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Monday, March 20, 2023

The irresistible Manchester United bandwagon keeps on rolling

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Alejandro Garnacho celebrates scoring – Manchester United complete dramatic late comeback over West Ham – Getty Images/Lindsey ParnabyBy James Ducker at Old TraffordIt is only three months since Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United but the club have moved on so quickly it already feels like a lifetime ago and even the chant associated with the Portugal striker has found an exciting new outlet.Alejandro Garnacho, in truth, was making a name for himself before Ronaldo had actually left the building. His dramatic late winner against Fulham in November in United’s final game before the World Cup served notice of his enormous talent and ensured Craven Cottage reverberated to the sound of “Viva Garnacho”.So when Wout Weghorst’s shot cannoned off Nayef Aguerd and high into the air with the clock about to hit 90 and the prospect of extra-time looming, there was a feverish expectation as the ball dropped and Garnacho killed it dead with the deftest of touches to set up the shot to follow. But as soon as the ball left the Argentine teenager’s right foot, it was only ending up in one place and as it flew into the far corner a loud, guttural roar erupted from all sides of Old Trafford who were soon dancing to that familiar tune as they toasted a memorable comeback. Fulham now await in the quarter-finals.“It is a great skill when you are fearless, when you are brave,” the United manager Erik ten Hag said of the Argentine teenager. “He is one of the players that I think has a skill that is so specific. There are not many players in world football who take players on, who are capable of just going at players and out dribbling them. But he has more skill than only that, for example, finishing as we saw. I also has a big engine. He is fast and has speed, but he can keep running for 90 minutes or 120 minutes.”Garnacho was United’s standout performer – Manchester United complete dramatic late comeback over West Ham – PA/Martin RickettWhat a run United are on. What momentum they have. What spirit and togetherness they are showing. They will go to Anfield on Sunday and face Liverpool brimming with confidence. They had paraded the Carabao Cup before kick off following Sunday’s triumph against Newcastle but, with 14 minutes to go, it did not look like they would be adding the FA Cup to the collection this season.Behind to Said Benrahma’s stunning strike early in the second half, a weakened, understrength United had David De Gea to thank for the damage not being more severe, the Spain goalkeeper having made two excellent saves in either half to deny Michail Antonio.David Moyes, the West Ham manager, was right to bemoan those missed chances and what he called the “two ridiculous goals” his side gave away so late, with poor Aguerd enduring a nightmare end to the game as they crumbled under the weight of pressure. United, though, are finding different ways to win and different players are stepping forward at different times. “Once again the team showed personality, character, they never give up and turned this game around,” Ten Hag said. “It’s massive in terms of mentality.”The first half was a reminder of how Ten Hag’s squad still needs strengthening. This was very much a United second string, with the manager making six changes to Sunday’s team, and it showed, so much so that Ten Hag did not hesitate in introducing his midfield lynchpin, Casemiro, at the interval and before too long Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez were also introduced.Neither Harry Maguire nor Victor Lindelof convinced alongside each other at centre-half and you could see the uncertainty it bred through the rest of the team.Michail Antonio – Manchester United complete dramatic late comeback over West Ham – PA/Martin RickettAntonio’s first golden chance came in the 23rd minute when Benrahma spotted an inviting gap between Maguire and Lindelof and released Michael Antonio on goal, only for De Gea to spare his defenders’ blushes. Maguire was later booked for a clumsy late challenge on Antonio. Marcel Sabitzer forced a good low save and Garnacho had an effort pushed away but United could probably not have too many complaints about falling behind.There was a whiff of controversy about Benrahma’s goal. The questions centred on whether