Lingard, Lukaku strike late as Man United defeat Derby


Manchester United left it late to beat Derby County in an entertaining FA Cup third-round game at Old Trafford.

A replay looked on the cards until Romelu Lukaku laid the ball off to Jesse Lingard, who took a touch and sent a 20-yard shot on the bounce into the top corner.

And half-time substitute Lukaku sealed the win after playing a one-two with Anthony Martial to cap off a counter attack.

United striker Marcus Rashford had hit the post in both halves – with a close-range header that he should have buried and a fierce shot across goal.

Rams keeper Scott Carson was excellent, making eight saves, including fine stops to keep out Juan Mata and Paul Pogba free-kicks.

Derby, second in the Championship, played well and Tom Lawrence forced a good diving save from Sergio Romero.

After losing to Derby’s Championship promotion rivals Bristol City in the Carabao Cup, United boss Jose Mourinho wanted to make sure there was no repeat and named a strong line-up, even though he made five changes.

Sitting 15 points behind Manchester City in the Premier League, and not among the favourites for the Champions League, the FA Cup is their best chance of winning a trophy this season.

They dominated, with Pogba, Mata and Rashford forcing saves from Carson.

But the big chance of the first half came when Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross found Rashford, who was unmarked and only four yards out but somehow he headed against the post.

Mkhitaryan was poor, that cross aside, and was replaced at half-time by Lukaku, six days after the Belgium striker left the pitch on a stretcher with a head injury against Southampton.

It was more of the same again in the second half, with Mata having a shot parried, Lukaku having a follow-up blocked and then Pogba firing wide.

Rashford again hit the post, this time from a tight angle across goal from Lingard’s pass.

And with six minutes to go, Lingard gave United the lead when he lashed home from Lukaku’s lay-off.

Derby pushed for an equaliser, sending men up for a corner, and Pogba’s 60-yard clearance found Lukaku on the halfway line. He ran towards goal and played a one-two with fellow substitute Martial before smashing the ball through Carson.

While United deserved their win, Derby played their part in a good game. Like the Red Devils, they made plenty of changes – six – but still played a strong team.

Left-back Marcus Olsson had plenty of success down the wing in the first half and forced Romero into a save from his header.

Tom Huddlestone had a shot blocked, with the United keeper possibly beaten, and Lawrence produced another save from the Argentine.

Derby could probably have done without a replay and they now focus on their Championship promotion push. They sit second in the league, two points above third-placed Cardiff.

If they can stay there, they will be back at Old Trafford in the Premier League next year.


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