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Man United beat Man City: three stars and two flops

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Manchester United got back to winning ways on Wednesday night by beating a weakened Manchester City team 1-0 in the EFL Cup.

The heavy defeat to Chelsea last week meant the game had taken greater significance for the home side than it might have normally done and the squad's fragile confidence showed during the first half.

However, the Red Devils turned up the heat after the interval and deservedly took the lead through Juan Mata, not too look after Paul Pogba had hit the post.

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So with Jose Mourinho's men safely through to the quarter-finals, we've had a look at the main stars and flops from the Manchester derby.

STARS

Juan Mata

When Man United need an extra bit of quality in the final third, Mata can usually be relied upon to provide it and it was no different tonight.

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His crisp finish proved the difference and it was actually surprising to see him substituted off after 70 minutes following a decent display.

Perhaps Mourinho was resting him so the Spaniard can start at the weekend?

Ander Herrera

Herrera is the second Spaniard to feature after another tireless performance from the midfielder.

He was criticised for his part in N'Golo Kante's goal on Sunday but no one can criticise his effort against the Sky Blues.

The 27-year-old was constantly pressurising City's midfield and he arguably shows more passion than any other United player. More performances like that and he will restore his fan favourite status.

Manchester United v Manchester City - EFL Cup Fourth Round

Michael Carrick

Carrick has been the guy most pundits have wanted in the team and he showed exactly why.

The veteran is an expert at keeping things simple and he can still dictate a game at the age of 35.

Everything he does is very understated and United's midfield looks far less frantic with him in the team.

FLOPS

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Whether it is his own personal goal drought or the team's inconsistent form, Ibrahimovic looks a totally different player to the one that joined Man United in the summer.

Surprisingly, he actually appears to be low on confidence and the Swede was well off the pace again tonight.

Ibrahimovic didn't have too many chances on goal but he will be annoyed he couldn't connect with Marcus Rashford's great cross in the second half.

Manchester United v Manchester City - EFL Cup Fourth Round

Marcus Rashford

Aside from the aforementioned cross, it was a fairly average night by Rashford's high standards.

He was another who struggled to make an impression the first half and gave the ball away all too frequently in the early stages.

The young forward did improve slightly in the second half before picking up an injury and being replaced by Jesse Lingard.

Rashford remains a key man for Mourinho so the Portuguese will be hopeful it isn't too serious.

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Topics:
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
League Cup
Juan Mata
Manchester City
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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