Manchester United got back to winning ways after a terrible week as they beat Northampton to go into the last 16 of the EFL Cup. The goals from Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford were enough for Mourinho’s men to get the first win of the month.
United made nine changes in the team which suffered the defeat against Watford as only Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney kept their places in the starting eleven. The visitors were dominant throughout the game, apart from last five minutes of the first half where they conceded a penalty providing a way back into the game for Northampton. The following ratings show how the players fared against Northampton.
Lack of co-ordination in the back five
Sergio Romero (6/10) - The Argentine played for the first time this season as David De Gea was rested for this game. Romero was very shaky in the goal when he was called upon to collect the ball. He was not able to communicate with his defenders which often led to trouble, though the Argentine was neat and tidy with his distribution. Northampton didn’t make him work hard in terms of saves as there were hardly any attempt on the goal. He missed out on the cleansheet as he couldn’t keep out the penalty.
Marcos Rojo (6/10) - Rojo showed again why he is a second choice left-back at the club. The Argentina international was irresponsible in possession and delivered poor crosses in the box while surging forward. He committed errors while defending as it was his poor clearance led to the goal. It will be a huge task for Rojo to stop Riyhad Mahrez on Saturday if Luke Shaw is not fit as the Argentine continues to be a poor defender.
Daley Blind (5/10) - The Dutchman was back in starting eleven after losing out on weekend against Watford. He was excellent with his distribution and played the ball out from the defence perfectly. On the other hand, while defending, Blind had a rare poor game as he conceded a penalty with a foolish foul. He was often exposed by the Northampton’s forward on aerial duels.
Chris Smalling (6/10) - The best defender for United in this game, Smalling continues to regain the form of the last season. The centre-back was strong in the air and won the duels. He distributed the ball well from the back and made some goal saving heading clearances in the end. Mourinho looks to nail down Smalling with Bailly as his centre-back partnership and the former continues to improve game by game.
Timothy Fosu Mensah (5/10) - The teenager made his appearance of the season at the right-back position. Fosu Mensah was very good while going forward as he had good linkup play with Ashley Young. He almost got himself on the scoresheet as his powerful header struck the framework of the goal but the youngster was poor defensively as he was caught out of position on counter and he lost concentration when Northampton scored.
Midfield was tidy
Michael Carrick (8/10) - The veteran midfielder returned to the team after getting minutes against Leicester City in Community Shield. He showed what the team has been missing in the last few games. He kept the composure in front of back four and kept the ball ticking in the centre of the park. He played decent passes between the lines helping in opening up Northampton’s defence. A complete performance from Carrick was rounded of with a great strike from distance which gave United the lead.
Morgan Schneiderlin (6/10) - Schneiderlin started for United in two games in last three games. The Frenchman was tidy against Feyenoord but played in more advanced role against Northampton. He was decent with his defensive work as he made crucial interceptions but was sloppy at times in his passing. The midfielder played an important part in second goal as he broke the play and setup Rashford on counter.
Ander Herrera (8/10) - Herrera continues to be impressive for United irrespective of the position he is played in. The Spaniard played an advance role in the three man midfield and worked hard for regaining possession. He was creative in the final third and was not afraid to try his luck from distance. He hit the woodwork in second half, but was ultimately rewarded as he was able to steer a ball into the net from distance later in the game. An energetic performance from the Spaniard.
Attack was toothless
Memphis Depay (6/10) - The winger started the game brightly as he worked hard on the left flank. He tried too hard to impress at times which led to giving away the ball. He linked up well with Rooney but could not find a way to test the goalkeeper. The lack of game time showed that the Dutch forward is rusty and had a frustrating night at Northampton.
Wayne Rooney (5/10) - The club captain continues to be under microscope as he failed in his favoured role against Northampton. Rooney was good with his movement but his touch and finishing let him down. He squandered a great chance at the start of the game when he couldn’t finish an easy chance from the ball delivered by Young. His overall forward play was poor and lost the ball unnecessarily.
Ashley Young (6/10) - He had a similar game on the wing as Depay had on the other flank. He was bright at the start as he tried to be more decisive in the final third. He was then isolated on the flank as the game went on before shifting to the right flank when Rashford came on and did a fair job in that position. He showed a great amount of energy but lacked quality in the final third.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (6/10) - The tall striker came on early in second half to change things for the team when they were looking for the winning goal. He linked up well with Rashford but was isolated for most of the time between the Northampton defenders.
Marcus Rashford (8/10) - The teenager once again rescued his team as he scored one and assisted the second goal for the team. He showed directness as he took players on. Rashford played a clever pass to Herrera for the Spaniard's thunder strike. In the later stages of the game he showed perseverance while chasing the ball leading to a mistake from Northampton’s goalkeeper and allowed the teenager to put the ball back in empty net.
Maraoune Fellaini (N/A) - The big Belgian replaced Schneiderlin late on to see out the game for the visitors.