Manchester United are through to the sixth round of the FA Cup after they beat West Ham 3-1 tonight at Old Trafford.
Erik Ten Hag’s side came into tonight’s game with Old Trafford in a celebratory mood after their Carabao Cup victory at the weekend and after five minutes United’s heavily rotated team almost took the lead. Dutch striker Wout Weghorst laid the ball off well to Marcel Sabitzer and West Ham’s keeper Alphonse Areola needed a strong hand to push away the Austrian midfielder’s powerful low strike.
On 22 minutes West Ham were handed a glorious chance to take the lead when Michail Antonio raced through on goal, but the Hammers attacker never looked confident and David de Gea got out to block his shot.
Just after the break and De Gea once again had to be alert to push away a back-post header from the aerially dangerous Thomas Soucek.
West Ham looked the more likely side to open to scoring and in the 54th minute that is exactly what they did through Said Benrahma. The Algerian attacker was found in the area by Emerson before the 27-year-old fired a superb finish past De Gea and into the top corner.
Ten Hag had brought Casemiro at half-time and then introduced Marcus Rashford and Lisandro Martinez, but it was West Ham who remained the better side with both Pablo Fornals and Antonio missing great chances to put their side two up.
On 70 minutes it looked like Casemiro had equalised with a similar header to the one he scored against Newcastle at Wembley on Sunday but much to the Brazilian’s disappointment VAR stepped in, drew its lines, and disallowed the goal for offside.
Six minutes later and United would get their equaliser when a wicked Bruno Fernandes corner was unfortunately glanced into his own net by Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd.
Man United piled on the pressure and in the 90th minute teenage winger, Alejandro Garnacho stepped up to score the decisive goal. The ball broke to Argentine about 15 yards out but to the left of the goal, he took an expert first-touch inside before curling a quality effort into the bottom corner.
Substitute Fred put the icing on the cake deep in injury time when the Brazilian stroked home from the edge of the area after another mistake from Aguerd.
Man United will now face Premier League outfit Fulham in the sixth round after tonight’s win as they look to maintain their recent momentum and end the season with more than one piece of silverware.
Speaking afterwards Man United manager Erik Ten Hag admitted it had been a hard night’s work for his side.
“It was not easy, it is never easy after you win a cup and celebrate, then you have to get back to business as usual that was our task and finally we found a way to win,” Ten Hag told ITV Sport.
“The resilience and belief they were going to win was magnificent.
🚨🚨🎙️| Erik ten Hag on Alejandro Garnacho: “I told him before the game: ‘You showed you could make an impact as a substitute, now you have to show it as a starter.’ And he did that tonight.” pic.twitter.com/lG1LvSBt15
— centredevils. (@centredevils) March 1, 2023
When asked about Garnacho the Dutch coach felt the youngster had been a constant threat to West Ham.
“It was a great goal, you could see he was growing into the game and taking players on, he was difficult to stop and he was really a threat.
“It was a great goal but I think it was the total set up for the last 30 minutes. I had a strong feeling we could win the game, you could see the belief and composure there was never any panic.”
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