De Futebol Watford is now in Fourth Place

Arsenal is a dead man walking. Watford drove a stake in the hearts of Gunner Land with a 2-1 win this past Saturday.

The Guardians Paul Doyle wrote:” For Watford this was the thrilling story of another last-gasp triumph thanks to a 92nd-minute goal by Tom Cleverley following an equaliser from the penalty spot by Troy Deeney. For Arsenal it boiled down to a tale of two Germans and one 20-year-old Brazilian.

Per Mertesacker was on course to be the hero after heading Arsène Wenger’s team towards victory with a goal on his first league start for 18 months, but then Mesut Özil’s entrance coincided with the start of the Watford fightback, which was boosted by a spot-kick awarded following a sudden loss of verticality by Richarlison.

Wenger was appalled by that decision, adamant there had been no foul when Héctor Bellerín challenged the Brazilian, but even the visiting manager conceded Arsenal contributed to their own downfall. Mertesacker’s goal in the 39th minute gave Arsenal control of what had been an uneventful match and Özil could practically have confirmed victory by adding a second just after the hour.

Instead he shot feebly at Heurelho Gomes after being put through by Alex Iwobi. Punishment for Arsenal’s lapsed standards was meted out shortly thereafter, albeit starting with the dubious penalty.

Watford were not satisfied with a draw and having scored late goals this season against Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea, they snatched maximum points after an attack that triggered panic in the Arsenal box. After a couple of shots ricocheted around the penalty area, Cleverley kept his cool to fire into the roof of the net from 10 yards. By then Arsenal had been deprived of two key players as their problems piled up, Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny limping off with hamstring and calf problems respectively.

The departure of Welbeck, who had only just returned from injury, led to the introduction of Özil, who had begun on the bench as Wenger opted for Iwobi and the solidity that had yielded a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge last month. Their other away league games this season were the 1-0 loss at Stoke City and the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in late August.

Alexis Sánchez and Aaron Ramsey, physically and mentally drained after their efforts that ended in World Cup elimination for Chile and Wales respectively, were not even included in the squad.

Wenger watched with a sense of vindication as his team enjoyed the better of a tight first half. Arsenal were energetic and disciplined and their midfield minimised the amount of pressure put on a defence in which Mertesacker was starting because of injury to Skhodran Mustafi.

Arsenal were the first to threaten. Adrian Mariappa made an excellent tackle to halt a run by Welbeck in the ninth minute and intervened again two minutes later to prevent Welbeck turning the ball into the net from close range after a volleyed cross by Sead Kolasinac.

Watford created their first chance in the 18th minute, when Abdoulaye Doucouré ventured into the space behind Bellerín and delivered a dangerous cross. That might have ben rewarded with a goal if Roberto Pereyra had not mistimed a header from seven yards.

Mohamed Elneny tried to bypass the Watford defence on the half-hour by going straight for goal from 25 yards but his shot flew over. Then Alexandre Lacazette teed up Welbeck with a sumptuous dink, but José Holebas was alert and lithe enough to poke the ball off the foot of the striker before he could shoot.

Arsenal were gaining the upper hand. They capitalised by scoring a goal of textbook simplicity. Granit Xhaka floated over a corner from the right and Mertesacker made Mariappa and Cleverley look Lilliputian as he ignored their challenges and headed into the net. By half-time Arsenal were looking comfortable.

Özil, with a fine pass, offered Iwobi a chance to put them even more at ease, but Gomes tipped away the shot from the Nigeria international. Then Iwobi presented Özil with a better chance but the German’s attempted finish lacked power and precision, allowing Gomes to save.

Worse, Arsenal were losing control, no longer able to keep Watford at bay. Richarlison may not have been fouled after bursting into the box but his raid was a sign of how play had changed course and Arsenal were losing their grip. Watford snatched victory after triggering panic in the away defence, Cleverley keeping cool to whack the ball into the net from 10 yards. The result took them up to fourth, overtaking not just the visitors but also Burnley, Liverpool and Chelsea.”

De Futebol Draws were the word of the Day in the EPL

Everton tied with Brighton Hove and Albion one all.

EPL Match Report:” Wayne Rooney’s late penalty gave Everton an important point at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The home side looked to have sealed the win when Anthony Knockaert fired home from a Pascal Gross pass on 82 minutes.

Izzy Brown then forced a great save from Everton’s Jordan Pickford before Bruno caught Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the area and Rooney kept his cool from the spot.

