Manchester United failed to secure a victory for the third home game on the bounce as they suffered a shock penalty shoot-out defeat to Derby County in the League Cup third round.
The game was mostly focused on the reunion of Jose Mourinho with his former player Frank Lampard but the latter eventually won the tussle after guiding Derby to a rather unexpected triumph at Old Trafford.
Two things we learned:
Romelu Lukaku with another average performance: The Belgium international may have netted four goals in the Premier League this season but he may have quite easily reached double figures, had he converted the clear-cut chances offered to him. Since the start of the campaign, Lukaku has had at least five straight-forward opportunities where he should have found the scoresheet and the Tuesday game against Derby witnessed a similar fate after he missed a one-on-one with goalkeeper Scott Carson. His mixed run of form has already generated criticism from a section of the supporters and the Belgian may need to improve on his conversion rate in the forthcoming games or else Mourinho may consider offering Marcus Rashford a chance to lead the line. Rashford should return to Premier League duty versus West Ham United this weekend after serving his three-match domestic ban.
Jose Mourinho struggling to get his instructions through: During the course of his managerial career, Mourinho has not lasted for more than three-and-a-half seasons with any club and the trend may continue at United, considering how things have flowed in recent weeks. Much was expected from the Portuguese tactician after he entered his third season at the helm with United but his plans have so far not been executed with the defensive layout of the team being a concern. The 55-year-old may put the blame on the hierarchy for their failure to sign a new centre-back during the summer but there will nevertheless be question marks regarding the tactics which have looked defensive right after gaining an advantage. With top-four hopes certainly alive, the board may not consider a change but Mourinho may need to reverse the club’s fortunes with a long-winning streak sooner rather than later to secure his job.
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