Odion Ighalo celebrates with Juan Mata

Ighalo: The fans have been amazing

Odion Ighalo was named Manchester United's Man of the Match for the first time, after Thursday's 3-0 FA Cup victory over Derby County at Pride Park.

The Nigerian international demonstrated his potency in front of goal by netting either side of half-time to book our place in the FA Cup quarter-finals for the sixth successive season.

Odion won 61 per cent of your votes in our post-match poll on the Official App, making him the comfortable winner over fellow goalscorer Luke Shaw (21 per cent) and Bruno Fernandes (five per cent, all players were on the shortlist). 

After the final whistle, our January loan signing spoke about the team’s performance, saying that after a slow opening 20 minutes, we moved up a gear and were well worth the victory.

Ighalo: I wanted the hat-trick!Video

“I’m happy I scored two goals today, but most especially the team worked hard today, even though we didn’t start the game well,”
Ighalo said.

“But after 20-25 minutes we came into the game and started playing and we got the goals. Most importantly we are through to the quarter finals so I’m very happy.”

The United fans were in good voice for the duration of the game, and Ighalo reserved special praise for the Reds’ faithful.

“They’ve been great, not only about today. Since I came here, the support I’ve been getting from the fans is amazing,”
he added.

“I want to thank them for their support, not for only me but for the team. Even though some games we don’t play up to our level but they’re still chanting, cheering us on to victory. 

“I’m very happy and I thank them, I want them to keep doing that on Sunday. It’s going to be a massive game, let’s cheer us to victory again.”

The brace took Ighalo’s tally to three goals in two starts since his arrival in January. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with the form his striker is currently in, but admitted he should have completed his hat-trick in the second half, after slicing an opportunity over the bar.

“He should have had a third!”
Solskjaer half-joked at full time.
“Of course when you’ve got strikers, you want them to be happy, confident going into the next game and we’ve got a big game on Sunday.

“He’s come in here and, of course, we’ve still got a few injuries and Anthony has struggled a little bit lately with some injuries so it’s great to have Odion to call upon and he’s a different type of striker. 

“He holds it up well and he scores - the first one, the ball’s underneath him, not many strikers could dig that out.”


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