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Monday, March 20, 2023

Manchester United 3-1 West Ham Match Report | FA Cup

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Manchester United advanced to the last eight of the Emirates FA Cup after defeating West Ham United 3-1 at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.

After a relatively even first half, the second 45 minutes saw all of the action. Said Benrahma opened the scoring for the visitors, but Nayef Aguerd’s own goal put us back in it.

With extra-time and penalties looming, Alejandro Garnacho’s 90th-minute strike gave us the lead, which was celebrated by both players and the Stretford End. Fred scored in the final seconds of the game to put the game out of reach.

For the second time so far this season, Erik ten Hag’s men are into the quarter-finals of another competition. Despite winning the Carabao Cup only four days ago, Ten Hag’s men showed no signs of a hangover as we made an assured start to the game.

It would only take six minutes to carve out a clear effort on goal, with Marcel Sabitzer at the helm. Scott McTominay, his midfield partner, picked up the ball down the right before playing it into Wout Weghorst, who laid it off to Sabitzer, but his fizzing shot was well met by West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola, denying us an early lead.

Just after the 10-minute mark, Weghorst came close to scoring his first goal at Old Trafford. Garnacho’s left-wing curling effort forced a strong save from Areola, with Diogo Dalot playing the rebound into the path of our no.27, but despite directing the ball towards the goal, it appeared to be ruled offside regardless of what happened.

The visitors took a while to get into the game, but they quickly proved how dangerous they could be. Michail Antonio was one-on-one with David De Gea after a lovely through ball from Benrahma over the top of the defence, but our no.1 was off his line in lightning speed to close down the angle and make the save.

McTominay had our best chance of the first half in the closing stages, after a well-worked free-kick from the Reds saw a ball lofted into the direction of Harry Maguire, who headed back across goal in the direction of the Scotland international. His volley, which appeared to be headed in, was crucially headed away by Tomas Soucek.

The Reds made a strong start to the second half, camping out in the visitors’ half in an attempt to create scoring chances. Our first opportunity fell to Antony, but his effort was tame and easily collected by Areola. After Soucek rose above Lindelof to direct a header towards the bottom corner, our shot-stopper scooped it away and the loose ball was cleared, De Gea was forced into another huge save.

30 – @ManUtd have now won 30 games in all competitions this season after 41 matches; only in 2006-07 and 2012-13 (both after 40 matches) have they reached this win total sooner, winning the Premier League title in both campaigns. Force. pic.twitter.com/cCrUUFSZ2b

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 1, 2023

United nearly scored a sublime goal after a series of intricate passes. After some one-touch play, most notably between Bruno Fernandes and Sabitzer, the former couldn’t quite get a touch on the latter’s final ball to poke it home in front of the Stretford End.

David Moyes’ side took the lead, albeit controversially, five minutes before the hour mark, almost against the run of play. The ball appeared to have gone out of play, but Soucek was adjudged to have kept it in play, and it eventually found its way to Benramha, who curled a fantastic effort past De Gea to make it 1-0.

With momentum on West Ham’s side, our goalkeeper was called upon once more to make a crucial save. Antonio was denied yet again after the Hammers talisman skipped past Lisandro Martinez but couldn’t finish the chance.

However, the Reds got a much-needed equaliser just five minutes later, thanks to another fantastic Fernandes delivery. Our number eight whipped a teasing ball into the box from a corner, but it was West Ham’s Aguerd who got the killer touch to put it past his own goalkeeper.

With the bit between our teeth, ten Hag’s players pressed tenaciously inside the Hammers’ half for the remainder of the second half. Despite peppering the goal, we needed that extra bit of cutting edge to avoid extra time and potentially penalties – and Garnacho delivered. After Weghorst’s attempt was blocked, the Reds’ youngster brought the ball down beautifully before curling it into the bottom of a stranded Areola’s goal to give us the lead heading into the second half.

It’s been a good day at the office. Thanks God 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/Z9Qz1d8c1s

— Fred Rodrigues (@Fred08oficial) March 1, 2023

But we didn’t stop there. After spending the entire extra time attacking West Ham’s goal, second-half substitute Fred scored after more good work by Weghorst in winning the ball, ensuring safe passage into the competition’s quarter-finals. This resilient Reds team has completed yet another memorable comeback.

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