Brighton’s Mat Ryan, who saved well from Idrissa Gueye in the first half, then made a superb double stop to keep Everton at bay in the closing moments.

Brighton remain in 14th place, with eight points from their eight matches, while Everton are in 16th on the same total.”

Southampton and Newcastle tied two all.

EPL Match Report:” Manolo Gabbiadini’s double helped Southampton come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Newcastle United at St Mary’s Stadium.

Isaac Hayden wrong-footed Fraser Forster with a strike from the edge of the penalty area to put the Magpies 1-0 up at half time.

And moments after Gabbiadini scored a fine equaliser after Nathan Redmond’s long ball, Ayoze Perez beat Forster at his near post to put Newcastle 2-1 up in a frantic few minutes after the break.

But Gabbiadini moved Saints up to 10th in the table with the second leveller from the penalty spot, after Florian Lejeune tripped Shane Long.

Newcastle are two points and a place above Southampton after Sunday’s match.

De Futebol- Man U Liverpool Tied. Man Shitty wins big time. Shitty at the top of the table with 22 points. The Red Devils are second with 20

Man U played for the point and the clean sheet. This is what the guys got. A nil-nil draw against Liverpool at the Reds house Anfield.

We will see how this strategy plays out as the season plays out.

Up next for Man U is Huddersfield at the Terriers house.

Man U has 20 points and a plus 19.

The Daily Mail:” Jose did what Jose does. And Jose got what Jose wanted.

Neither spectacle nor occasion will move Mourinho from a preordained strategy. Rumours that he would start with nine forwards and just one defender proved surprisingly unfounded. A point was what he needed and a point was what he took home.

It was Liverpool, with one win in eight game now, who badly needed a victory. Yet football’s oldest law says that it’s easier to contain than create. Mourinho knows it. Perhaps not to the extent that his fiercest critics would contend. Lest we forget – and he certainly won’t allow us to – his Real Madrid team were record goal-scorers in La Liga and his Chelsea side magnificent at times.

But right now, he doesn’t need the show. The flair associated with this club of old can be saved for the goal festivals against the likes of West Ham, Swansea, Everton and Crystal Palace. Liverpool away requires a different plan. And, as Mourinho famously claimed at this ground once before, he’s not about to play the part of the clown at the circus. The hoopla and excitement of the game, you suspect, moved him not a jot. His eye is on a bigger prizes.

It was Jurgen Klopp’s turn, two years into his Liverpool tenure and facing questions as to how much progress has been made, to show us what he’s got. The onus was on him; or rather, that is how Mourinho wanted the game to be defined. And so that is largely how it played out.

Not that it didn’t have all the ingredients of England’s most formidable football clash. Crowds thronged outside from breakfast time in anticipation of something special. When the time came, Anfield roared for Kenny Dalglish, celebrating the stand named after him on Friday and the knot of United fans in the corner shouted defiance. This remodelled stadium is now a fitting stage and at times that din was intoxicating.

Yet, frankly, the game itself, at present struggles to match the atmosphere, which is becoming the star of these ultimately-disappointing encounters.

At times, Liverpool threatened to break the leash with which had subdued them. Principally there was a moment on 36 minutes when Roberto Firmino produced a dummy which left Nemanja Matic bewildered. The Brazilian’s cross found Joel Matip six yards out: he shot and David de Gea saved brilliantly and instinctively while Mohamed Salah fired the rebound wastefully wide.

In those moments you could question Mourinho and wonder whether he placed too much faith in his own ability to contain and control a contest. . With Frimino, Salah and Philippe Coutinho, was always have a chance and as the defensive side, you always run that risk of being undone by a moment of genius. But those moments were few and far between.

Undoubtedly Liverpool were the better side in that they seized the initiative, as you might have expected at Anfield, and attempted to wrest the game from Mourinho’s grasp. And Salah, fresh from his Egyptian heroics, was incisive, cutting inside United’s defence with his pace, though his penalty claim in the 16th was rightly waved away.

But in general, Mourinho looked as though this was all in the plan and that nothing would disturb it. He has faced down more fearsome side that this Liverpool outfit in his time. There is pretty much a formula from getting away a high-profile contest with what he requires.

Starting with Ashley Young at right wing rather than left back was a clear indication of where the game was heading even before kick off. On those occasions when Romelu Lukaku did receive the ball and set off on a customary charge goalwards, neither Young nor Anthony Martial rushed to join him; their defensive duties clearly as much in their mind as their attacking role.

