Manchester United Advanced to the Quarter-finals of Carabao Cup
Manchester United beat Brighton for the second time in four days, with Paul Pogba scoring his first free-kick for Manchester United since his arrival from Italian side Juventus, he scored the last goal to seal the victory for the visitors as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. Last week Manchester United had a dramatic late penalty, awarded by VAR after the full-time whistle had blown, to beat the Seagulls 3-2 in a game packed with incident.
Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay opened the scoring for Manchester United through Juan Mata’s freekick few minutes before the end of the first half. Having sent on both Pogba and Marcus Rashford, Mata then sealed the result with a cool finish from inside the box after he was found by a neat flick from Donny van de Beek.
Nigerian international Odion Ighalo hit the side-netting from an angle after taking the ball around home goalkeeper Jason Steele, while Leandro Trossard drew a superb save from Dean Henderson in the United net with a shot from close range. The main beneficiaries were Mata, who once again showcased his creative qualities in midfield, and Eric Bailly, who put forward a decent case to replace Lindelof for Sunday’s game against Tottenham.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, speaking about the game said: “A great performance by Juan Mata. He was the one who got on the ball and calmed us down. He was composed. He more or less creates the first goal himself. I am never surprised when he plays like this.” “He has been around the block and knows football. He does his work and is at the back stick to shield the ball from Dan Burn at a corner in the second half.
“We needed the first 20-25 minutes to get our confidence and get on the ball. We have worked on set-pieces. You keep a clean sheet and this is important for a back four.” Brighton manager Graham Potter also commented on the game, he said: “It was a tight game until the second goal, or Dean Henderson’s save at 1-0 was key. Then they bring on Rashford and Pogba which made life difficult.”