Manchester United continued their perfect start under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by advancing to the fourth round of the FA Cup with victory over Reading on Saturday.
The Red Devils - who’ve now won all five of their matches since Jose Mourinho departed - beat their Championship visitors 2-0 at Old Trafford, courtesy of goals from Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku.
The Spaniard struck first after converting a controversially awarded penalty before his former Chelsea teammate doubled their advantage four minutes into first-half stoppage time.
In comparison to the free-flowing displays he oversaw against Cardiff, Bournemouth and Bournemouth, United were clearly missing some attacking spark.
As such, it’s no surprise Solskjaer was somewhat displeased with how his men performed, given they’ve already netted 16 times during his tenure.
“The way we played wasn't the best,” he said after the match, per BBC Sport.
“We made nine changes, so I made it hard for the boys because they hadn't played together too much.
“But we got the goals and managed to get through.”
Such a reshuffle was always likely to hurt United’s chemistry - especially with the likes of Scott McTominay and Tahith Chong coming into the squad.
Of course, blooding youth academy products comes at the expense of established first-team players - one of which was Ander Herrera on this occasion.
The former Athletic Bilbao man has struck an impressive vein of form under Solskjaer, contributing a goal and two assists since making his bow versus Cardiff.
Clearly having one eye on the trip to Tottenham next weekend, he alongside several other key individuals were rested for the Reading match.
Herrera made the most of his absence from the pitch, too, adding a hilarious photo of Phil Jones on his Instagram story in celebration of the win.
The Englishman played the full 90 minutes and formed a solid - albeit unusual - partnership alongside fullback Matteo Darmian in the centre of defence.
However, while Jones’ outing was worthy of praise, Herrera wasn’t shy about making him a look a tad silly after the game.
He shared a photo of the centre-back sliding face-first across the turf during a tussle for possession with Gabriel Osho, which was accompanied by a superb captain, too.
It read: “Amazing performance @philjones4 but we cannot ignore the best skill ever.”
Jones has never been the most photogenic of footballers when he’s going about his business on the pitch, and this is just another classic example of his unfortunate habit.
Well played, Ander.News Now - Sport News