Man U defeated Swansea City 2-0 in the Carabao Cup.
The Guardians Ben Fisher wrote:” José Mourinho commended Manchester United’s response after they coasted into the quarter-finals courtesy of two superb goals by Jesse Lingard. The holders and five-times winners comfortably picked off Swansea City.
Mourinho had questioned the attitude of his players after the Premier League defeat at Huddersfield Town on Saturday but this thoroughly professional display from a much changed and youthful United left him satisfied. “The attitude was good,” the Portuguese said after what was his 400th match in English football.
United’s performance was slick and on another day Lingard would have left with the match ball. “I’m disappointed not to get the hat-trick because I always want more goals,” he said. “We had to put things right but we have learned from the weekend and we want to move on.”
This was the second time Mourinho’s side had eased past Swansea in three months but Daley Blind was the only survivor from the team that started a 4-0 win in August.
Swansea’s manager, Paul Clement, said he had discussed United’s defeat at Huddersfield with his players but it probably bore little relevance given Mourinho made seven changes. There were starts for the academy graduates Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe, on the club’s books since aged eight and five respectively.
“I think they both did well,” Mourinho added later. “I would say Scott did very well because he was really comfortable and strong in midfield. Axel started a little bit shaky but then got stability – today his good performance was the consequence of a good team.”
Despite the changes there was still no start for Luke Shaw, who was named among the substitutes, alongside Romelu Lukaku and Henrik Mkhitaryan. Shaw came on for the final four minutes but the 22-year-old, who became the world’s most expensive teenager in 2014 after arriving from Southampton for £30m, has played only 49 minutes this season. His future remains increasingly uncertain.
Clement made eight changes to the side that lost at home to Leicester City on Saturday. Oli McBurnie, prolific for the under-23 side, led the line, while Roque Mesa, a £11m summer signing from Las Palmas made his fourth start, wearing the No51 shirt. His manager described his performance as “average”.
After criticising his players for failing to compete at Huddersfield, Mourinho demanded they rise to the challenge. They made a fast start, with Chris Smalling outjumping Alfie Mawson to power a header wide from Marcus Rashford’s corner. Then Lingard forced Kristoffer Nordfeldt to tip over before he slid in Anthony Martial, who failed to gain control of the ball. United did not have to wait too long for a goal, with Lingard scoring a beautiful opener after 21 minutes.
Ander Herrera fizzed a ball into the feet of Rashford, whose classy first-time flick ran straight through the legs of Mike van der Hoorn and into the path of Lingard. Bearing down on Nordfeldt, he curled the ball low into the corner of the Swansea goal. Lingard’s trademark Drake-inspired flute celebration immediately followed.
Things went from bad to worse for Swansea seven minutes before the interval when Martin Olsson was forced off with a hamstring injury. In the buildup, Clement had bemoaned his lack of cover at left-back. “If there is an issue, who would be able to step in?” he said at the time.
Swansea only really troubled United from distance until the substitute Leroy Fer forced Sergio Romero into a smart save from close range in injury time. “They had the extra bit of quality, and from our point of view, we just have to believe a good result and good performance is around the corner,” Clement said.
After the interval United patiently searched for a second and soon found one when Lingard, unmarked, headed home from the edge of the box. Tuanzebe, the 19-year old who looked assured from start to finish (an excitable late challenge on Jordan Ayew aside), eased past two Swansea players before picking out Matteo Darmian, whose floated cross from the right was superbly guided home by Lingard running at full tilt.
Clement summoned top-scorer Tammy Abraham, who instantly forced Romero into a save, but the reliance on the Chelsea loanee to always find a spark must be of concern.
Mourinho introduced Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, by which point United were in cruise control. “We’re the famous Man United, and we’re going to Wembley,” sang the jubilant travelling supporters.”