Sanchez started off his career in a Manchester United shirt playing a number of aimless sideways passes which brought understandable groans from the away end and loud jeers from the home end.
James, the Yeovil right back, contained the former Arsenal player for large parts of the game. It was turning out to be a debut to forget. But the dogged Sanchez didn’t give up. Without playing at his best, it was Sanchez who was at the forefront of United’s success tonight.
The addition of Sanchez, to the United front three, looks to be a potentially deadly partnership, whether it will be good enough to rival the attack of Manchester City – time will tell.
United won the ball after a poor goal kick found its way to Sanchez, who then exchanged passes with Rashford. It left Yeovil dumbfounded with James caught way out of position. Sanchez’s deft movement and accurate passing played in Rashford. But Yeovil had gotten the better of him. Or so they thought. A miscommunication between James and the goalkeeper allowed the nimble Rashford to snatch the ball and he forced it into the back of the net.
Yeovil had played well for large parts of the first half, albeit without United playing to their full potential. Once United upped their tempo and began playing quick-fire passes, it drew the Yeovil defenders out of their position and they had no idea how to deal with their attacks.
Sanchez’s dynamism played Rashford in again and had it been for the trailing foot of Nathan Smith it would have been 2-0. By now, United were in control and it felt inevitable that the tie was already over despite it only being 1-0.
Yeovil were at their best when they put long crosses into the box. They showed promise of that early on with some low driven balls by both full backs and inventive running by the winger Green – but they did not play to their full potential. They did not play to their full strengths and in the end it felt a wasted opportunity. Their two strikers offered little in terms of attacking opportunities and there was a lack of sparkle in their final third. These are the differences between a Premier League team able to spend hundreds of millions and a fourth division club doing just enough to get by.
United doubled their lead through a low-driven diagonal shot by Herrera after he was played in by Sanchez, which all stemmed through a long ball forward from a Yeovil corner. They were caught out. And it was then that they lost their heads.
Yeovil were saved from a third United goal thanks to the linesman after Mata strayed offside who was originally played in by a totally unmarked McTominay on the right wing. As Sanchez was substituted, Lingard came on and picked up where he left off. He picked up the ball from the right wing and drove towards the defence. Yeovil backed off and didn’t know whether to turn right or left. Before they could make a decision, Lingard had put a low-driven shot into the back of the net.
It got worse for Yeovil after Rojo found himself up front against a Yeovil side who had abandoned all marking duties. He played a ball across the field to give Lukaku an open goal to score United’s fourth. Game well and truly over.
Alexis Sanchez was the star of the show, without playing at his full potential. Yeovil, under threat of relegation to non-league, for a large chunk of the game did themselves proud. But in the end they capitulated. United with Sanchez look revitalised, but are still way behind Manchester City and it will take a lot more than one signing to come close to them.
Subs used: Browne 5, Fisher 5, Smith 6
Subs used: Lukaku 7, Lingard 8, Gomes 6
Xplode’s Man of the Match – Alexis Sanchez