That said, United, with little more than a wayward Nemanja Matic shot to show for their first half, still almost went into the break head. Henrikh Mkhitaryan played in Lukaku and the Belgian forced hit it first time, forcing a fine save from his compatriot in goal, Simon Mignolet, on 44 minutes.

As time wore on, Murinho’s strategy received a more thorough interrogation Firmino’s strike on 49 minutes set both the side netting and Liveroool hearts fluttering; Joe Gomez lifted a ball into the box for Emre Can on 52 minutes which the German directed high over the bar. Still, these were chances and United, though hardly rocking, were at least a little shaky.

Liverpool continued to probe. On 71 minutes Salah was the breadth of stud away from connecting with a Firmino cross. By now Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford had joined the fray but more to reinforce the shape rather than throw caution to the wind. Liverpool introduced Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain on 79 minutes. To no avail. What had been preordained by Mourinho came to pass. It wasn’t pretty but you couldn’t help but admire the predictability.

Man Shitty blows out Stoke City 7-2. Shitty is at the head of class with 22 points and a plus 25.

Tottenham gets by Bournemouth 1-0.

Spurs are third place with 17 points.

Crystal Palace scored their first two goals of the season. The Eagles shocked Chelsea 2-1 for Crystal Palace’s first win of the season.

Burnley and West Ham tied one.

Swansea City doubled up on Huddersfield 2-0.

Man Shitty is in the catbird seat 22 points. Man U is second with 20 points. Spurs are third 17 points.

Arsenal had a chance to jump into fourth place. The guys stunk the joint out in the dying embers of match up when Watford’s Tom Cleverley nailed the match winner in the 90th minute plus two to give the Hornets a 2-1 win over my Gunners.

Arsenal took a 1-0 lead at the break on a rocket header by Per Mertesacker from close range off a corner kick in the 39th minute.

The Hornets didn’t quit in the second half. Watford came back to score two second half goals to send my Gunners home with a ton questions and their third loss of the season.

Watford is now in fourth place with 15 points.

Chelsea is fifth with 13 points and Arsenal is sixth with 13 points.

De Futebol- USA out of 2018 World after Humiliating 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago

USA is out of the 2018 World Cup after a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago.

The Daily Mail: “The US men’s soccer team has failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

But should a referee have disallowed a goal that helped doom their chances?

Bruce Arena’s men were eliminated after a disappointing 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday night.

A string of results from other games that didn’t go their way sealed their exit.

Panama beat Costa Rica 2-1 to secure their place in the 2018 tournament. However there questions over whether their first goal crossed the line.

Videos seem to show the ball never made it all the way across the whitewash, but the referee allowed it anyway.

The controversial goal was scored in the 52nd minute, and Panama went on to score once more, but the decision may have impacted the US’ fate.

Panama had to win their game to qualify. A draw would have seen the US through.

According to CBS, who reached out to U.S. Soccer inquiring about their options at appealing Panama’s victory, officials appeared pessimistic.

‘As far as I know there is no recourse,’  Press Officer Michael Kammarman said in an email.

‘Decisions of the referee are final,’ he added.

Still, according to the Confederation of North, Central and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), an appeal can be filed for ‘parties directly affected by a decision’ and with a three weeks window to file a claim.


It remains unclear how CONCACAF rules affect World Cup tournament rules.

Meanwhile, 28 years after a stunning victory at Trinidad put the Americans back in the World Cup after a four-decade absence, their chances for next year’s tournament in Russia ended on this island nation off the coast of Venezuela.

Trinidad and Tobago scored a pair of first-half goals, and the United States was eliminated with a 2-1 defeat Tuesday night – the first time missing the World Cup since 1986.

The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica left the Americans little margin for error.

The 28th-ranked Americans needed merely a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad, which lost its sixth straight qualifier last week.

But the defeat – coupled with Honduras’ come-from-behind 3-2 win over Mexico and Panama’s 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Ramon Torres’ 88th-minute goal – dropped the Americans from third place into fifth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

De Futebol Messi’s hat trick leads Argentina to a berth in the 2018 World Cup

Lionel Messi led the way with a hat trick to lead Argentina’s destruction of Ecuador 3-1. Couple this win with Brasil’s shut out 3-0 win over Chile and Peru and Colombia tied one all gave Argentinos third place and a spot in the 2018 World Cup.

