Sanchez Inspires United to Victory in Red Devils Debut

Manchester United travelled to Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, a ground and a side that looked as if they could provide a significant challenge and perhaps even an upset, and came away with a 4-0 win.

The scoreline did not reflect Yeovil’s fine performance in the opening stages of this game, yet they were ultimately worn down by the firepower of the away side.

Positives

Alexis Sanchez did not score but, on his debut, he was the inspiration behind this victory, utterly tireless in attack. Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera recovered from poor starts to be decisive. Angel Gomes and Jesse Lingard also looked very good in late cameos.

Negatives

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Scott McTominay’s passing was too often unambitious, as was that of Ander Herrera, and the centre-backs initially struggled to pick up their men.

Manager rating out of 10

7 — Jose Mourinho was rewarded for taking something of a gamble by making so many changes. Several of his best players are now rested, and he gave the supporters their first look at Sanchez, who already looks an excellent acquisition.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Sergio Romero, 7 — The ball got through to him a little too much for comfort in the early stages, but he was equal to the task, catching or parrying away whenever called upon and generally looking in control of his area.

DF Matteo Darmian, 6 — A very poor opening half saw him exposed for speed and positioning, but in the second half he raised his game and ventured forward more than usual.

DF Victor Lindelof, 6 — Still looked very tentative for long periods, both in defence and when stepping forward. The player he was at Benfica is still to emerge.

DF Marcos Rojo, 6 — Got forward with his usual ambition in the end, supplying Romelu Lukaku for his team’s fourth goal. Still easing his way back into form, but his attacking outlook is of great value to this squad.

DF Luke Shaw, 7 — An industrious first half and a slightly quieter second as United broke clear of Yeovil. His energy and incisive running were vital in the early stages.

MF Michael Carrick, 7 — It was difficult to tell he had had so little football of late, as he prompted whatever attacks he could from the base of midfield and screened the defence with his usual efficiency.

MF Ander Herrera, 7 — An improved second half followed a poor first, where he struggled to get the ball into feet in the final third and seemed to have a very defensive mindset. Finished smartly for United’s vital second.

MF Scott McTominay, 5 — Never truly found his feet, with his first instinct being to pass sideways or backwards, perhaps a sign of poor movement ahead of him but maybe also of a lack of confidence.

MF Juan Mata, 6 — Could not get too much of a passing tempo going. His movement was good but he struggled to find a way through Yeovil, though perhaps the pitch’s highly uneven surface hindered his style more than most. Scored his team’s vital second.

MF Marcus Rashford, 6 — Had a difficult first half for the most part, not looking at his sharpest in touch and movement, but he persevered and was rewarded with the game’s opener, shrugging aside two defenders to slot home. Had a stronger second half and his confidence seemed to have returned by the end.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 8 — Added so much to this team with his intensity, constantly seeking possession and trying to play the killer pass. His incessant efforts — solo runs, crossfield balls, wing play — led to United’s breakthrough just before half-time, just as the anxiety was rising in several quarters. He then provided an assist for United’s second. He already looks to be an important signing.

Substitutes

FW Romelu Lukaku, 7 — Good movement from the moment of his introduction and provided a good finish from a pacy cross from Rojo.

MF Jesse Lingard, NR — Sealed a hardworking cameo with a fine run and emphatic finish. A good shout for United’s player of the season so far.

MF Angel Gomes, NR — In just a handful of minutes showed why he is such an exciting talent, beating his man with ease and shooting narrowly wide.

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