Jose Mourinho avoided losing 4 successive games for the first time in his managerial career with a victory over Northampton Town in the EFL Cup. Manchester United started well and pushed Northampton back and it was no surprise that they opened the scoring. They did so just after quarter of an hour when Smith picked up a backpass. Rooney’s shot hit the wall and fell to Carrick on the edge of the area and he made no mistake with a first time strike. Manchester United looked to have doubled their lead on the half hour mark when a header hit the crossbar and fell to Rooney and he nodded in from close range, but the linesman’s flag was up for offside. Northampton started to come into the game after this and a shot grazed the crossbar. With only a few minutes left in the first half, Manchester United were unable to clear the ball from their area and Blind committed a foul. The referee pointed to the spot and Revell sent Romero the wrong way to level the scores.
Manchester United started the second half strongly and soon added to their firepower, bringing on Ibrahimovic and Rashford. Ander Herrera fired a warning shot around the hour mark, with a 25-yard effort beating Smith, but not the post. Within 10 minutes, he took another low shot from 25 yards and with Smith unsighted, it flew into the net and gave Manchester United the lead. The victory was sealed by Rashford, who chased a long punt up the field; he had no rights to get to the ball first, but a mistake from Smith presented the ball to Rashford and he was able to take it within a couple of yards of the goal before blasting into the back of the net.
The victory was a deserved one for Manchester United and they succeeded in retaining possession and forcing Northampton deep, isolating Revell. Rooney endured another difficult evening, with a goal disallowed and some heavy touches that saw the ball run away from him. Carrick had an excellent game in midfield and was rightly named Man of the Match. He controlled the game and offered Mourinho a reminder of what has, in my opinion been missing at times.
What did you think of the match? Do you think Mourinho should continue to pick Rooney? Should Carrick get a regular starting spot? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.