Manchester United became the first team into the hat for the FA Cup fifth round with a 3-1 win over Championship promotion hopefuls Derby County this evening.
Wayne Rooney’s stunner was cancelled out by George Thorne in the first half, but goals from Daley Blind and Juan Mata after the break saw the Red Devils through.
It was a crucial result for United’s under-pressure manager Louis van Gaal. Here, CaughtOffside rates how the Dutchman’s troops performed at the iPro Stadium…
Wayne Rooney goal video v Derby: Skipper’s stunner best thing Man United fans have seen all season
George Thorne goal video: Derby show LVG the benefit of midfield runners with FA Cup equaliser
Daley Blind goal video v Derby: Dutchman shows instinct of striker Man United have been missing
GK: David de Gea – 6/10
Could do nothing about the goal and only had a couple of comfortable saves to make.
RB: Guillermo Varela – 8/10
The Uruguayan youngster produced the sort of performance that may convince Van Gaal he can be trusted in the Premier League. Positive going forward and strong at the back.
CB: Chris Smalling – 7/10
Chris Martin is a real handful for most defenders in the Championship, but Smalling won that battle aside from the one header he lost, which actually led to Derby’s goal!
CB: Daley Blind – 8/10
The Dutchman’s technical ability is wasted at centre-back. His movement and finish for his goal was as good as a top-class number-nine. Pretty good at the other end too.
LB: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – 7/10
United’s other untested full-back also put in a good performance. Tom Ince had the potential to be Derby’s danger man, but Borthwick-Jackson kept him relatively quiet.
CM: Morgan Schneiderlin – 5/10
Must take responsibility for Derby’s equaliser as he allowed George Thorne to run off him. His passing was also disappointing. Needs to focus on what brought him to the dance.
CM: Marouane Fellaini – 6/10
It is hard to ignore the gigantic afro-sporting midfielder, but he actually did not have a great impact on the game. Ander Herrera would surely be a better bet?
AMR: Jesse Lingard – 6/10
Laid on Blind’s goal with a decent cross but was otherwise the quietest of United’s attacking quartet. Had one shot which went out for a throw in – by a good 15 yards or so.
AMC: Juan Mata – 8/10
It is strange that a player of Mata’s quality has not been a regular starter of late. Had a role in United’s second and produced a composed finish to wrap up the win.
AML: Anthony Martial – 9/10
Cyrus Christie will have nightmares about the outstanding Frenchman dribbling past him at will for weeks. Not always an end product, but did assist Mata’s goal. United’s great hope.
ST: Wayne Rooney – 8/10
Continued his recent renaissance with a brilliant sixth goal in six games, bending beautifully beyond Scott Carson. Seems to have his hunger back and that is a great sign for United.
Michael Carrick – 6/10
Made his first appearance in three weeks as a 74th-minute substitute for Schneiderlin.
Ander Herrera – N/a
Only had six minutes at the end. Does that mean he could start against Stoke City on Tuesday?
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