A much-changed Manchester United secured their place in the fourth round of the League Cup with a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Tuesday. First-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro helped Erik ten Hag’s side on their way into the last 16 of the competition they won last season, before Anthony Martial added a third after the restart.
The game quickly settled into a pattern, with the hosts dominating possession and Crystal Palace sitting deep and looking to frustrate the hosts.
Erik ten Hag’s side took the lead after 21 minutes thanks to Alejandro Garnacho. Diogo Dalot did brilliantly down the right-hand side to pull the ball back across the six-yard box and the young Argentine attacker was on hand to fire home.
It was a familiar slow start for Crystal Palace in the first half, a side who came into this match having scored all 10 of their goals this season in the second half of matches.
Roy Hodgson’s side came out for the second half a lot brighter, pressing United high up the pitch and with intensity, something they didn’t do at all in the first period.
Anthony Martial killed any hopes of a Palace comeback though when he made it 3-0 after 55 minutes to put United into cruise control. Casemiro fired in a fantastic ball to the back post and Martial was on hand to rifle home past Johnstone.
Jean-Philippe Mateta went close to pulling one back for Palace in the 68th minute but saw his drilled effort saved well by Andre Onana.
The introduction of Eberechi Eze brought some spark to his side, with the 25-year-old picking up good positions and finding Mateta on a couple of occasions but in truth it was too little too late for a Palace side that never really got going at Old Trafford.
Attention for both sides now turns to the weekend, where a repeat of this fixture will be played in the Premier League.
TALKING POINT – A PERFORMANCE YOU CAN BUILD ON
Manchester United put in the exact type of performance that manager Ten Hag will want to see from his side on a regular basis. They played with energy, intensity and desire with and without the ball.
From minute one they dominated proceedings, moving the ball well and imposing themselves on the match due to the speed and efficiency in which they operated. Another positive for United came in the form of Sofyan Amrabat who put in a very impressive performance in his first start for the club.
Up next is a repeat of this fixture only this time it’s in the Premier League and Ten Hag will be eager to put in another strong showing at Old Trafford.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – CASEMIRO (MANCHESTER UNITED)
The Brazilian midfielder was simply sensational tonight for Manchester United. He was all over the pitch as he so often is, making an impact in both the defensive and attacking aspects of the game.
He was on hand to divert his header into the bottom corner to give Manchester United some breathing space at 2-0 and his assist for Anthony Martial’s goal to make it 3-0 in particular was a superb bit of play. Without the ball, he made two tackles, three interceptions and won three of his duels.
A complete performance.
Manchester United: Onana 7, Dalot 8, Varane 7, Maguire 7, Amrabat 8, Casemiro 9, Mount 7, Pellistri 7, Hannibal 6, Garnacho 7, Martial 7 Subs: Lindelof 7, Evans 6, Gore 6, Van de Beek 6, Hojlund
Crystal Palace: Henderson N/A, Mitchell 6, Richards 6, Holding 6, Clyne 6, Doucoure 6, Riedewald 6, Ayew 6, Schlupp 6, Rak-Sakyi 5, Mateta 6 Subs: Johnstone 6, Guehi 6, Hughes 6, Eze 7, Ozoh 6
21’ GOAL – MANCHESTER UNITED – Alejandro Garnacho opens the scoring for United! Diogo Dalot pulls a great ball back aiming for the penalty spot and Garnacho is there to fire home first time.
24’ A VITAL CHALLENGE FROM RICHARDS! – Chris Richards has put in a wonderful recovery challenge in to stop the game from being 2-0. Pellistri is about to pull the trigger and Richards comes flying in with a terrific tackle.
27’ GOAL – MANCHESTER UNITED – It’s 2-0! Mount fires in an outswinging corner and Casemiro is there to power his header home into the corner. Palace will be disappointed they didn’t do more to prevent that goal.
55’ GOAL – MANCHESTER UNITED – Anthony Martial makes it 3-0 to United with a fantastic finish! Casemiro fired in a delicious cross to the back post and Martial was there to rifle home first time.
68’ MATETA GOES CLOSE! – That is Crystal Palace’s best chance! Eze does well to find Mateta in the box who fires on target from close-range and is denied by the foot of Andre Onana.