On Friday night, Manchester United recorded a 3-1 victory over Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth at the Emirates Stadium. The win means that interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won all of his eight games in charge of the Red Devils. Here is what happened in a highly entertaining encounter:
The early stages were pretty quiet when it came to goalmouth action. However, United took the lead courtesy of a superb counter-attack just after the half-hour mark. Romelu Lukaku played Alexis Sanchez in behind the United defence with a superb through-ball before the Chilean rounded Petr Cech and slotted home from a tight angle.
The visitors doubled their lead just two minutes later and Lukaku was again involved in the build-up. The Belgian striker raced from his own half, held the ball up on the edge of the Arsenal box before sliding in Jesse Lingard, who took a touch before slotting past Cech.
The home side looked to be back in the contest two minutes before the break, as striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score from a few yards out after a good run and cross from Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
Arsenal struggled to create much by the way of clear-cut chances. French striker Alexandre Lacazette did force Sergio Romero into a save, but in truth, it was a comfortable one for the Argentinian.
United substitute Marcus Rashford and Sead Kolasinac clashed, with a number of other players becoming involved in the needless brawl. Both players may have seen red in another day, but in the end, both received yellow cards for their parts in the incident.
The visitors were quite happy to sit back on their lead and sealed progress to the fourth round with eight minutes left on the clock. It was another goal on the counter-attack that sealed the victory.
Midfielder Paul Pogba strode forward into the Arsenal half and let fly from 25 yards. Gunners goalkeeper Cech could only parry the effort and substitute Anthony Martial was on hand to score with the rebound.
The goal ended the match as a contest and Manchester United go marching on to the next round. The Red Devils are one of the favourites to lift the trophy in May.
United’s winning run continues
United have looked like a different team since the appointment of Solskjaer. The turnaround has been extraordinary. The Norwegian has brought about a major improvement in the Red Devils attacking play, as they have now scored at least two goals in all of their eight wins under Solskjaer.
The Red Devils are looking like they could make a late surge for a top four spot this season. They are also still in the Champions League, which will certainly be a test of Solskjaer’s managerial acumen.
What is next for these two teams?
Neither of these two teams have much time to rest as both are back in Premier League action in midweek. Arsenal host relegation-threatened Cardiff at the Emirates Stadium, in a game that could prove vital to both teams at different ends of the table.
Meanwhile, Manchester United host Burnley at Old Trafford, as the sixth-place Red Devils look to make up ground on the teams above them, including Friday night’s opponents Arsenal.
Will Manchester United go on to win the FA Cup?