c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Comfortable Victory for Manchester United as They Progress to Carabao Cup Fourth Round with 3-0 Triumph over Crystal Palace
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Comfortable Victory for Manchester United as They Progress to Carabao Cup Fourth Round with 3-0 Triumph over Crystal Palace

(Photo:Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United comfortably secured their place in the Carabao Cup fourth round with a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. The holders got off to a strong start, with goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro in the first half. Anthony Martial then sealed the win with a clinical finish just 10 minutes into the second half. This victory was a welcome relief for United manager Erik ten Hag, who has faced a series of challenges in recent weeks. It was also their biggest win of the season so far, as they have struggled to find their form.

Ten Hag was able to integrate some key players into the starting XI, including Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat. Both players made significant contributions, with Mount delivering an excellent corner that led to Casemiro's goal. Amrabat, playing as an inverted left-back, caught the eye with his passing range and ability to read the game. He was unlucky with an early shot, but otherwise had an impressive performance.

United's gameplan involved creating overloads on the right side, with lofted cross-field passes from the left. Both Amrabat and Mount executed this strategy well. The opener came from a burst by Diogo Dalot, who provided a low cross for Garnacho to finish. Martial's goal from a tight angle was his first of the season and a welcome moment for the striker.

Palace had few opportunities throughout the match, but goalkeeper Andre Onana made two excellent saves to deny Jean-Phillippe Mateta late in the game. Unfortunately for Palace, their goalkeeper Dean Henderson had to be substituted after just 19 minutes due to muscular pain.

Ten Hag expressed satisfaction with his team's performance and believes they are making progress. After a run of three straight defeats, the win against Burnley and this victory over Palace show signs of improvement. Ten Hag praised the team's spirit and togetherness, both in defense and on the ball. He acknowledged that there is still work to be done, but feels that they are moving in the right direction.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag must be yearning for a quiet month and for someone else to take on the role of the Premier League's crisis club. At this time last season, United began a run that propelled them into the hunt for the top four and briefly into the title race. Currently sitting ninth in the table after six games, Ten Hag would be content with staying within reach of the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Brighton, and Tottenham.

Despite the disappointment of not winning, Ten Hag emphasized the positive mood and togetherness within the team. He acknowledged that they are not in the position they desire, but they are focused on building up, catching up, and working on improving their results. The recent 1-0 victory against Burnley ended a streak of three consecutive defeats, but vulnerabilities were still evident during the match.

Crystal Palace, however, were unable to test United's defensive nerves. The lackluster performance from Palace was highlighted when Nathaniel Clyne's rare effort sailed high into the stands, prompting the traveling fans to ironically celebrate, "We've had a shot!" Palace manager Roy Hodgson admitted that the game did not go as planned and accepted the defeat.

Palace's woes were further compounded by goalkeeper Dean Henderson's injury, forcing him off the field within 20 minutes of his debut. It was simply one of those nights where nothing seemed to go their way. Despite a late chance for midfielder David Ozoh to score a consolation goal, which he squandered, the Palace fans found humor in the situation and chanted, "We score when we want."

While United has had defensive vulnerabilities this season, including against Brighton and Bayern Munich, Ten Hag will be pleased with the team's three goals and a second clean sheet in four days. The spotlight was on Harry Maguire, who made his first start of the season, and he performed admirably, making a crucial interception to deny Jean-Philippe Mateta a tap-in.

Ten Hag had words of praise for Mason Mount, who made a return to the team and Sofyan Amrabat, who filled in at left-back and in midfield. Amrabat's versatility was highlighted by Ten Hag, emphasizing that he can play wherever the team needs him.

While the Jadon Sancho transfer saga continues and key players like Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martínez remain sidelined, Ten Hag had a rare moment of positivity as he spoke about his team and players after the game. He acknowledged the work that lies ahead to rebuild the season and cautioned against getting too far ahead, but overall, it was a satisfying night for the United manager.

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