English Premiership

United avoid FA Cup shock

2015-02-04 07:30
Daley Blind and Angel Di Maria (Supplied)

London - Manchester United overcame fourth-tier Cambridge in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday, winning 3-0 less than two weeks after a humbling 0-0 draw.

Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and second-half substitute James Wilson scored to send United through to a fifth-round match at third-tier Preston.

"I think that is our greatest chance to win a title," United manager Louis van Gaal said of his team, which is third in the league and not in Europe.

Although Cambridge failed to match the "giant-killing" feats of Bradford and Middlesbrough, which knocked out Chelsea and Manchester City respectively in the fourth round, the visitors did have an early chance to score at Old Trafford.

After 50 seconds, Daley Blind slipped and somehow sent Tom Elliott through on goal. The striker, seemingly taken aback by the scoring opportunity at Old Trafford, just about managed to maintain his balance and bent a shot past goalkeeper David de Gea with the instep of his right boot.

Luckily for the hosts there was not enough curl on the shot, which hit the outside of the post and bounced to safety.

The 20-time English champions regained their composure, but the 4-1-4-1 formation seemed to hinder their ability to carve open the away defense.

Wayne Rooney, marooned out on the right side, had United's first shot on target but it was a weak effort.

Nothing was really going for United and its fans became impatient. Cambridge fans were reveling in the fact that they were holding a team sat 79 places above them in the league pyramid.

But their defense was finally breached in the 25th minute. Angel di Maria latched on to a clever pass from Paddy McNair and whipped a cross to the back post. Marouane Fellaini nodded the ball down to Mata and he stabbed the ball in off the bar.

Seven minutes later, the nerves inside Old Trafford eased further as the lead was doubled.

Fellaini's shot was deflected into the path of Robin van Persie and the striker curled a short-range cross with the outside of his left boot to find Rojo, who headed in his first goal for the club.

As the second half progressed, Cambridge began to tire. De Gea saved Robbie Simpson's header, but Cambridge rarely crossed the halfway line.

After Di Maria and Van Persie came off, their replacements combined for the third goal in the 73rd minute.

Ander Herrera drove at the Cambridge defense and laid the ball off for Wilson, who smacked a powerful low shot across goalkeeper Chris Dunn into the far corner.

The night's other FA Cup replay saw Sunderland come from behind to beat Fulham 3-1.

After Hugo Rodallega put second-tier side Fulham in front, a fumbled own goal by goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli gifted Sunderland the equalizer. Ricardo Alvarez's strike and Jordi Gomez's penalty sent Sunderland through to a meeting with third-tier Bradford in the fifth round.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.