Peru earns a playoff spot with their one all tie against Colombia.

Brasil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia have their tickets punched for the World Cup.

The Guardian wrote on the Argentina win:” Argentina conceded after just 37 seconds in their must-win game against Ecuador, but Lionel Messi came to the rescue as his side booked their place at next summer’s World Cup.

The No10 hit a brace in the first half in Quito and capped off a stellar performance as he completed his hat-trick with a stunning chip over keeper Maximo Banguera just after the hour mark.

Romario Ibarra stunned the away fans – and perhaps all of South America – as he nodded on a ball lofted high into the danger area and sloppy defence from Argentina allowed the Ecuadorian space to slot it in past Sergio Romero in the opening minute.

But Messi, who is now the all-time leading goalscorer in South American qualifying, played a deft one-two with Angel di Maria to level things up after 12 minutes and then put his side in front eight minutes later with a strike from just inside the box.

Ecuador continued to press in search of an equaliser as Argentina failed to kill the game off, allowing the home side to attack well into the second half.

It was a moment of brilliance which proved to be the difference. The Argentina talisman took the ball in space about 40 yards out from goal, weaved his way to the edge of the box and was able to lob Banguera – six yards off his line – as he lost his balance and fell to the floor.

Argentina were looking in danger of not making the 2018 World Cup in Russia going into the final group games, following a torrid campaign in which they had only scored 16 goals in 17 games.

Low points were numerous, and a 2-0 loss to Bolivia in March saw the end of Edgardo Bauza’s short stint as boss as Jorge Sampaoli took the reins.

Since then, three draws put Argentina on the brink of not making the World Cup for the first time since 1970. They then travelled to Quito – a place where they have not won since 2001 – but bagged all three points to guarantee a trip to Russia.

De Futebol Chile is a step closer to making the 2018 World Cup

Chile scored a late goal to beat Ecuador 2-1. Alexis Sanchez nailed the match winner in the 86th minute.

The Daily Mail:” Chile survived a late scare to beat Ecuador 2-1 on Thursday and keep alive their hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia as they moved into third-place in the 10-team South American qualifying group.

The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia with the fifth-placed side facing Oceania champions New Zealand in a two-legged play-off.

With just one game remaining, Brazil are the only South American side to have guaranteed their spot, with Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru all dependent on results in Tuesday’s final round of matches.

Copa America champions Chile have perhaps the toughest task in their final match, against Brazil in Sao Paulo.

The five-times world champions have never lost a World Cup qualifier at home.

Chile have failed to sparkle this year, losing three of their last four qualifiers before Thursday.

However, Tigres striker Eduardo Vargas helped them back to their winning ways with a goal after 22 minutes.

Alexis Sanchez stole the ball on the edge of the box and fed midfielder Jorge Valdivia and his pass left Vargas in space 12 yards out to crash the ball past keeper Maximo Banguera.

Romario Ibarra equalised for Ecuador with eight minutes remaining but Sanchez was on hand three minutes later when Banguera could only parry a shot on the edge of the six-yard box.

Sanchez then had the simplest of tasks slipping the ball home for the winner.

De Futebol-Argentina in danger of not making the 2018 World Cup

Argentina and Peru tied nil-nil.

The Daily Mail:” Argentina and Lionel Messi are on the verge of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970, stumbling to a 0-0 draw against Peru before a capacity crowd in Buenos Aires.

Only one round of qualifying remains in South America.

Argentina, the runner-up to Germany in the World Cup three years ago in Brazil, plays on Tuesday against Ecuador in the thin air of Quito in the Andes.

The Argentines are in sixth place, with the top four teams advancing automatically. The fifth-place team can advance by winning a playoff against New Zealand.

Brazil has already qualified, and drew 0-0 against Bolivia on Thursday. Brazil has 38 points, followed by: Uruguay (28), Chile (26), Colombia (26), Peru (25), Argentina (25) and Paraguay (24).

Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia are eliminated.

It’s too close to call. But Uruguay is expected to get through the final round on Tuesday. After that, four teams are chasing the two automatic spots.

That will leave two teams trying to reach the playoff, which looks like Argentina’s only route. It must win at 9,350 feet in Quito and get some help.

Argentine will require all the luck they can get after a disappointing night in front of their home supporters.

Their players, led by Messi, all trudged off the pitch at full-time. Every single of them appeared disappointed with the outcome and know their destiny is now out of their hands heading into next week and the crucial match against Ecuador.

