Manchester United edged through an instantly forgettable FA Cup 3rd round replay because of a last half goal from Juan Mata.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer showed how serious he was taking the sport and therefore the FA Cup by naming a robust side with only Marcus Rashford and and David De Gea rested. Mata – excellent against Norwich City on Saturday – was given another chance from the beginning .
Despite naming a stronger side than the primary tie, the performance was remarkably almost like it. Wolves were organised, and with a midfield of Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves, boasted a pair United supporters would probably be happy to swap for his or her own; the visitors dominated the tempo of the primary period and will probably claim to be comfortable, if not comfortably superior.
After a few of anxious early moments in defence, United looked to possess been punished within the 10th minute; Fred, previously so impressive as he continues to fight for his Old Trafford future, has struggled lately since Nemanja Matic’s recall has meant the Brazilian has had to shift across to the proper hand side of centre midfield. It came at a price against Arsenal as Fred was pulled out of position and he struggled again against Manchester City last week.
Here, he attempted a cross field pass from the right-back position which was way too casual; the ball struck Nemanja Matic and bounced into the trail of Raul Jimenez. The Wolves forward, who had previously already missed an enormous chance, tussled with Harry Maguire and therefore the ball bounced to Neto, who converted past Romero. Jimenez, however, was adjudged to possess handled the ball — the newest victim of a surely much too harsh interpretation.
United were relieved but didn’t truly use the let-off to galvanise their own performance. Daniel James had a few of openings and Anthony Martial had a rare effort on track but it had been faraway from a convincing effort from the hosts.
Those attending – but 67,000, still the most important crowd of the round but almost 10,000 shy of capacity – would are hoping for more entertainment within the playing period .
It wasn’t forthcoming.
A goal was, however. After Solskjaer made a double change, bringing on Rashford and Pereira, United finally made a breakthrough. Anthony Martial held the ball smartly and released it for Juan Mata to interrupt clear – if not at break-neck speed – of the Wolves defence and clip it past the goalkeeper.
There were conflicted emotions as Rashford succumbed to a back injury and had to return off just fifteen minutes after approaching . It didn’t look to be such a significant injury but he could face a race against the clock to play Liverpool at the weekend.
The objective was to qualify and United did that, but it had been hardly convincing. If their first convert Wolves in six attempts was deserved by virtue of the very fact they scored a goal then all the standard issues about having the ability to interrupt down an organised team were there for all to ascertain . If Rashford does fail to form Sunday’s game it’s difficult to ascertain how Solskjaer’s team can make much of an impression within the midfield or attack.
That said, the target of the evening’s mission was accomplished, if not in glittering fashion.
Source : lovesportradio.com