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Review & Ratings: Odion Ighalo and Harry Maguire score to see United into FA Cup semi-final; creativity worrying with club finding it hard to break down Norwich City

Manchester United beat Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road, reaching the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup this season. Odion Ighalo scored the opening goal in the 51st minute of the match but United saw Todd Cantwell score an equaliser in the 75th minute of the match, which forced extra time with United struggling to find a winner. That came in the 118th minute with club captain Harry Maguire heading from close-range.

The first half of the game was missing a lot of things. United ended up with 67.5% possession, had eight shots – five of which were blocked with three being off target. Solskjaer’s side is screaming out for the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who had all been rested, presumably to keep them fresh ahead of Tuesday’s visit to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League. The half ended 0-0.

United opened the scoring six minutes into the second half with Odion Ighalo scoring his fifth goal for United this season. Luke Shaw tried to cross the ball into the box but it was blocked before Juan Mata could reach the ball and it ballooned into the air with the Nigerian striker in the right place at the right time, finishing superbly putting the ball into the back of the net to put United ahead in the match.

Solskjaer made a triple change in the 63rd minute of the match with United leading at the time with Brandon Williams, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood all coming on with Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata coming off. Minutes later, Norwich threatened and nearly equalised with the ball seemingly being cleared off the line, which was a close call for United, who were still 1-0 up in the match.

Norwich equalised in the 75th minute through Todd Cantwell, who is a player that Solskjaer should keep an eye on, although the 22-year-old predominantly plays on the left of midfield. The ball was worked across to Cantwell from the left and he unleashed a fizzing effort which swerved away from Sergio Romero and into the bottom corner of the net. It was unfortunate for the Argentinian, who has conceded four goal this season.

Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 78th minute of the match with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic replacing Scott McTominay and Fred with United needing to score again to be in Sunday’s semi-final draw. Norwich held off the pressure for a while but in a challenge Timm Klose was sent off for fouling Ighalo on the edge of the box after the striker rounded him and looked to threaten once again.

United still required more with the clock counting down with six minutes of time added on. At the end, United had a double chance to find the winner with Mason Greenwood coming closest to beating Tim Krul just before the whistle was blown with Pogba offside. The half was over and extra time was coming after the 1-1 draw with United needing to take advantage of having the extra man for another 30 minutes.

Solskjaer made his sixth and final substitution, the extra one because of the match going into extra time, bringing on Anthony Martial and taking Eric Bailly off, throwing it all at Norwich to find that elusive winning goal of the game which would put United into the semi-finals of the FA Cup this season. With Norwich down to ten-men, it so far, seemed to be a tough task with four or five attacking players on the pitch.

Pogba had a good shot on goal in the 104th minute of the match with Krul making the save with his arm then racing out to collect the rebound to stop United from taking any advantage. Martial then looked poised to score a minute later with Jamal Lewis putting the Frenchman off, stopping his side from conceding another goal in the game. United needed to keep throwing it all at Norwich.

Towards the end of extra time, United were still throwing all they had at Norwich to try and find the winner. Harry Maguire had an attempt earlier in the half with United seemingly all over Norwich with the home club not having much response, possibly due to tiredness. Maguire scored the winner in the 118th minute of the match with a header, finally beating Krul from close-range.

United will now find themselves in the draw for the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup this season, which will be drawn at half time during the Newcastle United versus Manchester City match at St Jame’s Park on Sunday evening, which will sort out their opposition in the matches which will be played behind closed doors at Wembley on the weekend of the 18 and 19 July 2020, meaning United will have another match to play.

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

The Argentinian was unfortunate to be beaten in the 75th minute of the match, conceding his fourth goal this season, unfortunate not to be able to keep his 12th clean sheet in all cup competitions. It happens and he will not be happy that he was beaten.

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20 Diogo Dalot

The young right-back did what he needed to do defensively most of the time but his inexperience may have let him down at times. He's not Aaron Wan-Bissaka and could have been one of United's weaker players against Norwich. He was replaced by Brandon Williams in the 63rd minute of the match.