It is a game they really must win if they are to stand any realistic chance of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup.

De Futebol Brasil-Bolivia tie nil-nil

Brasil and Bolivia tied nil-nil in the high altitude of La Paz. Brasileiros are the top dog with 38 points.

Globo Esportes wrote:” com a Bolívia na altitude de La Paz, nesta quinta-feira, pela penúltima rodada das Eliminatórias da Copa, em um duelo que teve o goleiro Lampe como grande destaque. O atacante Gabriel Jesus, que viu três finalizações suas pararem no boliviano, deu parabéns ao rival após a partida. Apesar do placar igual, o jogador do Manchester City disse que a seleção brasileira mostrou mais uma vez seu comprometimento mesmo já classificada para a Copa.

– Três chances que não costumo errar. De cabeça ainda estou treinando, aprimorando, mas não posso errar, eu sei. Fui lá e falei para ele parabéns pelas defesas. A gente sabia que não seria fácil, tivemos chances claras, mas não conseguimos ampliar para gol. Saímos daqui de cabeça erguida, porque a gente batalhou, correu e conseguiu segurar a equipe deles – disse.

Ao todo, a seleção brasileira contou com onze oportunidades de gol, parando ou em Lampe ou sofrendo com a altitude de 3640 metros de La Paz, a capital boliviana. Gabriel Jesus admitiu o cansaço por conta da geografia em sue primeiro duelo em um cenário como este.

– Senti um pouco de cansaço, é normal. Primeira vez que jogo em altura assim. Pega, é normal. Conseguimos jogar, colocar o ritmo. Infelizmente, a bola não entrou hoje. É descansar para que nos próximos jogos conseguimos fazer outro belo jogo e marcar os gols. O físico pega bastante. O domínio da bola é em relação ao campo, que não estava legal, mas não podemos reclamar, é entrar em campo e jogar, enfrentar as dificuldades.

O Brasil fecha as Eliminatórias na última rodada (18ª) diante do Chile, na arena do Palmeiras, em São Paulo, na próxima terça-feira, às 20h30 (de Brasília). Líder isolado e já garantido no Mundial da Rússia, uma vitória confirma a ótima campanha do time comandado por Tite na competição, cujo aproveitando é de 74.5 % até agora, com 38 pontos.

De Futebol Liverpool is in a world hurt

The Guardians Louise Taylor wrote about the Reds Toons draw. “Jürgen Klopp seemed torn between defiance and anxiety after a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United left his Liverpool side in seventh place, seven points behind the leaders, Manchester City.

“We should have won,” Klopp said. “We were the better side and created more chances but you know we have a real problem because we have to play better next game, otherwise we will not get a point.”

After a wonderful Philippe Coutinho goal gave Liverpool the lead, Joselu equalised for Newcastle when Klopp’s centre-halves, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, allowed a through-ball from the excellent Jonjo Shelvey to bisect them.

“It was a good pass for Newcastle’s goal, at the right moment,” Klopp, whose side have won one just of their past seven games in all competitions, said. “For me it looked like the centre-halves didn’t see the ball with Shelvey because two or three players are in front of them. If they see it they have to make a step and Joselu is offside. In the end it is unlucky.”

Liverpool’s manager felt luck had quite a bit to do with the result and remains confident his is about to turn. “We are in very promising situations and we don’t score. That, of course, is a problem but it will not stay like this. I know, I am long enough around football.

“There are different ways to get one win in seven. You can play really bad and lose a lot of games or you play more than a few games really, really good. Most of the games actually we were the better side but a few chances are enough for the opponent to score and we need a lot more and in the end we have had the same number of goals. That happens too often in the last few weeks, of course.

“The boys will go away and we all feel not perfect in that moment and by the way the main problem is not only that football is not fair, people write about it and the boys read it and it makes it even worse. You have a point but it feels like you have lost.”

Not that he agrees confidence has been dented. “I have not seen a drop in confidence from the players,” the manager said. “It is our duty to be confident because the boys have the quality.”

Klopp was frustrated by two particular misses from the disappointing Daniel Sturridge and the impressive Mohamed Salah but said such misses would be corrected. “What is my job? Say, ‘Mo, don’t do that next time and Daniel please have a look next time’? They know that and they will do that next time.

“We have our hard moment now but other teams will have their hard moment. We need to work on our thing and I really think it looks like we are not far away from a real challenge. If we do what we are good at, we don’t have to think about other teams and we will close the gap.”

