WOLVES 2, MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (FA Cup Quarter Final)
Manchester United were dumped out of the FA Cup quarter final after Wolves scored two second half goals through Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota.
Marcus Rashford reduced the deficit in the final minute of injury time but unlike in Paris, United couldn’t climb the final mountain to take the tie to extra time.Embed from Getty Images
The video assistant referee (VAR) made two interventions during the game – firstly denying Diogo Dalot a penalty and secondly saving Victor Lindelof from a red card.
United made four changes from the side that lost 2-0 at Arsenal.
Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard were only just back from injury while Sergio Romero and Martial were also promoted to the first XI.
David De Gea, Fred, Ashley Young, and Romelu Lukaku stepped down.
Young was suspended for FA Cup bookings picked up in competition specific games against Arsenal and Chelsea while Lukaku missed out due to a foot injury while Romero and Fred were named on the bench.
United were tentative after a cagey start by both sides though.
Ruben Neves made Romero save with a long range effort after a cagey start for both sides.
And unlike in Paris VAR ruled no penalty after Dalot’s shot flew in to the tucked arm of Jonny Castro Otto at close range as he turned before the break.
Willy Boy and Neves were booked for bringing down Pogba as he struggled to influence the game but in truth he, Martial, and Rashford were poor and United were not creating much.
Neves found Jota with a defence splitting pass but Romero was off his line quickly to make the save – the Portuguese should have chipped the onrushing goalkeeper.
Neves continued his long range efforts after the break with one fading wide before reaching Romero’s goal while Jimenez shot over the bar under pressure from Luke Shaw.
With Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez already missing, and Ander Herrera later picking up a booking for a tactical foul United found it hard to get going in the second half.
Sergio Romero kept busy as Wolves improved in the second half of their FA Cup tie with Manchester United
Romero tipped over Jimenez’s header from Moutinho’s corner as Wolves, and Moutinho himself had a chance parried by the busy United ‘keeper.
Jimenez finally broke the deadlock after 70 minutes after Moutinho wriggled past three defenders before passing to the Wolves striker who turned and fired past Romero.
Solskjaer reacted immediately and brought off Herrera for Andreas Pereira who could only find the Wolves wall from a free kick from the left edge of the penalty area and pinged a shot just past the post from long range.
But Wolves scored again 6 minutes later, with Diogo Jota turning Shaw inside out after a Wolves break and leaving him on his backside before squeezing a shot inside the post with Romero too slow to react.
Lindelof was initially given his marching orders with 8 minutes to go with a straight red card after sliding in on Jota from behind but referee Martin Atkinson reduced it to a yellow after consulting with VAR.
Lingard and Nemanja Matic were replaced by Scott McTominay and Juan Mata with 4 minutes to go as Solskjaer made his last throw of the dice.
Shaw’s cross found Rashford in the area – he turned and shot past John Ruddy to make it 2-1 in the 95th minute with seconds left to play but unlike in Barcelona 20 years earlier there was to be no late drama.
Rashford’s goal didn’t change what had been a horrible night for the Red Devils who have now lost twice in successive games under Solskjaer for the first time.
The England striker was booked for sliding in on Conor Coady and will miss their next FA Cup game but it won’t be a semi-final at Wembley this season.
The international break could not have come at a worse time for the Solskjaer who will have to wait 2 weeks to put things right at home to Watford.