It was termed as a potential banana skin considering Manchester United’s recent form, but in the end they emerged unscathed from their FA Cup third round tie against Wigan Athletic on Monday.
Goals from Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes in each half ensured progression to the fourth round where Erik ten Hag’s side will face either of Newport County or Eastleigh away.
The League One side were dismal for most of the game with United creating multiple opportunities with three efforts striking the upright.
The manager will point to the fact that his team can only beat what is put in front of them and the team did put in quite an attacking display at the DW Stadium in sharp contrast to what has been the norm this season.
EtH’s right call regarding the front three
The manager’s front three selection played a big part behind the fluid movement and attacking verve showed by the team against the Latics.
Alejandro Garnacho had shone on the right against Aston Villa and he carried on the form in the FA Cup as well.
Unlike the ineffective Antony, the Argentine’s biggest strength is his directness and his willingness to keep attacking the full-back while having the ability to go both inside and out.
The manager needs to replicate this front three more often in his selections moving forward instead of going back to the Brazilian.
Marcus Rashford was not at the races on the night but he did manage to pick up an assist for the opener which should do his confidence a world of good.
However, the only concerning aspect from an attacking standpoint was Rasmus Hojlund’s inability to find the back of the net.
The Dane cannot be faulted for the effort he put in but he continues to struggle in front of goal despite quite a few presentable chances falling his way.
Rasmus continues to flounder
He hit the post with a header while a simple tap in was squandered due to him being late with his reaction at the back post.
The former Atalanta starlet looks like he is not ready to start games on a consistent basis for a team like United and needs someone to ease the pressure off his back.
The 20-year-old’s general play with his back to goal and his passing remain weak and how the manager could do with another option up front and not the perennially injured Anthony Martial.
United will next face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and hopefully, the team can show some of the same attacking qualities to show they mean business in the second half of the campaign.