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3 Eric Bailly

The Ivorian defender did what he needed to do against Norwich and was unfortunate to see his side concede a goal in the 75th minute. It was good to see him given a chance to take on Victor Lindelof to partner Harry Maguire, doing himself proud on the way. He was replaced by Anthony Martial six minutes into extra time with Solskjaer taking a gamble to find the winning goal.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain will probably go down as the Man of the Match in this game, doing well from the outset and through the 120 minute match, scoring the winner in the 118th minute, finally beating Tim Krul from close-range with a header and earning an FA Cup semi-final for United with then draw to take place on Sunday evening.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back had a good game for United, breaking forward a lot of the time to support the attack during the entire game. He was going to be replaced in the 63rd minute of the match but Dalot was opted for instead, with Williams playing at right-back as opposed to left-back.

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39 Scott McTominay

The Scotland international played the game against Norwich, getting into the right areas but was unable to inspire United to much. He was on the pitch when United took the lead, and when Norwich equalised, not through any error of his own. He was replaced by Paul Pogba in the 78th minute of the match with United needing another goal to win the match.

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17 Fred

The midfielder did things in the right manner against Norwich but seems to be a player that has not carried his form on from three months ago, which is understandable. As a squad player, Fred fits the bill at United but with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba both at the club and the fact that Nemanja Matic offers more at the minute, his game time is going to be hampered. Fred was replaced by Matic in the 78th minute of the match.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish magician played well against Norwich despite a relatively poor first half of football. United were clearly lacking the impetus of attack but got there before any changes were made. Mata was replaced by Marcus Rashford in the 63rd minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder was a strong player against Norwich, doing all he needed to do to help create chances for the club, with many being missed left, right, and centre. He was booked in extra time for a cynical challenge, which might be something he needs to cool on, seemingly being frustrated that United were struggling to find that winning goal.

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14 Jesse Lingard

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that Jesse Lingard would play against Norwich, I wondered why. After seeing him play for 60-odd minutes, I wonder how many more chances he will get to show that he is a player that United should be retaining ahead of the summer transfer window opening. Surely he does not have many more chances left? Not good enough for United, his form is just not improving at all.

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25 Odion Ighalo

The Nigerian striker scored his fifth goal for the club, meaning he has scored in both rounds of the Emirates FA Cup that he has played in during his time at the club. It was a good finish from the striker, who shows just what he can offer the club going forward.

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Substitutes

53 Brandon Williams

Replaced Dalot 63'. The fullback played in the right-back position for well over an hour with extra time being player in this match. He did enough to help United thwart the danger from Norwich and help set United on the front foot to push towards the victory.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Lingard 63'. The forward did not seem to be in the zone when he came on, but grew into the game, He was unable to help United get that winning goal, which was a shame.

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26 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Mata 63'. The young forward had a good game against Norwich, playing for well over the hour with extra time. He did not score but was very lively, pushing Norwich back with Solskjaer telling hims to stay wide to keep Norwich running, presumably to tire them out even more.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Fred 78'. The veteran defensive midfielder played the part in United victory, adding some freshness to the team as they played extra time pushing for the victory they eventually got.

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6 Paul Pogba

Replaced McTominay 78'. The Frenchman was a breath of fresh air for United with only Fernandes creating in the game before his arrival. It was a frustrating match for United, but they got there in the end, with penalties on the horizon.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Bailly 96'. The Frenchman should have perhaps started but with United facing Brighton and Hove Albion away on Tuesday, I can see why he was rested. He did play 20-odd minutes though so will be fresh for Tuesday. He provided the assist for Maguire's winner.

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Goals: Todd Cantwell 75′; Odion Ighalo 51′, Harry Maguire 118′

Assists: Emiliano Buendia 75′; Anthony Martial 118′

Manchester United: Romero; Dalot (Williams 63′), Bailly (Martial 96′), Maguire, Shaw; McTominay (Pogba 78′), Fred (Matic 78′); Mata (Greenwood 63′), Fernandes, Lingard (Rashford 63′); Ighalo

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Fosu-Mensah; Pereira

Bookings: Timm Klose 89′ sent off; Bruno Fernandes 109′

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