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If Saturday’s victory was a bit lucky United were full marks for the victory tonight.
Chances were few and far between in the first half as both teams seemed to start rather tentatively.
Odion Ighalo got a half chance on 18 minutes after a great Juan Mata set-up but hit the side-netting.
Dean Henderson denied Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s effort on the edge of the box just 8 minutes later.
Scott McTominay got the breakthrough just before half-time, heading home an in swinging free-kick from Mata.
United made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute when Mata started and finished a brilliant move, latching onto a great flicked pass from Donny van de Beek.
Paul Pogba made it 3-0 in the 80th minute when his free-kick took a wicked deflection off the wall and curled into the top corner.
Plenty of changes
Not only was Man United’s performance completely different from the weekend but so was their lineup.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 10 changes from Saturday’s match with Victor Lindelof keeping his place at the back.
Despite having only 49% possession, the Reds were more precise in front of goal with 6 of their 10 efforts hitting the target.
There when needed
Dean Henderson has put up two clean sheets in his two starts for the Red Devils.
While he only had two saves to make the timing of his saves were once again critical.
In the 67th minute Pascal Gross’ close range effort was saved brilliantly by Henderson after a great feed from substitute Leandro Trossard.
Man of the match
Last week his penalty made the difference in a 3-0 win over Luton Town.
Juan Mata was decisive once again for United, setting up the winning goal, and scoring a brilliant second.
The Spaniard may not feature much in the Premier League for the Reds but he showed he’s still got plenty of game left.
He was impressive, compact and creative for United in helping them into the quarter-finals.
The lone summer signing Donny van de Beek impressed once again.
The Dutchmen was all over the field in a first-half where he never misplaced a single pass.
He set-up the insurance goal and showed pace and versatility that proved too much for the Seagulls.
With a performance like that we should see him start a Premier League match for the Reds very soon.
A Tale of Two matches
Unlike last weekend the Reds looked fairly comfortable despite missing captain Harry Maguire with a slight knock.
Brighton did little to trouble United’s back line with virtually no clear-cut chances created.
United looked composed, and comfortable throughout this match.
Manchester United return to Old Trafford Sunday when the face former manager Jose Mourinho and Tottenham at 5:30.
They’ll face Everton in the next round.
That quarter-final game will be played the week before Christmas. (JSL)