Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson criticises Derby County display in FA Cup tie

Derby County West Stand

Derby County lost 3-1 at home to Manchester United last night.

Phil Thompson has criticised Derby County’s display as they limped to a disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round, Sky Sports reports.

The former Liverpool plyer felt the Rams allowed a fragile United side to get into their groove by standing off, affording the visitors lots of space and not showing any sort of intensity.

“United's performance was better, but I think Derby let them off the hook," the former Liverpool defender told Soccer Saturday.

"They didn't close them down, they gave them a lot of space so any nervousness evaporated in the first 10 minutes. It was a good victory, a needed victory for Van Gaal but I still think there's a lot more to do for Manchester United because I don't think Derby were really at it."

Paul Clement’s tactics were all wrong, illustrated by just how easy United had it in the first-half despite the hosts scoring completely against the run of play to head into the interval level.

Derby’s game plan was to seemingly sit back, soak up pressure and strike on the counter yet the side selected lacked serious pace – resulting in moves immediately breaking down.

United enjoyed 66% of the possession in the first-half, as they were allowed to play the ball about in Derby’s half and get the ball into Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial far too frequently.

Rooney notched his side ahead, and while George Thorne provided an excellent equaliser, United were soon out of sight with two well-worked second-half goals from Daley Blind and Juan Mata.

Louis van Gaal’s men headed in to the encounter extremely fragile, yet Derby didn’t pressure them from the off and their largest crowd of the season was immediately quietened by their negative approach.

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