Manchester United made it safely into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. Jose Mourinho will surely be pleased.
The game itself was fairly comfortable from minute one, with the Red Devils enjoying the lions share of possession, as they tried to take the game to the hosts.
After the match, manager Mourinho heaped the praise on one player in particular; Jesse Lingard. The Warrington-born attacker ran the show, scoring the two goals that helped United to victory.
“Jesse played well and played with a lot of freedom. We tried to give him good protection behind with the experience of Ander Herrera and strength of Scott McTominay. We played with two strikers with a lot of enthusiasm and it was a good dynamic. We are trying to defend our cup to the maximum we can and now we go to the quarter-finals. That’s it and we are happy.” Mourinho told reporters, including Manchester United’s official website.
As the manager says, Lingard was given a freedom to roam and that seemed to suit him down to a tee. His movement was exceptional, and he showed that he can score all types of goals. His first, a cool as you like finish to cap off an excellent team goal. The second, a stunning header from 15-yards out.
I’ve always liked Lingard, yet found it annoying that sometimes he receives plenty of criticism from large portions of the United fanbase. Performances like the one he put in against Swansea City show what a useful squad player he is, and on his day, the United academy product can be that match winner.
Mourinho loves him not only for his attacking talent, but the work he puts in on the defensive side of the ball. I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if we see him named in the starting XI to take on Tottenham Hotspur this coming Saturday.