Manchester United cruised into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 3-0 away win against Derby County last night.
Luke Shaw opened the scoring before Odion Ighalo’s double sealed the win during a relatively comfortable night’s work.
There are still some questions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to answer after the match, which made it nine games unbeaten for the Reds.
Is there even more to come from Shaw?
Shaw got a rare goal and was named man of the match on BT Sport for his role in helping United keep a clean sheet while getting forward at will.
He seems to be back at full fitness and Solskjaer is making a point of keeping him in the side to build up his rhythm.
That earned praise from the pundits after the game and raised the prospect of him being in England’s squad for Euro 2020, perhaps even starting.
Shaw has improved hugely but a look back at his early Southampton form shows there’s even more to come in terms of raw speed and attacking intent.
Shaw is still only 24 and has plenty of room to grow; the next step is to defend and attack with even greater urgency, like the very best in the world.
When will Ighalo start a league game?
Ighalo got another start and grabbed his chance with both hands, clinically slotting home twice on his left foot.
He missed a late chance for a hat trick but got 90 minutes under his belt, further boosted his confidence and surely increased his chances of starting a Premier League game soon.
Perhaps Solskjaer will prefer to go with pace against Manchester City this weekend, given United will likely play on the counter attack.
But Anthony Martial couldn’t complain if he was dropped after his performance at Everton last week and Solskjaer may give Ighalo the chance to rough up City’s backline in the air.
He’s approaching being fit enough for a league start.
How much can be read into unbeaten run?
United were at an incredibly low ebb when they lost 2-0 at home to Burnley in January but are unbeaten in nine matches since.
Solskjaer can be proud of the way he has helped rebuild the mood of the club since but how much can be read into the good run?
The win at Chelsea is the only especially eye-catching and crucial result there and the performances haven’t always been consistent – but that is an admittedly cynical viewpoint.
It is a good run and has helped raise the mood around the club, keeping United in contention for two trophies as well as on Chelsea’s coat tails.
The visit of Manchester City this weekend will be the biggest test yet of whether United have turned a corner or merely faced weaker opponents of late.
- Reaction as Manchester United set to net £5m loan fee with Anthony Martial exit agreed
- Manager “really pleased” with Manchester United loanee's performances vs league's best
- 7 players who could leave Manchester United before the transfer deadline
- 10 things we learned from Ralf Rangnick's first 10 games in charge at Manchester United
- Ranking Marcus Rashford's 4 Manchester United injury time winning goals