Ander Herrera has heaped praise on his Manchester United teammates for holding their nerve and delivering in front of goal during their 4-0 win over Yeovil Town.
Jose Mourinho’s men endured a difficult start as the hosts brought plenty of energy to the table but managed to go ahead before half time through Marcus Rashford, who took advantage of some indecision at the back to net his first goal since the Manchester derby.
Gaps started to open up after the break and debutant Alexis Sanchez, who claimed the ‘Man of the Match’ award, provided an assist for Ander Herrera to kill the game, laying the platform for substitutes Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku to add late goals.
And Herrera, speaking after the game, hailed his teammates for producing a professional performance at Huish Park.
“It was not at all [easy],” he said. “Yeovil had the first chance, but Sergio [Romero] was very good and he is one of the best keepers in the world. But after that we played a really serious game, with no stupid things or silly decisions and we were very clinical and did not miss too many chances so I think we can be very happy.”
“Alexis played very well, but what I like from him is the way he fights when he or the team lose the ball. He is ready to be the first defender of the team, so that is going to be very important for us.
“Of course we know his quality is going to be amazing for us, but the way he fights, the way he defends, I really like.”
“Jesse Lingard [scored] again, Romelu [Lukaku] is also doing well this season and Juan Mata also has that quality to be in the right place in the box. Alexis, we know, will score a lot of goals and we can add some goals from the midfield through [Marouane] Fellaini, Paul [Pogba] and [Nemanja] Matic who has a very good shot, as does Michael Carrick.
“I think we can be optimistic for the rest of the season. But we must know in the Premier League every team can beat you if you sleep for just one second so we have to be ready for the next game against Tottenham on Wednesday.”
Winning comfortably against a side currently occupying the relegation zone of England’s fourth tier doesn’t tell us anything new or merit much adulation, but it did allow for United, in what was at times a training game, showcase the avenues through which they could do damage for the rest of the season.
Sanchez, for one, was superb, attacking Yeovil in all kinds of ways and setting up the opening pair of goals.
Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku continued to assert themselves as goalscoring threats late on, with the pair now on a combined total of 30 goals this season.
Angel Gomes, who has risen rapidly through the ranks over the past year, produced a dazzling cameo during the latter stages and supporters will want to see more of him this term.
And perhaps most importantly: the return of Michael Carrick. Nobody at United gets the club more than him and, following over four months on the sidelines, to see his metronomic influence at the base of midfield once again was wonderful.
Nothing too significant, granted, but nonetheless a sign of things moving in the right direction.