Manchester United cruised to a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in the end at Old Trafford, with Alexis Sanchez scoring his first goal for the Reds.
Romelu Lukaku had opened the scoring for United early in the second half, before Sanchez sealed the three points by tapping home after Jonas Lössl had saved the Chilean’s penalty.
The big talking point before the match came in the form of José Mourinho’s team selection, with Paul Pogba dropped to the bench after United’s miserable performance against Spurs in midweek in favour of Scott McTominay.
Also coming into the team where Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Juan Mata and as United piled on the pressure in the first half, they were denied a stonewall penalty when McTominay was poleaxed by Terence Kongolo while going for a header in the box.
It was only a matter of time before United broke the deadlock and it came early after the interval, as United turned up the pressure. A slick move saw the ball come to Juan Mata on the left side and lovely cross gave Lukaku all the time in the world to volley it past Lössl at the near post.
And Sanchez’s moment came with 20 minutes remaining, as he won United a penalty after being hacked down by Michael Hefele. Although the initial effort was saved, the Chilean made no mistake with the rebound and celebrated in front of the adoring support of the Stretford End.
Here are the United player ratings:
David de Gea - 6
Didn’t have to make a save all afternoon on his 300th appearance for United.
Antonio Valencia - 6
Covered plenty of ground going forward, although he was tested by Rajiv van la Parra’s pace on a couple of occasions.
Chris Smalling - 6
Any performance would have been better than the one he put on against Spurs in midweek and to his credit, he recovered well. Handled Laurent Depoitre well.
Marcos Rojo - 6
Benefited from Phil Jones’ horror show against Spurs to take his place in the side, and didn’t put a foot wrong against a toothless Huddersfield attack.
Luke Shaw - 6
Linked up well with Sanchez on the overlap when getting forward. Defensively solid, tracking back often and snuffing out danger.
Scott McTominay - 6
Mourinho placed his faith in the youngster and was not let down. Targeted by Huddersfield early on with some meaty challenges and should have won a penalty when poleaxed by Kongolo. Kept things simple with the ball.
Nemanja Matic - 6
Much better from the Serb, although still looks a bit sluggish. Guided McTominay along well and could benefit from more protection if Mourinho switches to three in midfield.
Juan Mata - 7
Drifted inside often and caused trouble for the Huddersfield back four. Provided a lovely cross for the open
Jesse Lingard - 6
Lovely run in the first-half could have provide another entry in the Lingard highlight reel, and linked play well, especially with Sanchez in the final third.
Alexis Sanchez - 8
United’s best player. Hacked down time and time again by Huddersfield but got on with it and was always a constant danger. Coolly put away the rebound after missing the penalty he earned.
Romelu Lukaku - 7
Frustration at first, being unable to get a sniff of the ball in the final third, but took the chance when it came along, volleying the ball neatly to break the deadlock.
Paul Pogba (6) – His neat through-ball sent Mata through in the build-up to Sanchez winning the penalty.
Marcus Rashford (6) – Worked hard and was a lively presence on the right.
Anthony Martial (N/A) – Rare deployment up front as he replaced Lukaku late on.