourinho may have played a weakened side, with David De Gea, Paul Pogba and Martial all left out of the squad, but the FA Cup provides United’s best chance of silverware this season – something the Portuguese has always fallen back on when under criticism.
The Premier League is lost, they’re out of the EFL Cup, and the Champions League will be very tough, so the FA Cup looks to be the one. They’ve been dealt favourable draws and are in the fifth round and now, with the arrival of Sanchez, have more options and room to rotate to manage themselves through all competitions.
All eyes were on the Chilean and it was a tough start to his Manchester United career. Sanchez often cut inside from his left wing looking for space but was guilty of giving the ball away on a number of occasions as he tried to force the move too much.
As the game wore on he looked better – even after a crunching tackle from behind Yeovil’s Nathan Smith, who must be an Arsenal fan – with a couple of shots and through balls. He set up Rashford’s goal as well as United’s second as he slipped Herrera in expertly. A decent start.
Yeovil asked questions
Manchester United were the star attraction, and Sanchez the story, but Yeovil made sure they weren’t just an extra in the Friday night FA Cup drama. United controlled possession throughout the first half but Yeovil had the more dangerous chances – certainly until United took the lead.
Sergio Romero was forced into a number of decent saves as Yeovil broke on their hosts rapidly and at every opportunity, taking advantage of the ropey pitch to put pressure on their Premier League counterparts’ touch. They are 89 in the Football League ladder at the moment but, on this showing, you’re not sure why.