Jesse Lingard double sends Manchester United into League Cup quarter-finals
League Cup fourth round - Swansea 0 Manchester United 2 (Lingard 21, 60)
A goal in each half from Jesse Lingard sent Manchester United into the League Cup quarter-finals after a comfortable 2-0 victory at Swansea.
Both sides made plenty of changes, but it was the visitors who proved they had the superior strength in depth as Lingard raced clear in the first half to give United the lead, before brilliantly heading home from a Matteo Darmian cross to ensure United moved a step closer to retaining their League Cup trophy as Jose Mourinho's love affair with the competition rumbles on.
Neither team's second string could really find any rhythm early on, but the one moment of real quality of the first half produced the opening goal, as a super flick from Marcus Rashford sent Lingard clear, before the England international expertly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
After the break, United continued to dominate as Swansea seemed reluctant to commit too many bodies forward, and the game was over as a contest just before the hour mark, as Lingard superbly headed into the net from the edge of the box after being picked out by Darmian. Eight of Lingard’s 13 United goals have now come in cup competitions.
The rest of the match was a mere procession as United easily dealt with a meagre Swansea response. Even Luke Shaw got a run out. Nonetheless, United got the victory they needed after their first defeat of the season at the weekend, with some fringe players impressing. Swansea, on the other hand, can take little from a below par showing.
Jesse Lingard et les joueurs de Manchester United fêtent leur but face à Swansea / 4e tour de Carabao CupGetty Images
No real indication of United reaction. It was important for United to get back to winning ways. The intensity levels were heightened to answer Mourinho’s challenge, but the real test of United’s fighting spirit follows on Saturday with the visit of Tottenham. Swansea offered next to nothing in attack, and didn't manage a shot on target until the 74th minute. United’s defence looked shaky at times, but they weren’t really tested. Lack of overexertion will help keep players fresh, but taking any real momentum into the Spurs clash will be difficult after this south Wales stroll.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jesse Lingard (Manchester United): The Cup King strikes again. Lingard has saved his best for cup competitions, and the quality of his finishing was instrumental in another United cup success in south Wales. The 24-year-old had five attempts at goal, three more than anyone else on the pitch.
Manchester United's Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring their first goal with Scott McTominay and teammatesReuters
21’ - GOAL! Swansea 0-1 Manchester United. Just as I say that, Lingard puts United in front! Super goal. The ball is fizzed into the feet of Rashford, who delicately flicks the ball through for Lingard. He controls it well, races clear before slotting the ball neatly into the bottom corner. Slick football, but Swansea made it easy for the holders.
30’ - CLOSE! That would have been a rather comical equaliser. Blind gets up to head clear, but heads it into the back of McBurnie and the ball trickles just past the post.
44’ - CLOSE! Great effort from Sam Clucas from the edge of the box as he uses the United defenders to keep Sergio Romero unsighted, he curls for the bottom corner, but sees his effort fizz just wide.
59’ - GOAL! Swansea 0-2 Manchester United. Lingard guides the ball into the net with his head to make it two. The cup king is at it again! Great play from Tuanzebe as he carries the ball forward, sprays it out wide to Darmian, who whips a cross on to the head of Lingard, who still has a lot to do from that distance with his head, but the finish is excellently steered into the bottom corner.
64’ - CHANCE! That was the opportunity for the hat-trick, but Lingard blows it, as he snatches at the shot, dragging the ball across the face of goal.
74’ - SAVE! Finally we have a shot on target. Abraham does well to swivel and shoot for goal, which forces Sergio Romero into a smart stop.
- Three of Jesse Lingard's last four Manchester United goals have been scored in the League Cup.
- Marcus Rashford has played a direct hand in four of Manchester United's six goals in the Carabao Cup this season.
- Sergio Romero completed as many dribbles as the Swansea players combined in the first half.