Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United Match Analysis

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Manchester United came out in a 4-3-3 featuring Romelu Lukaku as the target forward.  In the lead-up to the game, it was divulged that Paul Pogba would be missing the game due to "sickness".  Of course, this leads to speculation as manager Jose Mourinho and Pogba appeared not to be on the same page in the last match, a disastrous performance at Newcastle in league play.

Along the back, the maligned Chris Smalling got the start at center back along with Victor Lindelof.  The outside backs were Ashley Young and Luke Shaw.  The midfield combination was manned by Michael Carrick who took the quarterbacking role in the absence of Pogba along with Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay.  Lukaku was supported by attacking midfielders Juan Mata on his right, and Alexis Sanchez on his left.

United got off to the fast start it needed when in the third minute, Lukaku was released by a brilliant through ball played to him in acres of space by Juan Mata.  Lukaku took the ball on the run and with a deft touch worked his way past his mark, and calmly slotted home earning the visitors a 1-0 advantage and enabling United to play the style that it wanted.

With the lead, United settled into a defensive mindset looking to hit Huddersfield on the counter.  Huddersfield ventured forward attempting 8 shots on David de Gea's goal including 4 on frame which the keeper was able to save with relative ease.

The game was not without controversy and this time, it was the video review system which is in place for FA Cup matches.

As first half stoppage time approached, Ashley Young executed a brilliant run on the counter attack he laid a beautiful ball at the feet of Mata who appeared to time his run perfectly and Mata maneuvered to the open area and scored what appeared to be United's second goal of the game.

Then, hilarity ensued.

Video replay appeared to confirm that Ashley Young's ball was played to Mata while Mata was in an offside position however, the angle that demonstrated this was shown with a line indicating that Mata was indeed onside.

However, the goal was taken off the board despite the fact that every ensuing angle showed that at best, Mata may have had his elbow offside.

United scored again in first half stoppage time, but again the goal was disallowed for offside, this time legitimately.

In the second frame, United continued to mind its defensive duties as Huddersfield pushed for an equalizer.

The United backline withstood 11 more attempts at goal, with just one of those attempts on frame.  Patiently awaiting an opportunity, United finally put the game away in the 55th minute on the counter.  With Huddersfield caught up the pitch, Alexis Sanchez sprung Lukaku with a through ball and the striker found himself behimd the defense.

He worked his way past a late challenge, and scored his brace with the left foot from the center of the box.

Once again, it was United with less than 50% possession as Mourinho preferred to hit on the counter.  This time it worked, and United is on to the quarterfinal where it has drawn Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford.


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