It certainly took a long time but Manchester United were finally able to defeat Norwich City 2-1 to secure qualification into the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
The Red Devils had to scrap a goal from the Canaries deep into extra time via Harry Maguire after normal time goals from Odion Ighalo and Todd Cantwell set things level. Norwich certainly made United work for the goal despite being down to ten men owing to Timm Klose being sent off in the 89th minute.
1. United to go all the way?
It was certainly a hard-fought progression from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side who wouldn’t have been prepared for over 120 minutes of football.
The Norwegian gaffer will certainly be fancying his chances at lifting that first piece of silverware and the FA Cup is a historically lucky inaugural competition to win for a successful Manchester United gaffer.
They’ve certainly done their hard-work getting into a record 30th FA Cup semi-final. However, with all Premier League teams and that too the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea left in the Cup, it certainly won’t be an easy path forward but one that they must try and traverse.
2. Odion Ighalo – Justified renewal?
Odion Ighalo certainly managed to score a scrappy goal and fans will be happy to see that. His extended stay does give United a diversity of options upfront.
However, the Nigerian forward ought to have done much more to have won the game for United given that he had attacking potential for the whole 120 minutes.
He did get close to netting the winner, however, but was stopped from doing so by Klose, who saw red instantly.
3. United still struggle to kill games
While the triumphs of the Sheffield United win will remain large, this game would have been a sobering experience for the side.
Solskjaer’s United continue to be very in-adept at killing games from a winning position and conceding Cantwell’s goal, despite its brilliance, illustrates just that.
Further still, the fact it took their scrappy centre-back to be the one to net the winner in a lineup that had the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, and Odion Ighalo does sting. While a winner is a winner, United should have easily found goals easily against the bottom-placed Premier League team.