the ball had gone out of play on the touchline before Tomas Soucek played in Emerson down West Ham’s left flank, from where the full-back pulled the ball back for Benrahma to let fly with a bullet of a shot. But Simon Hooper, the Var, decided the whole ball had not gone out and West Ham had their lead. They should have doubled it, too, but Antonio – for the second time on the night – was denied by De Gea after tearing away from Martinez.Video technology would work against United again 18 minutes from time when Casemiro headed home Fernandes’ free-kick only for it to be ruled out for offside but, five minutes later, United were level, Aguerd heading home Fernandes’ corner under pressure from Weghorst.Weghorst was a handful all night. He has been criticised for a lack of goals but he forced the errors that led to Garnacho’s winner and a third from Fred after Aguerd had miscontrolled, allowing the Dutchman to poke the ball to the Brazilian to finish.Manchester United vs West Ham United: As it happened09:57 PMFA Cup quarter-final drawManchester City vs BurnleyManchester United vs FulhamBrighton vs Grimsby TownSheffield United vs Blackburn09:55 PMHere are the teams in the quarter-finalsGrimsby TownBlackburn RoversBrightonSheffield UnitedFulhamManchester CityManchester UnitedBurnley09:54 PMResults in the other matches tonightSome upsets in here.Southampton 1 Grimsby 2Burnley 1 Fleetwood 0Sheff Utd 1 Tottenham 0The quarter final draw is coming imminently.09:53 PMAnd here’s Fred’s09:48 PMGarnacho’s delightful finish09:47 PMHarry Maguire speaks with ITV SportWe were poor in the first half, we’ve got to start better than that. It’s a great match winner from Garns. He’s a young boy with amazing talent. He’s got the world at his feet.We’re making strides forward, we’ve got a philosophy and we play to it.09:42 PMFull time: Manchester United 3 West Ham 1The Manchester United hangover didn’t last long. They’ve got straight back down to business after Carabao Cup glory at the weekend.This group have developed a winning mentality and when the game threatened to be slipping away from them, they fashioned a goal, before Garnacho put the hosts ahead and Fred sealed it moments later.Manchester United are heading through to the last-eight of the FA Cup.David de Gea – Getty Images/Marc Atkins09:40 PMGOAL! Man Utd 3 West Ham 1 (Fred, 90+4)And Fred adds some.Weghorst hounds the West Ham defence, forcing a pass out to Fred who is lurking on the edge of the West Ham box and sweeps the ball past Areola.Fred scores – Reuters/Carl Recine09:36 PMGOAL! Man Utd 2 West Ham 1 (Garnacho, 90)Garnacho seals it in the 90th minute and Old Trafford erupts!What a timely intervention. He’s been a threat all night long.Weghorst goes for the shot from just inside the box, but it’s deflected out to Garnacho on the left-edge of the box. His first touch is exquisite, teeing himself up onto his right foot so that with his second he places it with precision around Areola.Garnacho celebrates scoring – PA/Martin Rickett09:32 PM87 mins: Man Utd 1 West Ham 1A lovely ball from Fred from deep to Fernandes who has made a surging run to the inside-left channel.He cuts it across goal to Rashford who’s waiting in the middle, but somehow the West Ham defenders manage to get there first and clear.09:28 PMMan Utd’s equaliser09:27 PM82 mins: Man Utd 1 West Ham 1Fernandes with another delicious ball in, this a free kick from the inside left channel, 35 yards out.Casemiro gets on the end of it with his head, eight yards out, but it’s straight at Areola. He just needed a bit more on that.09:26 PM81 mins: Man Utd 1 West Ham 1Garnacho is calling for a penalty after going down from a challenge from Johnson in the box… but there’s not enough in that. Quick Var check confirms it.09:23 PMGOAL! Man Utd 1 West Ham 1 (Aguerd, 77 og)Weghorst leads the celebrations, but it’s an own goal, Aguerd getting the final touch on it.Fernandes sends it in from the corner, a spectacular ball into the middle of the six-yard box. Areola comes out to clear everything out, but he runs into bodies and it’s Aguerd who puts the ball into the back of his own net.Aguerd corner – PA/Martin Rickett09:18 PM72 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 1Casemiro thinks he’s equalised… but it’s offside. Fernandes whips in the free kick from the left, a gorgeous ball in, but the Brazilian has gone a second early when he meets it with his head and puts it past Areola. It looks fairly clear