Manchester United advanced to the Carabao Cup final after a 5-0 aggregate victory over Nottingham Forest in the semifinals. The Red Devils secured their spot in the final with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford, thanks to goals from Anthony Martial and Fred in the second half. The first leg, which was a 3-0 win for Man United at the City Ground, had already decided the outcome of the tie. They will now face Newcastle United, who are playing in their first major final in 24 years, at Wembley Stadium on February 26th. The match will mark Manchester United’s first attempt at winning a trophy since 2017.
The game also saw the return of Jadon Sancho to the first team after a three month long absence. ten Hag deployed Sancho in the number 10 role and moved Bruno Fernandes out right. When asked about this in an interview with Sky Sports, ten Hag said,
“I think we have done that before. You move Bruno out and create also a different dynamic in the team, that is what we intended to do.
“Jadon, I know he can play as a 10 as well. He can play as a winger – he can play as a 10 – but often we mix it around and that is what I like. The position has to be occupied and it’s about the players keeping discipline to do that.”
Both Sancho and Fernandes are known for their technical ability, creativity, and goal-scoring ability, so they could bring a new dimension to United’s attacking play by combining their skills in the final third in their new positions. Sancho’s dribbling, passing and ball carrying ability could add a new level of unpredictability to the team’s attack, while Fernandes’ shooting and crossing ability from the right wing could provide a new threat to the opposition defense.
It remains to be seen whether Ten Hag will choose to continue this experiment or not but for now it looks like Jadon Sancho is back in Manchester United’s first team.