Ratings: Sancho was the most promising attacker; Pogba fit in well; Henderson left licking wounds

Manchester United to lick their wounds after Middlesbrough defeat on penalties

MacFinder

Manchester United were beaten 8-7 on penalties (after a 1-1 draw) by Middlesbrough in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford. Jadon Sancho opened the scoring in the 25 minute with Matt Crooks scoring a controversial equaliser in the 64th minute.

United started the match in good stead and really gave something for Boro to worry about with many chances in the opening quarter of the match. Jadon Sancho hit the crossbar in the second minute of the match with United having more chances as the game grew on.

United won a penalty in the 19th minute of the match after Paul Pogba was fouled in the box. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to take the penalty, which was not even on target. In the 25th minute, Sancho scored his third goal of the season, assisted by Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes played the ball into Marcus Rashford, who hit the back of the net in the 30th minute but it was ruled out for offside with the flag being raised. United needed to be much better than this to get the win in this match. Boro offered little to no threat so far in the match.

It was the same story for United, who had plenty of chances, only for them to miss the target or not be clinical enough – the story of the season for the club. Boro were still well out of the match, despite some good moments in play. It was 1-0 to United at the end of the half.

United started the second half well, having some chances which amounted to nothing. Dean Henderson made a big save in the 57th minute, the first time he has really been seen in the match, denying the visitors. United seemed happy with their goal at this stage.

Boro equalised in the 64th minute, despite it seeming like a hand ball. The goal was given for accidental hand ball, which would have been something disallowed last season. United had it all to play for once again. United saw a save and hit the post in the 72nd and 73rd minutes of the match.

As time was growing on, it seemed like this match was going to remain 1-1, meaning it would go into extra time. United made a double substitution in the 82nd minute with Fred and Anthony Elanga replacing Pogba and Rashford. In the 90th minute, Phil Jones replaced Raphael Varane.

In added time at the end of the match, Elanga had a chance to win the match for United, but his header went straight into the hands of the goalkeeper. United lost Sancho in the first half of extra time with him being replaced by Juan Mata.

There was little to write about in the first half, with few chances but nothing gained. It seemed that both teams were well matched, which will not be very flattering for United, who seeming needed a big push to rediscover themselves.

Boro had a good chance in the 115th minute of the match but Henderson made the save. Scott McTominay had a chance in the 119th minute but it was tipped over the bar. The match headed into penalties, which would add some excitement to this lacklustre match.

Juan Mata, Harry Maguire, Fred, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay and Diogo Dalot all scored their penalties with Anthony Elanga missing his spot kick and seeing United exit from the Emirates FA Cup this season.

Player Ratings

Dean Henderson: Was not tested until the 57th minute when he made a save. Made another late in extra time. Unable to make a single save in the penalty shootout, diving the correct way a few times. He needs more opportunities this season, but they will have to be in the league now. ★★★★★★

Diogo Dalot: Helped during attacks and seemed quite consistent, as has been the case recently. Out of position when Crooks scored. This place is his for the time being but that could chance as the weeks progress. ★★★★★★

Raphael Varane: Flawless throughout his performance. United are a much better team defensively with him on the pitch. Like Dalot, he was not in position for the equaliser. Ended his match on 90 minutes when replaced by Jones. ★★★★★★★

Harry Maguire: Had a solid performance alongside Varane but this match did not show the determination and desire of this club. With all these players, United should have eased through Middlesbrough. Seemed uncomfortable after the equaliser. ★★★★★★

Luke Shaw: Seemed to have improved himself on his first start after a period on the sidelines. He was clearly fatigued in extra time, something that United may not have envisaged playing. This will have been a lesson to this squad. ★★★★★★

Bruno Fernandes: Seemed to get the better of Middlesbrough with his darting runs throughout the match – they just could not get onto him. He missed two chances deemed easy – which is where United became unbuckled. Yet again, easy chances are not taken clinically. ★★★★★★★

Scott McTominay: Played the defensive role for much of the match but still managed to get himself forward at times. Sloppiness came when United were most anxious – after the equaliser. It all seemed to go downhill from there. ★★★★★★

Paul Pogba: Returned after months on the sidelines. Seemed impressive at times and won the penalty for United, which saw Ronaldo fail to hit the target. Good both on and off the ball. He was replaced by Fred in the 82nd minute. ★★★★★★★

Jadon Sancho: Could have opened the scoring in the second minute of the match, but his the crossbar. Opened the scoring with a great finish in the 25th minute of the match. He was one of the better attacking players. Replaced by Mata in the 100th minute. ★★★★★★★

Cristiano Ronaldo: Tried an overhead kick, which was cheered by the crowed. Missed a penalty, which he should have scored. Saw a one-on-one saved. It was not a good night for United nor Ronaldo. ★★★★★

Marcus Rashford: Seemed to have started the match brightly and scored, but the goal was disallowed. Missed a few good chances, which should really be scored by a player with his experience. Replaced by Elanga in the 90th minute. ★★★★★★

Substitutes

Fred: Replaced Pogba 82′. Had a good impact, but was not consistent at all times. Scored his penalty but it was not meant to be for United. ★★★★★★★

Anthony Elanga: Replaced Rashford 82′. Could have scored the winner before extra time but his header went straight into the keepers hands. Seemed lively at times. Missed his penalty which sent United packing. ★★★★★

Phil Jones: Replaced Varane 90′. Came on with a purpose. Seemed determined to do his best and get something for United. Seemed confident and seeking to get more chances this season. Good to see him play again and should get more minutes. ★★★★★★

Juan Mata: Replaced Sancho 100′. Had no real impact in the match but tried to get United going. Scored his penalty, which was the most he did in the match. United will need to learn the lessons from this defeat. ★★★★★

Goals: Jadon Sancho 25′; Matt Crooks 64′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 25′; Duncan Watmore 64′

Manchester United: Henderson; Dalot, Varane (Jones 90′), Maguire, Shaw; Fernandes, McTominay, Pogba (Fred 82′); Sancho (Mata 100′), Ronaldo, Rashford (Elanga 82′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Heaton; Wan-Bissaka; Matic, Hannibal

Bookings: Paul Pogba 42′, Fred 114′; Marcus Tavernier 71′

Written by John Walker

About John Walker 1551 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.