Manchester United came back after their short break to run victorious against League One Side Wigan Athletic with a 2-0 win in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round.
The win has set up a clash with League Two side Newport County or National League side Eastleigh in the Fourth Round. The victory was Manchester United’s first away win since beating Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park in November.
Erik Ten Hag opted to field a strong lineup against Shaun Maloney’s side. Diogo Dalot's curling effort sent the visitors ahead in the 22nd minute, while Bruno Fernandes cheekily tucked away a second-half penalty that he won, after going down a bit too easily after being clipped.
Despite Wigan’s custodian Sam Tickle’s heroics, Manchester United could have been 3 or 4 more goals to the good but they obviously left their scoring boots in the locker room. They also survived an early scare by the Latics in the opening minutes of the game.
Here are the player ratings from United’s 2-0 win:
André Onana (8/10):
Onana delayed his arrival at the African Cup of Nations after United successfully negotiated his release to mid-January. He was solid when called upon. Even though he was sporadically involved in the game, he did well to register another clean sheet to his name.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7/10):
It was an improved performance by the fullback after being ‘cooked’ by Nicolas Dominguez in the last outing.
He was very comfortable on the ball and hardly did anything wrong throughout his 90 minutes on the pitch. One would love to see him venturing forward more often to add some dynamics to the attack.
Raphael Varane (7/10):
A mature performance from the former Real Madrid defender, who helped ensure a steady clean sheet. The game was paused for little under 4 minutes after he took a blow to the face by Wigan’s striker Aasgaard, but the man they call ‘Champions League Varane’ got back up and soldiered on for the remainder of the game.
Jonny Evans (7/10):
The Northern Irishman made a few marauding runs forward to add a fifth body in midfield, creating space for the attackers. His undeniable intelligence and ability to read the game and anticipates his opponents move was crucial in nullifying the little attack that Wigan could offer.
Diogo Dalot (9/10):
Dalot’s unquenchable appetite for scoring was evident in his display as he was given the license to stay further forward up the pitch. His patience, precision and technique gave his side the lead with a curled effort from the edge of the box after receiving a pass from Marcus Rashford.
Scott McTominay (5/10):
For a player who has been in a rich vein of form in parts of the season, he should have added to his tally after steering his shot agonisingly wide with a gaping goal in front of him. He was also guilty for giving away the ball a few times in crucial areas against a poor level of opposition.
Kobbie Mainoo (8/10):
At such a tender age of 18 years old, Mainoo is playing like he has been around the league for a decade now. He is so composed on the ball, can pick a ball from his vast passing repertoire and finds himself in the right position to block shots and break up plays at a consistent level. He created one chance, had one shot on target, made 12 recoveries, one clearance one block, 90% accurate passes and 100% successful dribbles.
Alejandro Garnacho (8/10):
The Argentinian almost added another to his bag of wondergoals with an audacious strike from outside the box, which ricocheted off the bar. He was a very hard worker and was a constant menace to Wigan’s defenders. After signing a new 5 year deal, the club will keep him until 2028. If he continues to grow and develop at this pace, he will be a mega superstar.
Bruno Fernandes (7/10):
Yet to match his personal ambitions from first two seasons at the club, much is expected from Fernandes on a consistent basis now that he is captain. Despite wasteful attempts, he sometimes seamlessly galvanised the team and should have at least a double today as his shot after converting the penalty sizzled over the bar.
Marcus Rashford (7/10):
Scored in his last game and was expected to carry on his scoring prowess today but he was denied three times by the Wigan goalkeeper, and once by the post. He had a workmanlike game today and despite not scoring he provided an assist for the first goal.
Rasmus Højlund (4/10):
Hojlund could have easily taken his tally to double figures today if he was clinical. His slick movement argues well for United, but goodwill for this will dry up as his goals do. He must put away his chances and get used to scoring regularly. Hit the woodwork from a diving header, missed a sitter and should have made a few more counted.
Willy Kambwala, Facundo Pellistri, Omari Forson & Hannibal Mejbri (N/A):
None of these players got enough minutes to warrant a rating.
Erik Ten Hag (6/10):
Despite fielding one of his strongest available lineups, it wasn’t an entirely convincing display by his side as the score line points to. The youngsters should have had more minutes than they did, given there is little room for exposure now that United are just in two competitions for the remainder of the season.