Talking Points: Brighton 0 United 3
Manchester United booked a place in the last eight of the Carabao Cup at the expense of Brighton & Hove Albion, thanks to goals from Scott McTomminay, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba.
The Scotland international’s header in the first half paved the way, with Mata adding an assured finish in the second period before Pogba sealed back-to-back wins over the Seagulls with a slightly deflected free-kick.
Here are the main topics of discussion following our fourth-round victory…
Action from the Amex Gallery
See the best photos from United's 3-0 Carabao Cup win at Brighton...
MATA MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
In a match-winning display from the midfielder, Juan firstly set up McTominay’s goal with a pinpoint cross from a free-kick, having himself been fouled. He then added a goal of his own, dancing through the Brighton defence, receiving a backheel from Donny van de Beek, and sliding the ball past home stopper Jason Steele. The Spaniard has now been directly involved in 13 goals in his last 15 starts for United in all competitions. During that time he has netted five times and assisted his team-mates on eight occasions.
DIFFERENT PLAYERS, SAME OUTCOME
Whilst United again picked up the win on the south coast, the match at the Amex certainly had a different feel to our Premier League outing at the same ground on Saturday and that was in no small part because of a change in personnel. Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Graham Potter took the opportunity to rotate their squads and between the two coaches there were 19 changes from the 22 who started in the weekend’s early kick-off. Only Victor Lindelof retained his place for the Reds, while Lewis Dunk and Ben White both lined up again for the home side.
Adding to the clean sheet in our third-round win over Luton, United were unmoved by Brighton’s attempts to breach our rearguard, continuing a consistent run of defensive form in the competition. The Reds have now shut out the opposition in four of our last five Carabao Cup outings.
A FIRST FOR POGBA
Paul Pogba put the gloss on the win with his late set piece, which deflected off Joel Veltman in the Brighton wall and then the post on its way in. It is the midfielder’s 33rd goal in all competitions for United, but tonight was his first for the club from a direct free-kick.
WHO COULD WE FACE IN THE QUARTERS?
Unlike in the earlier stages of this year’s competition, when the draw took place in advance of the previous round, we don’t yet know who our opponents will be in the last eight. With three further ties happening on Thursday, the draw will take place at Anfield tomorrow after Liverpool’s match against Arsenal and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK. We do know four of the seven teams that will be joining us in the hat though, after Tottenham, Newcastle, Manchester City and Everton all won their fourth-round matches.
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