Derby County 1-3 Manchester United: Anthony Martial stars as United progress
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 30/01/16 11:04am
Anthony Martial set up two as Manchester United progressed to the FA Cup fifth round with a 3-1 victory over Derby on Friday night.
Wayne Rooney opened the scoring with a beautiful curling effort from Martial's pass, although the striker looked marginally offside in the build-up, before George Thorne levelled against the run of play on 37 minutes.
Daley Blind swept home from close range to put United ahead midway through the second half, and Martial teed up Juan Mata to slide in a third with seven minutes to play.
Having been booed off against Southampton last weekend, Louis van Gaal's side produced a much better performance at the iPro Stadium.
The United boss brought in Guillermo Varela and Mata as Ander Herrera and Matteo Darmian dropped out, and the away side caused the unchanged Rams plenty of problems early on.
They went close after just three minutes as Martial cut in from the left and fired over in a well-worked move that proved to be a warning sign for Derby.
Martial was allowed plenty of space on the flank, and played a key role in the opener after 16 minutes. The Frenchman picked out Rooney in the left channel and the striker dispatched a curling effort into the top corner from 18 yards for his sixth goal in six games.
He had two in his previous 13 before that, and was perhaps a touch fortunate as replays showed he was marginally offside in the build-up.
Paul Clement's side have won just once since Boxing Day and looked short of confidence in the first half, allowing Martial and Mata to dictate the play as United swiftly looked for a second.
They went close through Martial again as the Frenchman played a one-two with Mata, then another with Rooney to get into the box, but his touch let him down at the last moment.
And Derby made United pay for failing to capitalise on their dominance as Thorne equalised out of nothing. Chris Martin latched onto a hopeful long ball forward and played a perfect lofted pass into the path of Thorne, who took the first touch in his stride before finding the corner with his second.
United responded well and nearly went back in front three minutes later as Martial skipped past Thorne, but his low centre escaped Rooney two yards out.
Derby started brightly after the break as Cyrus Christie's teasing cross almost found Thomas Ince in the middle, but United quickly got back on the front foot.
A diving header from Mata drifted narrowly wide before the Spaniard almost caught Derby napping from a corner as United turned up the heat.
And it paid off after 65 minutes, with Mata again involved. The playmaker picked out Lingard on the right, and the winger's low cross was confidently guided past Scott Carson by an onrushing Blind.
Derby visibly tired in the closing stages, and Mata secured United's progress after more excellent work from Martial.
The French forward proved too strong and too quick for the Rams defence all evening, and his stepover beat Christie as he picked out Mata in the box. The midfielder made no mistake from seven yards, passing his low shot into the far corner to put United in the hat for the next round.