Wigan Athletic 0 Manchester United 2

Monday 08 January 2024 22:20

Manchester United secured an Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at either Newport County or Eastleigh, by recording a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Diogo Dalot curled home midway through the first half as United dominated most of the play, with Rasmus Hojlund, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford all going close and Alejandro Garnacho striking the crossbar.

The home side had goalkeeper Sam Tickle to thank for keeping them in the game for large periods, but the Latics' no.1 could not prevent Bruno Fernandes from doubling the scoreline with a penalty he'd won himself, 15 minutes from time.

Erik ten Hag's men, who were cheered on by 7,500 travelling Reds on a freezing Monday evening, can look ahead to another visit to a side in a lower English league at the end of the month, with the Eastleigh v Newport replay to be settled first on Tuesday 16 January.

Dalot puts United ahead with a brilliant finish.


The game kicked off at 20:15 GMT in bitterly cold surroundings, with the fourth-round draw having taken place just minutes prior.

A trip to South Wales or the south coast of England – with our potential opponents having played out a 1-1 draw on Saturday – awaited the victors and Ten Hag’s side soon set about trying to ensure that would be United as we bossed the early possession.

In contrast, the youthful home side sat back and sought opportunities on the break and that approach almost paid dividends, as Andre Onana had to stretch his frame to block Thelo Aasgaard’s shot after the Norwegian had been fed by Martial Godo’s cross.

Rashford, attacking down the left-hand side, fired our first attempt at goal, cutting inside and seeing his low, fizzing drive diverted behind for a corner by Tickle.

The opening 20 minutes had almost exclusively been played in front of Wigan’s entrenched defence and midfield, but the Reds started cutting through the lines, with McTominay turning an effort just wide of the post following a sweeping team move that involved Kobbie Mainoo, Fernandes and Hojlund.

Wigan did not heed the warning signs though and McTominay was again involved, bursting forward to spark the move which led to Dalot’s goal.

Garnacho’s cross evaded Hojlund at the back post, but Rashford recovered possession and laid it back to the Portuguese full-back, who found the far corner with a shot full of bend and whip.

The Reds had a couple of quick opportunities to double our advantage, although Tickle somehow prevented Rashford’s effort crossing the goalline after an unfortunate fumble. He then more impressively stuck out a leg to stop Hojlund opening his FA Cup account.

An entertaining game was being played out, much to the delight of the 23,000-strong crowd and Stephen Humphrys just missed the target before Hojlund headed over at the opposite end.

It was a frustrating first half for the Dane, who failed to convert after Tickle parried Rashford’s sighter clear. Garnacho then rattled the crossbar with an effort from distance and McTominay headed wide before the whistle sounded to bring an end to a half controlled by the Reds but without the scoreline to truly match the quality of play.

The Reds had 16 attempts on goal in the first half.


Ten Hag sent out the same 11 players for the second half and the contest resumed in much the same rhythm: red shirts attacking, blue-and-white shirts defending in a low block.

But the Latics soon issued a reminder that the tie wasn’t done and dusted, Aasgaard reacting quickest to a throw-in and diverting the ball inside to Godo, who couldn’t avoid the nearest United defender with his strike.

The impressive Mainoo – after a quick word with his manager, during a break in play to treat a stricken Raphael Varane – stung the palms of Tickle and another McTominay effort was deflected behind as the Reds sought the breathing space of a second goal.

From the resulting corner, United ceded possession and Godo broke clear, but Mainoo showed the wherewithal to track his man and the nous to time the tackle and divert the danger.

The game was still in the balance as we entered the last 20 minutes, but Liam Shaw’s mistimed challenge on Fernandes in the Wigan area provided the skipper with the chance to finally make it 2-0.

The Reds celebrate with Bruno after his successful spot-kick.

Our no.8 had a spot-kick saved against Chelsea last month but made no mistake this time around, sending Tickle the wrong way and heading over to the United support to celebrate.

The Wigan no.1 – his side’s best player on the night – soon picked himself up, adding a further three saves to his resume as he denied Bruno a brace, smothered a Rashford shot at source and tipped a Garnacho drive wide.

It was a much quieter night for Onana at the other end, save that third-minute stop, and the Cameroonian was able to keep a clean sheet without too much trouble on his first FA Cup outing.

Ten Hag called upon his substitutes bench in the closing stages and there was a nice moment for Omari Forson, as the 19-year-old became the 249th Academy graduate to make his first-team bow.

He joined fellow products Jonny Evans, Mainoo, McTominay, Willy Kambwala and Hannibal on the pitch to see out the victory, which ensures a third January fixture is inked into our calendar, around the final weekend of the month.

Rasmus Hojlund battled hard on his return from illness.


United: Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot (Kambwala 83); Mainoo, McTominay; Garnacho (Pellistri 87), Fernandes (c), Rashford (Forson 90+2); Hojlund (Hannibal 90+2).

Subs not used: Bayindir, Heaton, Bennett, Shoretire, Hugill.

Goals: Dalot 22, Fernandes 74 (pen).

Wigan: Tickle, Sessegnon, Clare, Morrison, Hughes (c), Jones (McManaman 78), Adeeko, Shaw (Smith 78), Aasgaard, Godo (Lang 90+2), Humphrys (Magennis 60).

Subs not used: Amos, Kerr, Carragher, Robinson, Wyke.

Match videos:

  • Ten Hag: The job is done Video

    Ten Hag: The job is done

    Erik ten Hag is pleased to progress in the Emirates FA Cup, even if he thinks the Reds should have scored more...

  • Dalot: We know how much we want to win it Video

    Dalot: We know how much we want to win it

    Goalscorer Diogo Dalot says United want to go all the way in the Emirates FA Cup...