Victor Lindelof is experiencing being a back-up for Manchester United this season, a new experience in his career at the club.

Lindelof has been a regular since joining United in 2017, and like Harry Maguire, he has been edged out of the starting XI.

As far as stand-ins go, there are not many better than the Sweden international captain. He proved this as he returned to the side for the Carabao Cup semi-final, allowing Raphael Varane to be rested.

This was Lindelof’s first game since the win over Bournemouth back on January 3. He has been an unused substitute ever since, waiting for his chance.

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Nottingham Forest v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It wasn’t the easiest of starts for Lindelof, he began the match a little shakily, and was bailed out by the excellent Lisandro Martinez.

The Swede then settled in, roaming forward in possession, and then dealing with everything thrown his way defensively.

He won two tackles, won six of eight duels contested, and made 89 touches in total, completing 93 per cent of his passes.

Lindelof is popular with his teammates and their respect for him was shown with their replies to his Instagram post, with Lisandro Martinez and Bruno Fernandes praising his performance, writing ‘What a game’.

The defender will be needed over the coming weeks, especially in the first leg against Barcelona with Lisandro Martinez suspended.

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Casemiro makes successful return

Also making his return to the starting line-up after a shorter break was Casemiro, who was suspended for the weekend’s match at Arsenal, and was sorely missed.

The Brazilian helped United back to winning ways with a clean sheet, and even picked up an assist with his pass for Marcus Rashford’s solo opener.

He was lauded by teammate Tyrell Malacia, who hailed him a ‘top class player’ after the 3-0 win.

 Cr. casemiro - © 2022 INSTAGRAM FROM META

Casemiro created three goalscoring chances, won two tackles, made 10 ball recoveries, and completed 88 per cent of his passes.

It was good to have him back, and United might even be able to afford to rest him in one or two of the upcoming cup games.

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