Relief for Mourinho as Man Utd beat Northampton

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London—Manchester United prevailed 3-1 at third-tier Northampton Town in the English Football League Cup on Wednesday to ease some of the pressure beginning to build on manager Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho had seen United lose their three previous games, but goals from Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and substitute Marcus Rashford at Sixfields took his side into the fourth round. Holders Manchester City also progressed after winning 2-1 at Swansea City, joining Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the hat for the last 16.
United’s victory was a welcome tonic for Mourinho and his team following consecutive losses to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford.
He made nine changes to the side beaten 3-1 at Watford on Sunday, with Chris Smalling and captain Wayne Rooney the only players to keep their places.
Rooney started up front, for the first time since last season, and squandered an early opportunity by miscuing from Ashley Young’s cross. United went ahead in the 17th minute after Northampton goalkeeper Adam Smith was penalised for picking up a back-pass.
Rooney’s shot from the ensuing free-kick hit the wall, but Carrick sweptthe rebound into the top-left corner from the edge of the box.
Rooney then saw a goal ruled out for offside, but Northampton gave United a scare when Kenji Gorre clipped the bar in the 38th minute and within four minutes the home side were level.
After Marcos Rojo, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Morgan Schneiderlin all spurned chances to clear, Daley Blind tripped Sam Hoskins and Alex Revell stroked the resulting penalty past Sergio Romero.—AFP