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Ratings: Matic shows his worth, Lukaku continues to score – a team improvement

Manchester United beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at Old Trafford in the quarter-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the 37th minute of the match, assisted by Nemanja Matic. Brighton were no pushover during the match. Matic secured the victory in the 83rd minute, heading from close range to beat Tim Krul.

Key Moments:

37′ – Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring for Manchester United after Luke Shaw broke forward at pace, saw no way through into the box, passing to Nemanja Matic. The Serbian lofted a cross into the box for Lukaku, who beat Tim Krul.

83′ – Nemanja Matic doubled the lead for Manchester United after Ashley Young put a decent cross into the box, the Serbian headed past Tim Krul to secure the lead for his club and see them into the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup.

Man of the Match: Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder was the Man of the Match for me against Brighton and Hove Albion for the way he got involved in the match. Seemingly happy to see Scott McTominay in the middle of the pitch with him, after playing the last five matches before the defeat to Sevilla in midweek. Matic assisted Lukaku for the opening goal of the game, scoring himself in the 83rd minute.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

Was rarely called into action but when he was needed, he showed his ability. Denied Locadia with a suprb save late on. Kept another clean sheet, United fourth in the FA Cup this season.

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25 Antonio Valencia

When he got forward, Valencia's crossing was not the best. Did what he needed to defensively though. Kept Locadia at bay at times.

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3 Eric Bailly

The Ivorian, still a bit rusty after his injury lay off, kept a form grip on Ulloa, effectively keeping him out of the game. Glad to have him back.

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12 Chris Smalling

Not called up to the England squad this week but he was solid at times against Brighton. Nearly scored, but his the outside of the post and made a great block to deny Locadia.

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23 Luke Shaw

Hooked at half-time. Mourinho stated that he wanted to defend better and have more personality in the team. Not looking good for Shaw.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Man of the Match for me. Put in a great cross for Lukaku to open the scoring. Made some great blocks on the edge of the box and took charge of the midfield. His sublime header in the 83rd minute settled the tie.

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39 Scott McTominay

Lost the ball more than he should have but was praised for his personality by the manager. He was effective at times.

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8 Juan Mata

Mata is normally the glue to this team. It was a shock to see him replaced. Saying that though, he did not really have much involvement in the game. Still a crucial player for the club though.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Had little impact throughout the game. Seemed to dawdle on and off the ball. His passing and his movement were not the best. Needs to find that form that makes him an integral player for the team.

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11 Anthony Martial

Looked ready to take the game by the horns, but faded into the match. Needs a run in the team and probably needs to settle again.

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9 Romelu Lukaku

Led the line well. Scored his 25th goal of the season. His hold up play is getting better, but the lack of service means he needs to do just that. His teammates are letting him down.

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Substitutes

18 Ashley Young

Replaced Shaw 46'. Got stuck into the match and helped defend. Not sure he did much better than Shaw but United got the result they needed.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata 74'. Broke a sweat and got stuck in. Brighton's defence may not have been happy to see him come on. Sadly the form he had shown against Liverpool was not present.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Lingard 89'. Came on in the last minute of normal time, played four minutes in total. Not long enough to break a sweat.

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Goals: Romelu Lukaku 37′, Nemanja Matic 83′

Assists: Nemanja Matic 37′, Ashley Young 83′

Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw (Young 46′); Matic, McTominay; Mata (Rashford 74′), Lingard (Fellaini 89′), Martial; Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Lindelof; Pogba; Sanchez

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