As Manchester United host Championship side Derby County in the third-round of the Carabao Cup, it will be a special occasion for both sides as the student meets the master in the form of Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho.
At Chelsea the pair had huge success together. Since then, Lampard has managed Derby into sixth position in the Championship table, winning five of his opening nine games, including the recent 3-1 win over Brentford.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him,” Lampard said of Mourinho following the win over Brentford. “On a personal level, he was a manager who was very influential on my career.”
The Reds have defeated the Rams 13 times in the previous 20 encounters, including four draws and three loses. The most recent being last season’s 2-0 win in the third-round of the FA Cup, goals from Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez secured the victory.
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Both sides have met in each of England’s top footballing competitions. Back in 2001 United scored five past the Rams in the Premier League with a brace from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and goals from Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy – I’m sure there will be a few of the United faithful that remember the game.
It’s not all doom and gloom for Derby in this fixture as back in 2009 the side defeated United 1-0 in the League Cup semi-final after a 30th minute goal from Kris Commons.
However, this was only the first leg and United got their revenge with a 4-2 victory that pushed them on to win the competition. Derby have only won 3 of their previous 20 games against the Reds therefore making it four on Wednesday will be a big challenge for the team.
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Also, 2009 saw both teams meet again in the FA Cup fifth round. The game finished with a comfortable 4-1 win for United at Pride Park courtesy of goals from Nani, Darron Gibson, Danny Welbeck and Cristiano Ronaldo.
United have had an indifferent start to the campaign, which continued in their 1-1 draw against Wolves at the weekend. The Reds are set to play their third competitive game in a week, with the fourth coming against West Ham on the weekend, meaning that the depth of the squad may be called upon to get the results.
Following the 3-0 defeat to Tottenham last month, United have since been undefeated in their last four games. A 2-0 victory over Burnley and an impressive 2-1 win over inform Watford provided confidence to the United players.
Despite two red cards in two games, courtesy of Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic, United secured a 3-0 victory against Swiss side Young Boys in the Champions League last Wednesday.
If United are planning on regaining the Premier League title, or any silverware for that matter, Mourinho’s side need to turn on the style sooner rather than later, and tonight is the perfect opportunity.