Juan Mata

How have United done in our recent third-round ties?

Thursday 07 January 2021 13:32

Manchester United’s record in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup is a strong one as we prepare to welcome Watford to Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are preparing for Saturday's clash with the Championship side on Saturday night, looking to recover from the midweek Carabao Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City.

Since we were eliminated in the third round by Tottenham Hotspur way back in the 1979/80 campaign, the Reds have progressed on 35 occasions and only gone out twice in our first game since that Spurs defeat 41 years ago.

As United are entering the world’s oldest club cup competition in search for our 13th FA Cup triumph, we’ look back at our last five matches from this stage of the competition…

Your Emirates FA Cup third-round preview


What time is kick-off, how can you follow it, can there be a replay and will VAR be in use? Get the answers here...

2016: Sheffield United (H) 1-0

Five years ago, the Blades, then of League One, visited Old Trafford for a tough third-round encounter. It looked to be a frustrating afternoon but, in typical United fashion, it had a dramatic and satisfying ending.

In the 92nd minute, just when all sign of a breakthrough appeared lost, Memphis Depay went on a brilliant run before he was brought down in the box. Wayne Rooney stepped up to slot in the resulting penalty to earn a narrow victory.

Wayne Rooney scored the winner from the spot in injury time against Sheffield United in 2016.

2017: Reading (H) 4-0

In 2017, the Royals were the visitors at this stage of the FA Cup. The 4-0 win included a historic strike from club captain Rooney. His goal, with his knee after seven minutes, equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals for United, which he would go on to break.

In the same match, Anthony Martial scored our second after 15 minutes before a quick-fire Marcus Rashford double towards the end added extra gloss to the scoreline.

Wayne Rooney scored his 249th United goal in the third round of the FA Cup in 2017.

2018: Derby County (H) 2-0

Three years ago, Derby were the visitors at Old Trafford. The contest ended up with a 2-0 victory for United, thanks to two late goals. Six minutes from time, Jesse Lingard made the breakthrough before  Romelu Lukaku added our second in stoppage time to seal progression into the next round.

Jose Mourinho's men would end up reaching the final this season, eventually losing 1-0 to Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

Goals: United 2 Derby County 0 Video

Goals: United 2 Derby County 0

Remember this? Jesse Lingard scored a worldie in our 2-0 FA Cup win over Derby last January...

2019: Reading (H) 2-0

In 2019, United once again welcomed Reading to the Theatre of Dreams as the Reds ended up 2-0 winners. Juan Mata converted a spot-kick midway through the first half before Lukaku effectively put the game to bed on the stroke of half-time. This was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's fifth straight win as interim manager for United. 

Highlights: United 2 Reading 0 Video

Highlights: United 2 Reading 0

See how Lukaku and Mata scored to put the Reds in the next round of the Emirates FA Cup...

2020: Wolves (A) 0-0, (H) 1-0

A 0-0 draw at the Molineux on 4 January was followed by a 1-0 triumph in the replay, 11 days later, Mata scored the only goal of the night at Old Trafford to take us through. A lovely through-ball from Martial set the Spaniard through on goal. One-on-one with John Ruddy, our no. 8 was cool as ice as he dinked United into the fourth round. In the first of two games against Wolves, Mason Greenwood made his FA cup debut.

Make sure to watch the Match Day Live programme on MUTV from 18:55 GMT on Saturday. Kick-off against Watford on January 9 is at 20:00 GMT and you can follow all the action in our Official App.