Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Rooney Spares United's Blushes

Manchester United 1 Sheffield United 0

Wayne Rooney's 93rd minute spot kick sent Manchester United into the draw for the FA Cup 4th round after another dismal display that had the fans voicing their dismay at the final whistle.

United put their Premier League pursuit on the back burner to concentrate on the FA Cup as they welcomed Sheffield United to Old Trafford for the 3rd round.

It has been too long since United lifted the oldest club cup competition when they defeated Millwall in 2004. Since then Arsenal has gone on to take over the record of most wins so a run to the final is long overdue for the Red Devils.

Van Gaal and his players had spoken of their desire to win the cup in the build up to the clash so it was interesting to see how they approached it starting with a tie which on paper they should have, like the weather, stormed through.

The side that van Gaal decided to put out had a strong look to it: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Schweinsteiger, Fellaini, Herrera, Mata, Rooney and Martial.

With Young in the 'red zone', there was another chance for youngster Borthwick-Jackson to join a recalled Darmian in the back four and Fellaini received the nod in midfield with the duo of Carrick and Schneiderlin being given a rest.

Recalled loanee Will 'Mike' Keane joined the squad on the bench with other youngsters Lingard and Pereira. Memphis was once again made to bide his time as he was named as a substitute.

It was a rain lashed Old Trafford that welcomed the two sides who last met at this stage of the cup on the same day in 1995 when United prevailed 2-0 at Bramall Lane.

United got the match underway with hopes of seeing off the League One side without any nerves or jitters that have blighted their season.

The travelling fans of around 8,000 made themselves heard around the Theatre of Dreams which had plenty of empty seats.

United passed the ball well in the opening minutes without creating a clear chance on goal. Fellaini was too slow with his distribution from midfield when he had plenty of chances to spread the ball wide to increase the tempo of the move, but his lack of intensity gave the away side time to readjust.

After a quarter of an hour, it seemed that United's tactics were to bore the opposition to death, maybe the weather dampened the proceedings but even so this was awful from the home side.

De Gea was called into action when he tipped over a drive from Sammon but the Sheffield striker was penalised for a hand ball in the build-up.

Rooney then ballooned an effort high over the bar, then in the next attack, he failed to evade two defenders as Mata desperately waited for a cross.

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Manchester United Views is a Manchester United blog written by Miles Dunton, with lost of blog posts all about Manchester United. Check out his full blog at http://milesduntonmufc.blogspot.co.uk/.

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