Talking points from United's win at Derby
Goals from Luke Shaw and Odion Ighalo (2) earned a 3-0 win over Derby County on Thursday night to send Manchester United through to the Emirates FA Cup quarter-finals.
United broke the deadlock when Shaw’s shot bounced off the ground and sailed into the far corner of the net, although replays showed it might have taken the smallest of deflections off Jesse Lingard’s back – forcing fans to wonder if the strike might be awarded to the latter. Thankfully, for Shaw at least, common sense prevailed and he was credited with a second career goal as a Red.
THREE GOALS IN FIVE GAMES
Ighalo now has that encouraging record after an effective performance at Pride Park, where he scored once in each half. The first was an impressive moment of composure as he evaded two markers and slotted the ball into the bottom corner, while the second was a soaring effort that flew into the roof of the net. The hat-trick almost arrived, too, with a late effort that narrowly missed the target. A big night for the Nigerian!
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Tap here for the best photos from United's comfortable FA Cup fifth-round win over Derby.
Wayne Rooney, of course, was the talk of Pride Park as he faced United for just a third time since leaving the club in 2017. He joined the Rams in January and, as their new club captain, he has inspired an improved run of performances from the Championship side. While our all-time leading scorer was largely frustrated on Thursday, playing a deep-lying midfield role, he forced Sergio Romero to make a couple of excellent saves with rasping free-kicks in each half. Naturally, his name was chanted by our 5,000 travelling fans all evening and he thanked them after the final whistle.
Harry was notably absent when the matchday squad was announced and, speaking to us in the Pride Park tunnel, Solskjaer gave this update on the missing club captain: “I had a word with him before training yesterday to say I'm not going to rest him. But then he rolled his ankle in training so he had to stay at home. Hopefully he'll be okay for the weekend but I'm not sure.” Shortly afterwards, birthday boy Maguire used his official Twitter account to reassure fans about his fitness. “Disappointed to miss out through injury,” he posted. “Working hard to get fit ASAP!”
THREE APPEARANCES, THREE CLEAN SHEETS
Eric Bailly can boast that personal record this season after returning in February from a serious knee injury. While it is still early days for him, with Solskjaer keen to build his fitness, the Ivorian’s clean sheets against Chelsea, Club Brugge and now Derby make him a contender to start against City.
TUANZEBE BACK IN THE SQUAD
Following a successful cameo with the Under-23s on Monday night, helping the young Reds to beat Stoke City 3-2, Axel was deemed fit enough to take a place on the bench at Pride Park. That is a significant step forward for the centre-back, whose season has been hampered by injury so far. His last first-team outing was back on 18 December, in the 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Colchester.
Somewhat strangely, the quarter-final draw took place the night before our game and Norwich City were pulled out of the hat as the potential opponent for Derby or United. Now that we’ve won, we can confirm the tie will take place at Carrow Road on the weekend of Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, although an exact date and time is still to be confirmed. The other three ties are also all-Premier League clashes, with Leicester City hosting Chelsea, Manchester City travelling to Newcastle United and Sheffield United facing Arsenal.
BUT FIRST, THE MANCHESTER DERBY
Ole made six changes to the starting XI as he kept one eye on Sunday’s Premier League game against Manchester City. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was missing due to injury, as was the aforementioned Maguire, but otherwise the manager rested David De Gea, Nemanja Matic and Mason Greenwood, with Anthony Martial also only featuring for a few minutes at Pride Park. Will all of those four start at Old Trafford this weekend? Find out when the lineups are announced at 15:30 GMT on Sunday.