Manchester United put away their Chelsea miseries as Juan Mata's goal helped them past Manchester City in the fourth round of the EFL Cup. West Ham now await Jose Mourinho's men in the quarterfinals.
Looking at the starting lineup of both teams, it was clear that this was a match that meant more to Manchester United than Pep Guardiola's City. While Guardiola named a largely second-string side with a couple of youngsters in Aleix Garcia and Pablo Maffia, making his first team debut, also given an opportunity, Mourinho went with a strong side, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford all playing.
The man who was surprisingly left out of the starting lineup in the 4-0 loss to Chelsea – Juan Mata – though was the one who made all the difference, scoring the winner for Manchester United in the 54th minute.
Ibrahimovic crossed towards Ander Herrera in the penalty box, with the midfielder going down under the attention of Fernando. The ball rolled to Mata and the Spaniard finished with precision to give United the lead.
That goal had come moments after Paul Pogba had forced an outstanding save from Willy Caballero, who got just enough of a hand to deflect the ball onto the post and while United, despite not holding control of the match in terms of possession, looked the more threatening going forward, City rarely troubled the Manchester United goal at the other end.
In fact, City failed to register a single shot on target in the entire contest, which summed up their performance. The 1-0 defeat extended the club's winless run to six matches and while Guardiola and his players will not fret too much over seeing their EFL Cup run ended, City will know improvements are needed, and soon.
For United, this was a much needed lift after that poor show against Chelsea and Mourinho will hope for another solid performance when they host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.