Confirmed: Derby v United in FA Cup fifth round
Manchester United will face Derby County and Wayne Rooney in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round, after the Rams beat Northampton Town in a fourth-round replay tonight.
Andre Wisdom broke the deadlock with a right-footed shot from close range and Duane Holmes doubled that advantage from the centre of the box moments later, to make it 2-0 by the break.
The visitors from League Two, who were the lowest rank club left in the competition, pulled a goal back in the second half thanks to Nicky Adams. But any hopes of a dramatic cup upset were virtually extinguished, just four minutes later, when Jack Marriot headed home for the favourites Derby.
Rooney then got in on the act by converting a late penalty to make it 4-1 to his new club Derby, before Sam Hoskins pulled one back for Northampton with his own spot kick late on.
COMING UP: UNITED V ROONEY
Our all-time leading goalscorer played a full match as Derby captain in what was his eighth appearance since joining the Rams in January, following a two-season spell in MLS with DC United.
Wayne has added experience to a talented squad that hopes to climb the Championship table, in which they are currently placed 13th after 30 matches.
While the league is presumably their priority, Rooney will no doubt have the FA Cup on his mind and particularly now that United are coming to town in the fifth round.
Rooney has made two appearances against United since he left the club in 2017, losing twice with Everton at Old Trafford and Goodison Park in 2017/18.
WHEN IS OUR FIFTH-ROUND TIE?
It will be played at Pride Park in the week commencing Monday 2 March, with any games that are level after 90 minutes going to extra time and, if necessary, penalties to determine a winner.
This will be a 12th FA Cup tie between United and Derby - and the fourth in the last 11 years! Most recently, United beat Derby 2-0 at Old Trafford in January 2018 with late goals from Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku, following 4-1 and 3-1 away wins in 2009 and 2016 respectively.
Interestingly, in a poll that was published in our Official App, 60 per cent of fans said they preferred a fifth-round tie against Derby over Northampton.
The exact date of this fixture will be confirmed by both clubs in the near future.
MUTV commentator Stewart Gardner at Pride Park…
“Last time United were at Derby for an FA Cup tie, Rooney bagged the penultimate of his 22 FA Cup goals for the Reds. Four years on, he’ll try to score against his old club in an anticipated last-16 tie.
“At 34, the old burst of pace may be gone. He’s now more of a football quarter-back, operating in the kind of role that David Beckham carried out for England towards the end of his career.
“Wayne is stationed in deep-lying central midfield these days and his pure football intelligence shines through for everyone to see. Like Paul Scholes, it’s almost as if he has a force-field around him so that he’s got that crucial bit of time and space to pick the right pass.
“He tended to keep it pretty simple against league two Northampton but his defence-splitting pass that released Jack Marriott in the first half showed his class. And he takes virtually all of the set-pieces for Derby. Indeed, his first-half corner led to Andre Wisdom’s opening goal. And the captain’s goal-scoring instinct is still very much intact - he made it three goals in his last three appearances with a penalty, to round off an impressive Derby performance and book a date with United.”
Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City
Reading v Sheffield United
Chelsea v Liverpool
West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United
Leicester City v Birmingham City
Derby County v MANCHESTER UNITED
Southampton or Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City
Portsmouth v Arsenal
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