Seven talking points from United 1 Wolves 0
Manchester United secured a place in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round on Wednesday night, by registering a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford.
Here are seven talking points from a tight and tense night under the floodlights…
Juan was superb during the weekend’s Premier League victory over Norwich City, when his two assists had the manager and fans raving about his performance.
The technically gifted Spaniard retained his place in the starting XI for this tie and showed a touch of class to score the opening goal, deftly chipping the ball over John Ruddy, while under pressure from two Wolves defenders. His strike eased the tension at a vital point of the second half and, as a result, he is pushing to start again in Sunday's match against Liverpool at Anfield, the scene of his most famous goal as a Red.
Mata's view on a crucial victoryVideo
Yes, Mata deserves plenty of credit for the goal, but it only came about because of an excellent tackle from Harry at the other end of the pitch.
The captain had reclaimed possession in our own penalty area and showed great composure to shrug off his marker, before playing a lofted pass up the field to Anthony Martial, who duly provided an assist for Juan. It was a neat piece of play from Maguire, who was generally impressive throughout the night – and thankfully shrugged off a first-half knock.
We’ll stop with the alliteration now, honestly, but that turn of phrase is absolutely perfect for a player like Sergio. He retained his place as our FA Cup goalkeeper this season and registered a 34th clean sheet from his 54 Reds appearances across all competitions, which is an incredible record. His place in the side also afforded a welcome rest for David De Gea, who is expected to return on Sunday.
CONCERN FOR RASHFORD
Marcus was taken out of the starting line-up as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kept one eye on Sunday’s trip to Liverpool, but the in-form striker was ultimately required and he entered the action on 64 minutes while the score was still goalless. Worryingly, after Mata had broken the deadlock, the influential no.10 sustained a heavy kick and looked in some discomfort. He was duly taken off and walked straight down the tunnel, casting doubt over his availability for Anfield.
Never want to feel like I’ve let my teammates, the club and most importantly the fans down so did my very best to carry on tonight and was gutted to come off.— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) January 15, 2020
Top work from the lads to get into the next round 👊🏿 pic.twitter.com/ZLpxiqhtq3
LINGARD IS BACK FROM ILLNESS
Jesse was substituted during the half-time break in last week's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City due to a bout of illness, which then forced him to miss the 4-0 win over Norwich. However, in a boost for the squad, he was among the replacements against Wolves and took Rashford's place in the second half.
A LANDMARK OUTING
Nemanja Matic made his 100th United appearance on Wednesday night, reaching a century of matches at the midway stage of his third season as a Red. The Serbian joined the club from Chelsea during the summer of 2017 and could move to 101 on Sunday, against Liverpool.
Ole’s verdict on Cup progressVideo
NEXT UP IN THE CUP
Our fourth-round tie will be against Tranmere Rovers or Watford, who will meet in another third-round replay next Thursday night, after their initial match was postponed earlier this week due to heavy rain around Prenton Park.
It will be a quick turnaround for either side, with the next FA Cup fixture taking place just three days later on Sunday 26 January. Kick-off is scheduled for 15:00 GMT and the action will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport.
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