Frank Lampard Returns To Old Trafford, Beats Man United As Coach Of Derby County

Lampard defeated his former coach Jose Mourinho in an epic Carabao Cup match.

Frank Lampard made many trips to Old Trafford as a player in a long career with West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester City. Perhaps the greatest midfielder in the history of the Premier League returned once more to face Manchester United on Tuesday — not as a player, but a manager of Derby County.

Lampard faced off against his former coach at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho. Lampard went home with an unlikely win.

Derby County outlasted Manchester United 8-7 on penalty kicks after a dramatic 2-2 draw in regulation in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday in Manchester, the young coach getting the better of the embattled veteran. 

The Rams went first in the shootout and all eight of their shooters scored. United matched Derby through seven attempts, but Phil Jones’ tame effort was saved as Derby County advanced to the Round of 16 of the League Cup. 

Here’s the entirety of the shootout for those keen on the full Man United vs Derby County highlights:

Frank Lampard is in his first head-coaching gig since hanging up his boots after a couple of seasons with NYCFC in MLS. Derby County is currently sixth in the EFL Championship, just two points out of first place and in solid position to make a run toward promotion.

But Tuesday’s matchup with Manchester United was undoubtedly Lampard’s biggest test yet as a manager. 

While many Premier League clubs send out reserve sides to play in the Carabao Cup, Mourinho picked a strong side that included regulars like Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Ashley Young. 

The choice appeared to be inspired as United took the lead three minutes in through a wonderful team goal finished off by Mata.

But the cracks had already started to appear even before the goal, with Derby County getting good looks at Sergio Romero’s goal early and often. The Rams outshot Manchester United 16-14 on the day. 

It wasn’t until a smashing free kick about an hour into the match that the Rams made good on their chances. 

Harry Wilson’s free kick from 30 yards was struck so sweetly, Romero didn’t even make a move on the ball. It's a goal Lampard would've been proud of.

It was a deserved equalizer for the visitors, who soon pressured Romero into the biggest mistake of the match and Wilson was again in the middle of it. The Derby County winger beat Romero to a long ball over the top and the Argentine goalkeeper handled the ball outside the box. 

No one could argue the ensuing straight red card in the 67th minute.

After some close chances (and a brilliant save from former Derby County keeper Lee Grant, who came in for Romero), Jack Marriott finally made good on the man advantage by heading in what was thought to be the match winner in the 85th minute.

But Jose Mourinho, the master tactician, used his Plan B to perfection, lobbing balls into the box toward some tall dudes, hoping one of them will head the ball in. It worked when Marouane Fellaini scored a late equalizer in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

And that’s why Mourinho has three Premier League titles to his name, more than anyone else currently coaching in the league. Who else would think of such a daring strategy of throwing it into the mixer? Pure magic, that Mourinho; he really does think outside the box.

Alas, Frank Lampard got the last laugh. The match immediately went to penalty kicks where both sides scored their first seven with expert precision. Then Phil Jones decided to give it a go. 

Lamps enjoyed it. As did the many Man U haters out there.