Manchester United is showing signs of improvement. After securing a 1-0 victory at Burnley’s home earlier in the week, they went on to confidently defeat Crystal Palace 3-0 in the League Cup.
Manchester United is set to play five of their next six games at home. It’s important to note that the League Cup ranks third in English football competitions, following the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Erik ten Hag made seven changes to the starting lineup compared to the team that won 1-0 against Burnley earlier in the week.
Only Onana, Varane, Casemiro, and Mount retained their spots in the starting lineup against Crystal Palace. This allowed various players to have their chance, including the outspoken and somewhat controversial center-back and former team captain, Harry Maguire.
Maguire had faced criticism both in the English national team and at Manchester United recently, but his mother had defended him in the past.
Despite the jeers that accompanied every touch of the ball during England’s 3-1 win against Scotland, Maguire delivered an impeccable performance against Crystal Palace.
Manchester United’s lineup for the match included: Onana – Dalot, Varane (Evans 60), Maguire, Amrabat (Gore 60) – Casemiro, Mount (Lindelof 46) – Hannibal (Van de Beek 71), Pellistri, Garnacho – Martial (Hojlund 75).
This time, Maguire didn’t face any backlash from the audience, and he expressed his gratitude after the match. However, the crowd found a new target in Dean Henderson, and every touch of the ball by Henderson was met with boos.
Henderson had transferred from United to the capital during the summer, a move that didn’t sit well with United fans who hadn’t forgiven him despite his previous loan spells.
Garnacho opened the scoring in the 25th minute, though the crowd’s response was somewhat restrained, likely due to his inconsistent performances earlier in the season. Despite this, Ten Haag praised Garnacho’s ability to pose a threat.
Casemiro added another goal in the 27th minute, and the returning Martial found the net in the 55th minute, sealing the final score at 3-0. Ten Haag also gave a young player, Dan Gore, the opportunity to make his debut on his birthday.
However, Ten Haag emphasized that opportunities are not handed out as gifts and must be earned, not just for Gore but for all the young players, including Hannibal, Pellistri, and Garnacho.
While discussing the match, Ten Haag declined to comment on Jadon Sancho, who not only missed out on the squad but was also excluded from the dining room.
With a series of home games on the horizon, Manchester United has a chance to build on their recent successes and continue to improve.