from the naked eye, but there’s still a Var check to confirm it.09:15 PM69 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 1All very untidy from Malacia here. He gives away two balls in quick succession in the left-back area, but fortunately for him, his team-mates have him covered. It’s getting a bit chaotic out there now.09:11 PM66 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 1Man Utd are throwing men forward now. Rashford has come on for Antony. Rashford and Casemiro have had a shot apiece in the last few moments.They’ll need to be careful though – Antonio has been lurking with intent on the centre circle and has looked threatening on the counter.09:08 PM62 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 1Antonio gets around Martinez who has dived in with his tackle. Antonio is out on the inside left-channel, he has a couple of men square to him, but he tries to bend it with power past De Gea.De Gea gets his left arm to it to keep it at 1-0.09:06 PMDavid de Gea: rooted to the spotDavid De Gea – Getty Images/Marc Atkins09:05 PMBenrahma’s goal09:03 PM58 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 1Fornals smashes one across the face of the Man Utd goal from the right.If anyone had applied the killer touch, there would’ve been a real problem for Man Utd.09:01 PMGOAL: Man Utd 0 West Ham 1 (Benrahma, 54)Benrahma puts West Ham ahead! It looks like the ball has gone out from Soucek on the left side. The Man Utd players switch off and Soucek plays in Emerson ahead of him, who in turn cuts it back Benrahma in the Man Utd box who throttles his shot into the back of De Gea’s net.The Man Utd players are confident they’re going to be given a throw… but after a Var check, it’s been given. A Japan vs Spain World Cup situation there.08:57 PM53 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Fernandes, back to Sabitzer, who then flicks it over the top of Aguerd. Fernandes wafts at it with his feet, but he’s put off just enough by the West Ham centre-back to allow Areola to gather. Man Utd are starting to threaten.08:56 PM51 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Casemiro, from Fernandes, feeding Weghorst – but it’s a poor first touch from the Dutchman who has to go back on himself to get the ball back before lashing it towards goal on the turn and on the tight diagonal. Promising, but Weghorst’s touch let the attack down.08:54 PM49 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Man Utd corner. Antony claims the ball back from Sabitzer and unleashes a shot put he doesn’t get the shot away with much conviction and Areola stoops down to pick it up.08:53 PM48 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Garnacho weaves away from a challenge from Antonio, picking the ball up deep into his own half. He squares to Sabitzer who tries to curl one up top, but no-one is there to receive.08:51 PM47 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0A slow start again from Man Utd in this second half. A tepid feel to the action tonight.08:49 PMSecond halfBegins. Man Utd get us back under way.08:48 PMThe teams are back outIt looks like Casemiro is coming on for McTominay.08:44 PMA massive shock on the cards at St Mary’sThe scores across the other fifth-round fixtures.Southampton 0 Grimsby  2 (65 mins played)Burnley 0 Fleetwood 0Sheff Utd 0 Tottenham 008:36 PMAn intriguing battle between Garnacho and Johnson has developed this halfJohnson and Garnacho – Reuters/Carl Recine08:34 PMHalf-time: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0A first half with very little goal mouth activity. Probably the best chances were from Sabitzer up one end, and Antonio’s one-on-one at the other.Nothing to really worry either keeper in that first half.08:32 PM45 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Antony gets it back from Weghorst and looks up to release Fernandes down the right flank in a rapid-looking Man Utd counter attack… but Fernandes has shut down his run early. Up goes his arm in apology.08:30 PM42 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Fernandes tries to poke it through to Antony after combining with Weghorst, into the 18-yard box, but it’s too congested in there and West Ham clear their lines.08:28 PMDe Gea’s save off AntonioDavid de Gea – PA/Martin Rickett08:27 PM39 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Garnacho tries to take on Johnson down the left flank yet again, but Johnson stands up to him and outmuscles the 