Marcus Rashford douses Yeovil’s fire

Posted by xiaolan On January 28

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In the end, as the flares billowed red smoke and those on the away terrace hollered their approval into the chill of the Somerset night, Manchester United’s passage into the fifth round proved a saunter. All the anxiety whipped up over the opening half hour, when Yeovil Town had threatened to the beat of the drummer in the crammed Thatcher’s Gold stand, had been forgotten. José Mourinho could look back on his 55th birthday with a sense of satisfaction. Men's Majestic Detroit Tigers #32 Michael Fulmer  There was plenty to cheer the Portuguese here. He had surveyed the scene through much of the second period with his arms crossed and feet propped on the raised edge of the pitch, content that his team’s lead would not be eroded. There was a clap of hands with his high-profile debutant, Alexis Sánchez, who had set up United’s first two goals after bursts of pace and slipped passes to team-mates and survived the odd hefty challenge meted out on the highest paid player in the English game before retiring 18 minutes from time. Mourinho wondered whether the home side’s centre-half, Nathan Smith, might have been fortunate to escape more than the yellow card flashed for his crunch through the Chilean on the half-hour while the contest was still goalless. “I understand [the referee] Paul Tierney’s decision not to show the red card because this is a special day, and 10 against 11 in that moment of the match and it is ‘game over’,” he said. Sánchez may have departed with a hint of a limp from his first outing as United’s No7, bruised from a brush with League Two, but this was a tantalising first glimpse of his qualities at his new club. The early signs were promising, even if others showcased their qualities just as persuasively. Marcus Rashford, excellent throughout, had capitalised on the first hint of hesitation in Yeovil’s rearguard, exploiting confusion between Tom James and Smith as each waited for the other to shepherd the ball back to Artur Krysiak. The finish was dispatched crisply before either could react for a 10th goal of term, his anticipation a class apart. Yeovil never really came to terms with the pace at which he moved the ball. His interchanges with Sánchez and Juan Mata, in particular, were played out J. D. Martinez Womens Jersey at breakneck speed. Then there was Michael Carrick, on only his second appearance of the season, who oozed the calm authority of a player who was never likely to see the tail-end of his glittering career spoiled by a Cup upset. Once he had found his rhythm, United purred at their core. Angel Gomes, at 17, almost scored with his first touch. Throw in cameos from Jesse Lingard – a player whose involvement may actually be threatened by Sánchez’s arrival – and Romelu Lukaku, dispatching a volley into an unguarded net in stoppage time at the end, and Womens Jordan Berry Jersey there was gloss to this display. Yeovil’s energy had rather fizzled out once the adrenaline subsided and reality kicked in. This was a meeting between the side currently second in the Premier League and a team two points above the cut-off in League Two. If the gulf was bridged in the early stages, it gaped again at the end. Not that the locals could bemoan their team’s display. Yeovil were excellent while the tie was so frantic in the opening half-hour, tearing into their illustrious opponents with gusto almost from their prematch huddle. Jordan Green was a nuisance while Sam Surridge and Francois Zoko, booked inside the first Kevin Bieksa Youth jersey minute for a challenge on Marcos Rojo, snapped remorselessly at United’s rearguard. Had Omar Sowunmi met Jake Gray’s early free-kick with more conviction, or Green not scuffed an attempt straight at Sergio Romero, then the locals may have had their lead. “We caused them problems and gave it everything,” said Darren Way. “We lived the dream for 90 minutes and couldn’t have done any more. I just needed Sánchez in my team.” The Chilean’s class would tell, for all the close attentions afforded him by Yeovil’s defenders. It was his corner from which Mata, on the spin, looped a shot on to the top of the bar, and his sprint down-field after Yeovil’s first corner of the second half just after the hour which culminated in a slipped pass to Ander Herrera at his side. The Spaniard finished crisply beyond Krysiak – excellent earlier in denying Scott McTominay – and United’s lead was doubled. “I thought Sánchez was world-class,” added Way. “As hard as we tried to stop their best players, it’s very difficult.” The manager’s consolation was the green light to sign three players on the back of this run to the fourth round, of whom one, Alex Fisher, came off the bench near the end having driven down from Motherwell. Ryan Seager will complete a loan move from Southampton over the weekend, with another to follow. This tie could have far-reaching effects in their battle to avoid relegation from the Football League. For United it was merely another hurdle comfortably vaulted en route to the latter stages. /> /> /> /> />

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