Juan Mata inspired Manchester United to a 3-0 win over Brighton to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, four days after controversially beating the Seagulls in the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 10 changes to the side that snatched a 3-2 win on Saturday, including starting summer signing Donny van der Beek, but saw most of his fringe players fail to impress.

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Brighton, who made nine changes to their starting line-up, carved out the better opportunities in the first half with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Alexis Mac Allister going close.

But it was the visitors who took the lead on the stoke of half-time with Mata's brilliant free-kick headed in by an unmarked Scott McTominay.

Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard came on at the start of the second half and the home side enjoyed more possession as United's midfielders sat too deep, providing little service to Odion Igahlo while Daniel James failed to get into the game.

The visitors had Dean Henderson to thank for making a fine save from Trossard's effort. And against the run of play, United doubled their lead when Mata scored with a cool low finish from Van de Beek's deft backheel.

Solskjaer's side scored a third late on when substitute Paul Pogba's free-kick took a deflection off the wall and flew in to cap off a clinical performance.


United put in another clinical performance without playing that well. Similar to the wins over Luton and Brighton in the Premier League, United took their chances from set pieces tonight. But overall Solsjkaer's tactic of sitting back with slow build-up and not creating many chances is underwhelming given the talent in his squad.

On the plus side, Henderson made some good saves while Mata and Van de Beek made strong cases for featuring against Tottenham on Sunday.


Juan Mata (Manchester United): The 32-year-old reminded everyone of his class and reliability with a goal and an assist. He took advantage of a rare start to float in a brilliant cross for McTominay's opener and then secured the win with a calm finish.


BRIGHTON: Steele 5, White 5, Dunk 6, Burn 7, Veltman 6, Molumby 4, Mac Allister 7, Gross 5, Bernardo 6, Jahanbakhsh 6, Gyokeres 4. Subs: Maupay 5, Trossard 6, Sanders n/a.

MANCHESTER UNITED: Henderson 8, Dalot 5, Bailly 6, Lindelof 6, Williams 6, McTominay 7, Fred 4, Mata 8, Van de Beek 7, James 4, Ighalo 5. Subs: Pogba 6, Rashford 5.


17' - CHANCE! Mata does well to trade passes with Williams and finds Ighalo who rounds the keeper and scuffs the ball into the side netting.

44' - GOAL FOR UNITED! An unmarked McTominay scores from the resulting free-kick, heading in Mata's cross. Brighton switch off.

68' - BIG SAVE! Henderson dives to his left to keep out Trossard's first time effort from Gross's cross.

73' - GOAL FOR UNITED! It's Mata, who along with Henderson has been the standout performer. Van de Beek's lovely flicked touch finds the Spaniard who tucks it into the bottom corner.

80'- GOAL FOR UNITED! From the resulting free-kick, Pogba's free-kick defelcts off the wall and flies into the top corner of the near post.

86' - GOOD SAVE! Van de Beek threads it through to Dalot but Steele is out quickly to smother the shot.


Mata has been directly involved in 13 goals in his last 15 starts for Manchester United across all competitions (five goals and eight assists).

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28/10/2020 AT 22:44