MANCHESTER, UK – Scott McTominay’s well-taken extra-time strike was enough to send Manchester United into the FA Cup quarter-finals at the expense of West Ham.
On a bitterly cold night at Old Trafford, the hosts came closest to breaking the deadlock inside 90 minutes when Lukasz Fabianski reacted quickly to turn the ball on to a post after Victor Lindelof’s header had taken a huge deflection off Craig Dawson.
However, in a game that included a historic concussion substitution, when Issa Diop was replaced at half-time, McTominay had the final word.
The opportunity was created by Marcus Rashford on his 250th United appearance.
Following a break that took United from one penalty area to the other, Rashford flicked a delicate pass into McTominay’s path with the outside of his foot and the Scotland midfielder’s first-time finish flew low into the net.
It means United have reached the last eight for a seventh consecutive year as they bid to lift the trophy for the first time since 2016.
Tough night for Moyes
It was another disappointing Old Trafford night for former United manager David Moyes.
Other than during his own ill-fated eight months in charge, it is a ground he has never won at, either with Everton, Sunderland or West Ham.
Prior to kick-off, the Scot had a good chat with current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and doubtless wished he had been granted the same time afforded to the Norwegian, who is attempting to win a trophy after losing four successive semi-finals.
Moyes’ hopes of stopping the hosts in their tracks were badly affected by injuries that now threaten to derail what so far has been an excellent season.
The sight of Angelo Ogbonna hobbling down the tunnel with his left boot removed, after being stood on by Anthony Martial, did not look great, and the manner of Diop’s exit suggests Moyes will be without two central defenders for Monday’s encounter with Sheffield United.
With their only orthodox striker, Michail Antonio, also missing, West Ham never really gained any momentum and were not helped by yet another injury – this time to Antonio’s replacement Andriy Yarmolenko – early in the second half.
Said Benrahma had the Hammers’ only effort on target, but even if he had beaten Dean Henderson with a close-range header at the end of extra time, it would almost certainly have been disallowed for offside.
Telles still to shine
A £13.6m summer deadline-day signing from Porto, Alex Telles has been a bit of a conundrum during his time at Old Trafford so far.
The Brazilian evidently has ability – and a vicious left foot. But consistency has eluded him and with Luke Shaw in the best form of his career, Telles has been unable to force his way into Solskjaer’s team on a regular basis.
This was one of his better all-round performances.
It was a Telles corner that created the chance Fabianski kept out and it was his surging run and cut-back that Donny van de Beek badly miscued, drawing a frustrated slap at an advertising hoarding from the defender.
Telles also had a fierce shot blocked and then, with the game entering its final 10 minutes, he curled over a superb cross that Martial headed wide.
He was also decent doing the defensive work he is employed for, most notably showing an excellent turn of speed to prevent a threat on the home goal as he got back to rob Jarrod Bowen after Yarmolenko had sent his team-mate through.
Telles did not reappear for extra time as Solskjaer changed both his full-backs, but Telles could still be pleased with his contribution.
First concussion substitute
This game will have a place in history after Diop became English football’s first concussion substitute.
The French defender was introduced as a substitute himself after Ogbonna was forced off with an ankle injury when he was caught on the follow through by Martial, who had a shot blocked.
Diop clashed heads with Martial as the pair rose to compete for a header at a West Ham corner.
Both players received treatment and continued to half-time. But after a further examination in the dressing room, in line with the adopted protocols, Diop was replaced by Ryan Fredericks, with the visitors reverting to a three man defence.
Man Utd’s record-equalling run – the stats
- Manchester United have won their last nine home FA Cup matches, their joint-longest home winning run in the competition, equalling their nine consecutive home wins between 1908 and 1912.
- West Ham have now been eliminated in each of their last four FA Cup ties against Manchester United, losing in a different round each time: fourth round in 2002-03, third round in 2012-13, quarter-final in 2015-16 and fifth round in 2020-21.
- Scott McTominay has scored seven goals in 30 appearances for Manchester United this season – as many as he scored in his 84 appearances in his first four seasons between 2016-17 and 2019-20.
- Marcus Rashford registered his ninth assist in all competitions for Manchester United this season, his best return in a single campaign for the club and second only to Bruno Fernandes for the Red Devils in 2020-21 (11).
- Aged 23 years and 101 days, Marcus Rashford became the fourth youngest player in Manchester United’s history to reach 250 games for the club, behind only Norman Whiteside (22 years 192 days), George Best (22 years 199 days) and Ryan Giggs (22 years 301 days).
- Both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial played their 250th matches for Man Utd in the same game tonight, only the second time in the club’s history that has happened – the other occasion was also at home against West Ham, in August 1986 when both Mike Duxbury and Frank Stapleton did so.