18-year-old.08:26 PM36 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Antonio cuts inside from the left-edge of the box, but it’s straight at De Gea.Seconds earlier, Fornals was played in by De Gea, leaving the United man sprinting back to his goal. Fornals did have a look at the long-range effort from wide right, but thinks better of it and lays it off to Antonio instead.08:23 PM35 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0West Ham hit United on the counter attack, starting from a short pass in the final third from McTominay.Emerson has put a terrific ball in after offering the overlap for Benrahma who drew a couple of Manchester United shirts in.He aims for the far post, but Fornals is nowhere to be seen. That would’ve been a tap in.08:19 PM31 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Another yellow card is out. This time it’s to McTominay for tripping over Benrahma.08:17 PMDavid de Gea keeping the scores level08:15 PM28 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Malacia tries to feed Garnacho with a cut-through pass to split the defence. But Johnson is there yet again to mop up. He’s been really solid this evening.08:14 PM26 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Yellow card for Maguire for scything down Antonio on the half way line. Necessary? Probably not – how far was Antonio going there?08:11 PM23 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Oh hang on… great ball from Benrahma who spots Antonio in an acre of space, trundling down the inside-right channel.He’s one-on-one with De Gea, but lets the United keeper get too close to him and by the time the trigger is pulled, De Gea is big enough to close down the gap. Big save – West Ham corner.08:09 PM21 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Johnson is really tight on Garnacho as the Man Utd man dribbles into the West Ham box. He rightly predicts the cut-in and sticks his leg out, taking it away at the right moment. The attack breaks down.Not a whole lot going on out there.08:07 PMGame face in this oneDavid Moyes – AFP/Lindsey Parnaby08:06 PMSir Alex and Moyes before KOSir Alex and Moyes – Getty Images/Matthew Peters08:04 PM16 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Paqueta tries to trigger Antonio down the inside-right channel. It’s the right idea, but Antonio’s studs give way and he can’t direct his cross in effectively enough. De Gea goal kick.08:03 PMMaguire shrugs off AntonioAntonio and Maguire – PA/Martin Rickett08:00 PM12 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Offside to spare Weghorst’s blushes. Garnacho wanders into West Ham’s box, takes a shot from the right side which is saved, and it drops out to Dalot, who goes for goal, but Weghorst puts his foot out to try to guide it past the rooted Areola.The Dutchman misses the target from six yards – but it’s alright, he was offside.Weghorst – Reuters/Carl Recine07:57 PMLindelof and Antonio going at itLindelof and Antonio – AP Photo/Dave Thompson07:56 PM9 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Good work from Benrahma who wriggles free from his man in midfield. He releases the ball to Antonio on the right who tries to fire one into the box, but it’s cleared away.07:54 PM6 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Inventive from Garnacho, who cuts in from the left flank, and fires a cross in, but no-one is there.Seconds later, Sabitzer has gone for a screamer from outside of the box, the ball padded down ahead of him by Weghorst. Areola makes a strong save, diving down to his right to deny the Austrian.07:52 PM4 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0Antonio tries to knock it around Maguire and go round the back of him, but Harry’s easily dealing with that. Antonio didn’t sort his feet out quick enough.07:50 PM3 mins: Man Utd 0 West Ham 0A tepid start at Old Trafford, not much to comment on so far. Benrahma’s tried to get past Dalot down West Ham’s left flank, but he’s overrun it out for a goal kick.07:47 PMKick offWest Ham get us under way.Michael Salisbury is the man in the middle this evening.07:46 PMA moment of applauseFor John Motson, who passed away last week.07:45 PMDavid De GeaIs given an honour for making 181 clean sheets for Man Utd, breaking the club record.David De Gea – Getty Images/Matthew Peters07:43 PMOut comes the Carabao CupHarry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes show off Manchester United’s first trophy in six years.Carabao