September 20, 2021, 19:15

Swansea 0-2 Manchester United: Three talking points

Swansea 0-2 Manchester United: Three talking points

Jose Mourinho was pleased with the response of his players at Swansea

Jesse Lingard scored twice to ensure Manchester United’s comfortable passage through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

The defending champions bounced back from Saturday’s defeat at Huddersfield in the Premier League but still left Jose Mourinho with plenty to think about on Tuesday night.

Here, we pick out three talking points from the match…

Highlights of Manchester United's Carabao Cup fourth-round win at Swansea Lindelof still struggling

United did keep a clean sheet – their 10th of the season – but the individual performance of big-money summer signing Victor Lindelof will still have had supporters feeling a little sceptical about his form, particularly after his mistake at the weekend.

Lindelof was caught out by a long pass from the Huddersfield goalkeeper on that occasion and judging by the way that he dangled a leg tentatively at a high ball at Swansea, it is a real weakness. Perhaps more accurately, it was the act of a man desperately short of confidence.

The Swede was a popular figure at former club Benfica and looked comfortable in possession for much of the contest but it was Axel Tuanzebe who carried the ball out from defence for Lingard’s second. While the teenager impressed, Lindelof still has work to do to convince of his class.

Rashford’s central role

Lingard’s first goal owed much to a delightful flick by Marcus Rashford to put his team-mate through. Given a rare opportunity to show what he could do in a central role, the England international offered a reminder of his subtlety and intelligence as well as his pace.

Rashford is enough of a presence to be more than a counter-attacking threat with his one-touch lay-offs a feature of his game. Mourinho has spoken of how Romelu Lukaku must play until Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns from injury but perhaps there is an alternative after all?

United to retain the cup?

That Mourinho brought both Lukaku and Nemanja Matic off the bench with the match seemingly sewn up is an indication of how seriously the United manager takes a competition that he has won four times in the past. Could he do so again this season?

A two-legged semi-final and the inevitable fixture congestion that would bring is now only one tie away. Mourinho will be wary of that, but his appetite to progress is undiminished nevertheless. “I am the same,” he told Sky Sports afterwards. “I want to win.”

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