Four things Erik ten Hag got right as Man Utd ease into Carabao Cup last eight

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    Manchester United eased into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win against Burnley – showing no sign of any issues post-Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Goals from Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford saw off the Championship leaders in United's first match back after the World Cup, and the first since Ronaldo's acrimonious exit last month.

    Eriksen opened the scoring in the first half with a tap-in from close range before Rashford doubled the lead after the break with a superb solo goal, running half the length of the pitch before finding the bottom corner with a precise strike.

    That was enough to put United's name into the hat for the last eight ahead of tomorrow's (December 22) draw. And Daily Star Sport has picked out four things Erik ten Hag got right to make that happen.

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    Giving Wan-Bissaka a chance

    It's been a tough season for Aaron Wan-Bissaka so far, with Ten Hag dropping him upon his arrival and injury ruling him out for large spells before the World Cup.

    He also struggled on his return to action in a friendly against La Liga side Cadiz earlier this month, but he was afforded a chance to show what he can do this evening in the absence of Diogo Dalot.

    And he did just that with an excellent assist for Eriksen's opener, connecting with the ball on the stretch to lay it on a plate for his team-mate.

    United fans – what did you make of the performance? Let us know in the comments section.

    Slotting Casemiro into centre-back

    Harry Maguire's illness left Ten Hag short of options at centre-back, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez unavailable for selection after their involvement in the World Cup final.

    He opted to slot Casemiro back into centre-back and leave Scott McTominay to partner Eriksen in the middle of the park, a decision which worked very well.

    The Brazil midfielder looked at home next to Victor Lindelof despite rarely ever playing in the position throughout his legendary career, heading away everything that came into United's box.

    Starting the big guns

    It would have been easy to ring the changes against Championship opposition, albeit the side who top the second tier, but Ten Hag named a strong XI.

    It included five stars who had been away on World Cup duty – Casemiro, Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford and Tyrell Malacia – and the likes of Anthony Martial who have returned from injury.

    They were all able to shake off any ring rust and it meant United avoided a potentially embarrassing result, which would have been a disaster in the first game back.

    Getting the job done

    Ultimately the goal for Ten Hag was to get the job done and progress into the last eight of the competition, with a genuine chance of winning United's first piece of silverware since 2017.

    The performance may have been underwhelming for fans, but the Red Devils achieved what they set out to do.

    Focus can now shift to the return of Premier League action, with United hosting Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford next Tuesday (December 27).


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    • Manchester United FC
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