Connect in the back of the net

Manchester United blitzed past West Ham United with a 4-1 victory to cruise into the EFL Cup semifinal on Wednesday night at Old Trafford.

The hosts started on full throttle, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring the opener in the second minute after some brilliant work from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Déjà vu struck when former United prodigy Ashley Fletcher grabbed the equalizer for the Hammers before the close of the first half, but the Red Devils returned a rejuvenated side: scoring through an Anthony Martial brace and another by Ibrahimovic to register the 4-1 win.

 

Micki you so fine

For all the talk about his unsettled demeanor on the pitch, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was Manchester United’s best player.

The Armenian international exhibited a selfless, top-drawer performance from the right wing, initiating attacks with Wayne Rooney while also creating goals scoring chances.

Rooney showcased vigilance and awareness as he delivered a fine through pass for Micki who slyly dragged West Ham’s defensive line before delivering a succinct back-heel for the preying Ibrahimovic.  

The Swede gracefully tucked the leather into the back of the net in a finish that could have seen Adrian sent off for a studded, innocuous tackle on the striker.

Mkhitaryan- not for the first time on the night-teed up Martial after the first few exchanges of the second half, but this time round the Frenchman made amends for his first half misses with a cool finish.

 

Will Mourinho play him against Everton?

All and sundry were disappointed after Micki’s dismal performance in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City back in September, but the 27-year old has since grown into the demands of the Premier League.

Speaking to the media after the victory over West Ham, Jose Mourinho appeared impressed with his summer signing, even suggesting that Micki could make a start against Everton thus weekend.

The midfielder has won two Man of the Match awards in his last two starts against Feyenoord and West Ham, and as such, the Manchester United gaffer would do best to start Micki this weekend in order to build momentum: for he may well be the cornerstone to Man United’s future success.

 

Next stage of the EFL Cup?

United advance to the semifinals and will play Hull City at Old Trafford in January.

Southampton welcome Liverpool in the second semifinal to be played during the same period.

 

Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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