Manchester United progressed to the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup following their 3-0 win over Derby County in the fifth round on Thursday night.
Odion Ighalo was the leading contributor as he scored a goal in either half. The victory has stretched United’s unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions.
Three things we learned:
Odion Ighalo proving a useful signing: The Nigerian was signed on loan from Shanghai Shenhua during the closing hours of the January transfer window and that surprised some of the fans, given the striker had been away from English football for the past three years. However, Ighalo has proved a useful signing during his short time with the club and he has already contributed three goals from his two starts. United currently don’t have the option to buy the striker permanently this summer but they may be tempted to do so, suppose he continues to impress with more goalscoring contributions for the rest of the season.
Luke Shaw getting back to his best: Shaw has impressed defensively in a back three in recent months but against Derby, he was handed with a start in his preferred left-back position. The England international’s shot in the 33rd minute contributed to the opening goal after a slight deflection off Jesse Lingard’s back. Prior to the half-time interval, he came up with a key pass for Odion Ighalo, who managed to win the physical battle with two Derby defenders to find the back of the net. Shaw has definitely gained confidence with his solid displays from the back three and the fans will be hoping that he can remain unscathed and continue with his good form.
United make it nine matches unbeaten: With the Cup win at Derby, United have extended their unbeaten streak to nine games in all competitions. There have been a few frustrating draws during that period but Solskjaer’s side are definitely moving in the right direction. The club have kept an impressive seven clean sheets and they have also been effective in the attack with an average of more than two goals per game. Up next, they have a testing challenge against arch-rivals Manchester City and a victory would surely provide them with a huge boost in their Champions League pursuit. United have had the edge over the Cityzens this term with two wins to one.