Rafael Benítez was considerably happier with a point against the club he led to Champions League glory. “Against a team like Liverpool you have to be happy,” he said. “The lads did a great job and maybe with a bit more composure on the ball we could have scored another goal.”

He was particularly pleased with Shelvey. “Jonjo has the quality on the ball, I told him before the game, you know how to play football, you just have to work hard and keep your head focused.”

Told that Klopp thought Newcastle should have lost, he turned diplomatic. “Sometimes you get what you deserve, sometimes you don’t. We have got a point at home, which isn’t the best, but against one of the top teams you take it.”

De Futebol- Man U rolls over Burton Albion 4-0

Man U rolls over Burton Albion 4-0 in the Carabo Cup.

The Guardians Jamie Jackson wrote:” José Mourinho had no sooner watched Manchester United swat aside Burton Albion before he suggested he would not be averse to the League Cup being scrapped. Mourinho has claimed the trophy four times as a manager – including his first silverware with United last season – and is the only one of the current 92 league managers to win it.

Yet of a competition that dates from the 1960-61 season, he said: “Could the English football survive or even be better without this competition? Maybe, maybe we would be fresher for European competition for example. But we have this competition, we have to respect the sponsors, we have to respect the opponents and a lot of us are trying to do our best.

“If the competition is an official competition then it is important for Manchester United and for me as a manager.”

United knocked out Burton in what is becoming familiar fashion this season. This fourth four-goal haul made it a total of 24 in eight outings in all competitions. Marcus Rashford scored twice and terrorised Burton to be the night’s best performer, while Mourinho also praised his other forwards. “[Anthony] Martial was good, [Jesse] Lingard was good, everybody in attacking areas gave dynamic in the team. We look happy playing this moment,” he said.

Inside five minutes United took the lead with a simple goal for Rashford. Michael Carrick floated the ball over and found the No19 via Lingard inside Burton’s area to make it 1-0. It was precisely the start Mourinho would have wanted and Nigel Clough, the Burton manager, would have dreaded.

United’s second came when Daley Blind pushed the ball down the left and Rashford gave Connor Ripley no chance with a fierce shot that beat the Burton goalkeeper off his right post.

It was Rashford’s fifth goal in five United appearances and he was near-unplayable whenever a red shirt found him. Ander Herrera zipped a pass down the right, Rashford beat the offside trap and only a flailing boot from Ben Turner prevented him from taking aim again.

United were slicker and more determined, Juan Mata spurning a chance and Martial being denied by Ripley’s legs. When the Brewers managed an attack, Joe Mason’s chip was saved by Sergio Romero. Next in a seemingly endless medley of chances, Mata hit Ripley’s left post, Matteo Darmian collected the loose ball and found Martial, but his volley ricocheted away.

If this was largely United’s second string, Mourinho would be pleased with their pace and how keen the deputies were to impress. The third goal derived from some dazzling Martial skill as he produced a trick near Burton’s penalty area and tapped the ball to Lingard, whose shot took a heavy deflection, giving Ripley no chance.

Of what might be viewed Mourinho’s strongest XI, only Mata and Rashford were included, the manager making nine changes from the side that beat Everton 4-0 here on Sunday. This was the same number as Clough made for Burton, as Turner and Jamie Allen survived from Saturday’s 2-1 win against Fulham.

For the second half Luke Shaw was introduced for Mata, the left-back making a first appearance since 30 April because of an ankle ligament injury. Clough brought on Stephen Warnock and Luke Murphy for Allen and Turner.

Shaw’s first notable action was to put the ball in the net, albeit from an offside position, and next he was sharp at the other end when recovering after losing the ball near Romero. He later linked with Lingard down the left as United kept possession with ease.

As the hour approached Mourinho was moved to applause by a twinkle-toed dance through Burton’s defence by Martial that would have produced a fine goal if not for Ripley’s save. Moments later, however, he did beat the goalkeeper with a cool finish, then Rashford’s value to Mourinho was illustrated by his being taken off as the contest entered its final third.

With virtually the final touch of the game, Lloyd Dyer scored a consolation for Burton, the first goal against United at Old Trafford this season. But they had cantered home and a professional display left Mourinho in relaxed form. “I learned nothing new, just what I know, they all want to play, are ready to play,” he said. “I think they enjoy the game because these League Cup matches, I think it’s essential.”

United next travel to Swansea City in the fourth round.