United's best FA Cup away ties: Part one
Manchester United will play another home tie in the Emirates FA Cup, as we were drawn against West Ham United in the fifth round of this season's competition.
Following games against both Everton and Reading in the two previous rounds at Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag's side will welcome the Hammers to M16 in the week commencing 27 February.
With a chance to book our place in the quarter-finals at stake, the Reds have now remarkably been drawn at home for the ninth consecutive time in domestic cup competitions, if you discount the Carabao Cup last-four draw being away as it was a two-legged tie anyway.
As away draws have been at a premium for United fans, here's a short trip down memory lane, at some of our best performances on the road in the FA Cup...
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Our fifth-round fixture is set following Monday's match between Derby and West Ham.
19 February 2005
A Saturday-evening Cup trip to Goodison Park virtually assured United of a less-than-warm welcome even before the small matter of Wayne Rooney’s first return to his alma mater came into consideration. Given one fan’s attempt to accost the 19-year-old ex-Evertonian during the warm-up, the stage was set for a tempestuous tie.
Despite the sides’ close proximity in the league table, United always looked assured of victory. Quinton Fortune’s 23rd-minute opener had been coming, and the South African’s powerful header arrived after superb approach work from the untouchable Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese later sealed deserved and comfortable progress by converting the rebound from Paul Scholes’s parried free-kick just before the hour, with Everton boss David Moyes left to shrug: ''We knew it would be hard. We never really got any chances.''
13 April 2016
The stage was set for Upton Park’s final FA Cup game. A giddy home contingent, buoyed by their side’s misfortune in only drawing the initial tie at Old Trafford a month prior, were in strident mood, confident of booking a Wembley date with Everton.
A tame affair was playing out in cagey fashion until, nine minutes into the second half, West Ham surrendered possession to Anthony Martial and the Frenchman quickly ferried the ball to Marcus Rashford. Cutting in from the left flank, the 18-year-old – in just his 11th senior appearance – curled in a sublime, top-corner effort via the underside of the crossbar to send United’s travelling contingent wild.
Those celebrations endured and exploded again when Marouane Fellaini bundled home a close-range second with 23 minutes remaining, though there were nervy moments still to come. James Tomkins halved the deficit late on, but was the only Hammer able to find a way past an in-form David De Gea as United marched on to Wembley.
10 January 1948
In United’s third season under Matt Busby, hopes were high that the Reds could keep building momentum, with a first FA Cup success in 39 years high on the agenda.
The tone for a captivating afternoon was set when the hosts moved ahead through George Edwards’s goal within 14 seconds. Unflustered, a 5-1 interval lead was set by Busby’s all-star forward line through typically predatory efforts from Jack Rowley, Stan Pearson, Jimmy Delaney and a brace from trickster Johnny Morris.
Assumptions that the contest was over soon proved unfounded, with Edwards repeating his trick in the opening minute of the second period. Villa – roared on by a baying home support – kept chipping away at the visitors’ lead. Les Smith struck and Dicky Dorsett converted a late penalty to further foster hope, only for Pearson to finally put the tie to bed with two minutes remaining.
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WOLVES 2 UNITED 3
9 March 1976
After a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, a reported 20,000 United fans descended on Molineux for a midweek replay, spurred on by the attacking play of Tommy Docherty’s vibrant young team, who were back in the top flight after a year in the second tier.
Proving that the first meeting hadn’t been an outlier, the hosts roared out of the blocks at Molineux and struck a quickfire one-two with goals in the 19th and 20th minutes, from Steve Kingdon and John Richards respectively.
Undeterred, United steadily hit back and halved the deficit through Stuart Pearson’s effort. As Guardian journalist David Lacey later reflected: ‘Manchester did not so much break down the Wolverhampton defence as erode it'. Brian Greenhoff took the game to extra-time and Sammy McIlroy converted from close-range in the first additional period to move the Reds into the last four.
WIMBLEDON 0 UNITED 3
20 February 1994
Trips to Selhurst Park invariably ensured a bumper presence for United in the home sections, such was the gulf in fan-bases between the Reds and Wimbledon. With added away allocation for cup ties, it was estimated that over half the 27,511 gate would be cheering on the visitors.
Vinnie Jones spelled out his side’s chief tactic early on by hoofing Eric Cantona high into the London sky, but the Frenchman’s response embodied United’s approach: shrug it off, stand tall and let skill take over.
Cantona broke the deadlock with a sensational swerving volley before the break and United, hurtling into challenges and harassing the hosts with equal vigour, doubled the lead when Paul Ince headed home just after the hour. To cries of ‘ole!’, Denis Irwin rounded off an epic team move by slaloming into the home area and rolling in a sensational third goal. Game, set, match.
This feature first appeared in United Review, the official matchday programme.