Herrera named star man in win at the Bridge
Ander Herrera deservedly claimed the Man of the Match award following his spectacular contribution in Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round.
The Spaniard revelled in an attacking role given to him by caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Herrera was given the instruction to press further forward and was rewarded as he scored the opening goal mid-way through the first half following a beautiful ball in from the left by Paul Pogba.
After United had established a two-goal cushion, courtesy of Pogba, the Reds defended resolutely with Ander in particular laying his body on the line with numerous blocks and clearances. It was this, along with his goal, that saw the Spaniard named our star performer by the fans with a landslide percentage of 77 per cent.
Goalscorer Herrera explains his attacking roleVideo
Ander's team mates, Victor Lindelof and Marchus Rashford, were also nominated for the award and they received 12 and 11 per cent of the vote respectively.
Speaking to MUTV and BBC Sport after the match, the Spaniard explained how Solskjaer had given him the license to get further forward and how it helped the Reds to break the deadlock.
“The manager didn’t want me that much in the build-up, because he told me it was enough with Nemanja today. He wanted me to get into the box. Even Kieran [McKenna] told me I was going to score and I did, so they had a good vision about the game.”
“We had to fight until the end,” Ander added.
“We knew how to play them. I played today in a more offensive role, because we knew they struggled on that side of the pitch. But, I think it was a fantastic game. When you play with these kind of players you can make that run and you know you will get the ball.
”But I would like to speak also about Alexis [Sanchez], Andreas [Pereira] and Scott [McTominay], the way they came into the game. Alexis is a world-class player and the way he fought, this is Manchester United and this is what we want.
In the second half, United managed to weather the advances of Chelsea with Sergio Romero conducting himself well in the United net as the Argentine fulfilled his duties as the Reds' designated cup goalkeeper. However, despite United's positive result, Ander was eager to pick up on where he and his team-mates can improve especially with our home Premier League fixture against Liverpool just around the corner.
“We know we can trust Romero as well, but I think we like to be also critical with ourselves and we have to improve on the ball. In the second half we should have kept the ball more to make it more difficult for them, but we can be happy of course with the performance and the result.
”Chelsea away is always one of the best games and we are happy. We’re happy, because we haven't had many good results at Stamford Bridge, so we are pleased for the fans as well.”
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Report: Chelsea 0 United 2 article
Superb first-half goals from Herrera and Pogba book the Reds a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.