Cup – Reuters/Carl Recine07:41 PMErik ten Hag relishing fixture congestion chaos as Manchester United chase quadrupleErik ten Hag has welcomed Manchester United’s relentless schedule – by insisting nothing infuses “ambitious” players with energy like the pursuit of multiple trophies.United have already played 40 games this season – one fewer than Aston Villa, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Everton are due to face in the entirety of this campaign.Having secured their first trophy for six years with Sunday’s League Cup triumph over Newcastle United at Wembley, United could play a further 25 matches this season if they progress to the finals of the FA Cup and Europa League.Read James Ducker’s report.07:39 PMThis is the oneFrom the Stone Roses blasts out of the speakers at Old Trafford.Meaning only one thing: the players will be out imminently.07:38 PMMarcus RashfordStarts on the bench tonight.Marcus Rashford – Getty Images/David Rogers07:37 PMStick around on the blog after the matchFor coverage of the quarter-final draw.07:36 PMAnd here are the other FA Cup fixtures tonightSouthampton 0 Grimsby 0 (Kicked off at 7:15pm)Burnley 0 Fleetwood 0 (Kicked off at 7:30pm)Sheff Utd vs Tottenham – 7:55pm07:32 PMTwo Premier League games of course tonight tooLiverpool vs Wolves, which Rob Bagchi will guide you through, and Arsenal vs Everton with Daniel Zeqiri. Take your pick.07:22 PMITV 1 if you’re watching on TV tonightKick off at 7:45pm07:18 PMDeclan RiceDeclan Rice – Getty Images/Marc Atkins07:17 PMDavid Moyes speaks with ITV SportWhen you get that momentum and belief, it makes it difficult no matter who you play.We were very close in the league here just a few months ago. I hope we can go one better and beat them.I think the biggest thing for me is we want to go and give them a game. We’ve got to try to be positive and progressive in our play. The performance is always important, but in a game like tonight, it’s the result that matters.06:53 PMThe two teamsMan Utd XI: de Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Sabitzer, McTominay, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho, WeghorstSubs: Martinez, Rashford, Fred, Casemiro, Varane, Heaton, Pellistri, Wan-Bissaka, ElangaWest Ham XI: Areola, Johnson, Aguerd, Ogbonna, Emerson Palmieri, Soucek, Rice, Lucas Paqueta, Fornals, Antonio, BenrahmaSubs: Cresswell, Scamacca, Downes, Bowen, Kehrer, Anang, Swyer, Mubama04:16 PMOld Trafford ready for another FA Cup tie between these clubsBy Rob BagchiGood evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford. Readers of a certain vintage may remember some classic Cup ties between the two: Norman Whiteside’s ‘perfect’ hat-trick in 1985, the year he won the the Cup by beating Neville Southall with his beautiful bender, 1986’s fifth round replay when Ray Tonka Stewart and Geoff Pike scored in a 2-0 victory as the wheels feel off a season that had begun at a sprint for Ron Atkinson’s Man Utd, Paolo Di Canio’s cheek and brilliance in 2001’s 1-0 win and Marcus Rashford’s performance during his stunning rise to prominence in 2016’s away victory en route to winning the Cup at Wembley as the club were preparing to do the dirty on Louis van Gaal.They also met two years ago in a dreary match that Scott McTominay won in extra-time but the fillip of parading the League Cup they won on Sunday should stir both sides up to put on a show. West Ham played well on Saturday with a back four and a more attacking set-up in midfield, hammering Nottingham Forest. It would be good for David Moyes, and his standing with West Ham fans, to persevere with that approach tonight if only to hone it for Saturday’s trip to Brighton when the last thing they would want to watch is a reversion to caution and pragmatism.Erik ten Hag has been rotating his defenders and right wingers over the past few weeks and may give starts to Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Tyrell Malacia, Alejandro Garnacho and/or Jadon Sancho. Luke Shaw, Fred and Anthony Martial were rated as very doubtful at yesterday’s press conference.West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski fractured his eye socket and cheekbone in Saturday’s collision with Forest’s Felipe and will be out for a while. Vladimir Coufal may be back at the weekend but was ruled out of this match while Maxwel Cornet is closing in on a return from last October’s calf injury but isn’t ready.

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