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Swansea City 0 - 2 Manchester United: 5 things we learned

Wednesday 25th October 2017
Manchester United eased past a meek Swansea City to progress into quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. Despite appearing an irrelevant fixture, much was learned from Tuesday night's clash in South Wales.

Axel Tuanzebe shines

Tuanzebe's potential has long since been known at Old Trafford. He progressed rapidly through the age groups, and hence the 19-year-old is touted as a future star in United's backline. But having a good reputation is one thing, delivering on such promise is another. Will the youngster reach the heights expected?
Tuanzebe has demonstrated an ability to play at the very top, and he seems to also possess the maturity required to compete at that level. Against Swansea, he was competent defensively while remaining composed in possession. It was Tuanzebe's brave decision to run with the ball that led to United's second goal. His dribble from midfield was followed by a curling pass out wide, where Matteo Darmian duly received and whipped in a cross for Jesse Lingard (more about him later) who finished emphatically.

Overall, it was an impressive display from Axel Tuanzebe.

Roque Mesa? Roque gone missing more like

When his number appeared on the fourth official's board, you would have been forgiven for not realising he was on the pitch. It was the perfect night for Mesa to send a statement to his manager, Paul Clement. However, the Spaniard failed to make an impact.
Mesa should've demanded the ball, showed confidence in possession and sought to dictate play from the middle of the park. But instead, he was overpowered and outplayed by United youngster, Scott McTominay.

Mesa is clearly a talented player, but he's struggling to find his feet in English football. He must improve soon, though, as Swansea need some quality in their midfield.

The Lingard debate continues

Many people remain unsure: is Jesse Lingard the level United demand? It's one of football's modern-day enigmas. Although, at times, the academy product looks assured, on other occasions he's weak, directionless and clearly not at the required standard. His consistency, or lack thereof, is the crux of the debate.

Lingard scored two well-taken goals against the Swans, showing his obvious class. But if he's to sustain a career at Manchester United, while proving his critics wrong, then he must begin to replicate such performances on a regular basis.

Slow Swans

Swansea played at a pedestrian pace, which gifted the initiative to the opposition. United took full advantage. They were more than happy to dictate the tempo and impose themselves. The Welsh side lacked invention, drive, creativity and purpose. One can forgive the malaise when seen in isolation - the Carabao Cup isn't too important to Clement - but this has been the story of Swansea's season.

Something must give. A change in style, formation, personnel - anything and everything. Otherwise, the languid way in which the Swans are currently playing makes Premier League survival a difficult task.

United back to winning ways

Given their stale 0-0 draw at Liverpool, unconvincing 1-0 away win against Benfica, and calamitous 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield, it was important for the Red Devils to win on Tuesday night. Some were beginning to question their mettle. Doubts also emerged over United's credibility as a genuine force this season.
Although lingering concerns still persist for Jose Mourinho's side, at least until next game's result against Tottenham is decided, the nonchalant win against Swansea has set Manchester United back on track.
Michael Jones

Football & political writer with a predictable love of everything retro. English Literature undergraduate at the University of Exeter, looking to pursue a career in sports journalism. For a collection of my work, visit. http://mikejonesmedia.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @jonesmichael_97

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