Report: Manchester United hit four past lowly Wigan in FA Cup defence

Manchester United beat Wigan 4-0 to secure their place in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup, answering some questions that may have been asked about complacency in recent weeks. Starting off lethargically and lacking in energy, United raised the tempo of the match by crossing balls into the box and were rewarded by four goals, as a result of crossing. Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Bastian Schweinsteiger all needed the goals they scored quite badly, and United needed to win a match after failing to win their last three.

United will take comfort from the fact they managed to break down a very deep and organized defence, something which would have been difficult to do last year. Youth debuts were also handed to Joel Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe, and it was interesting to see Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw in the side once again.

United failed to get started in the first 20 minutes, with Wigan sitting deep and looking to hit on the counter. Wigan manager Warren Joyce likely found comfort from the fact that United was unable to penetrate the opposition in any way, with Anthony Martial unable to get on the ball in central areas.

The first chance of the match for United came with Timothy Fosu-Mensah in a wide area, swinging a cross in for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who squandered a simple chance. United seemed to be struggling with the same issues again, a worrying sign for Jose Mourinho.

United finally got a breakthrough in the 44th minute, through Marouane Fellaini, who nodded home an incredible cross from Bastian Schweinsteiger to give United the lead. Fellaini, who had been struggling all half, benefitted from an incredible cross from the German, who was undoubtedly United’s best player in the first half.

Chris Smalling, who also had a rough period in the match, did well to make it 2-0 after heading home an exquisite cross from Anthony Martial. Smalling, who needs form as he fights for his place at United, did well to score a vital goal that likely secured the match.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who struggled to finish chances all game, made it 3-0 after a beautiful break from Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney that made it easy for him. Eyes turned to Axel Tuanzebe, who was making his debut for United after Timothy Fosu-Mensah suffered a cramp.

Bastian Schweinsteiger did well to make it four as well, scoring an incredible bicycle kick that was set up by Ander Herrera. He should be in the team soon again, because he was undoubtedly the Man of the Match, in my opinion, keeping United ticking over and creating some excellent forward movement.

Finishing up the match, Jose Mourinho also gave a debut to Joel Pereira, a United youth goalkeeper who returned from a successful loan spell in Portugal to replace Sam Johnstone in the senior squad. United looked composed, answered a lot of questions, and produced a conclusive win over Wigan to secure their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Goals: Marouane Fellaini 44′, Chris Smalling 57′, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 74′, Bastian Schweinsteiger 81′

Assists: Bastian Schweinsteiger 44′, Anthony Martial 57′, 74′, Ander Herrera 81′

Manchester United: Romero (Pereira 80′); Fosu-Mensah (Tuanzebe 68′), Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; Fellaini (Herrera 70′), Schweinsteiger; Mata, Rooney, Mkhitaryan; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Blind; Young; Ibrahimovic, Rashford

Written by Aaron Moniz


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