Manchester United booked their place in the FA Cup last eight on Saturday evening, thanks to a 2-0 victory away at Huddersfield Town.
The game itself wasn’t all that exciting, but Romelu Lukaku scored a goal in either half to help United on their way.
Jose Mourinho got his tactics spot on, allowing the hosts to attack, commit bodies forward, allowing the Red Devils to hit them on the counter-attack.
However, it wasn’t the forwards who received the manager’s praise following the game. He singled out both Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof, labelling the pair ‘really good’ for their excellent defensive displays.
“For the majority of the time in the first half Huddersfield were offensive, dangerous,” the manager told the Manchester Evening News. “They pushed us to good defensive work. Victor and Chris we were really good.
“The second half we were in control. We scored when we were already in control.”
The gaffer has to be impressed. Smalling, for all his weaknesses, is one mentally tough individual. He doesn’t let a bad performance linger in his mind, instead, he goes out there the following week and puts it all behind him.
As for Victor Lindelof, well, he’s been used sparingly this term but he’s improving every single week. The Swede put in another commanding display this time around and he brings us something different because he can play it out from the back. In time, I genuinely believe he’s the long-term partner for Eric Bailly as the pair would complement each other so well.