United cruise into FA Cup semis

Harry Maguire’s extra-time strike was enough to earn Manchester United a hard-fought 2-1 win against a valiant Norwich side to send the visitors through to the FA Cup semi-finals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made eight changes to his team that beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the Premier League on Wednesday, and his team produced a largely listless performance against the Premier League’s bottom club.

United were poor in the first half and they did not fashion a single shot on target in a dull 45 minutes of football.

Odion Ighalo’s fifth goal for United, which now means he has scored in every game he has started for the club, arrived shortly after the break. The Nigeria international acrobatically pounced on an unintentional floated ball by Juan Mata before stabbing home.

Norwich responded well to going a goal down and Todd Cantwell found the equaliser with a stunning swerving, powerful strike into the bottom corner. It is the first time United have conceded a goal this FA Cup campaign.

However, Daniel Farke’s men would have to take on the challenge of an extra 30 minutes with 10 men after defender Timm Klose was sent off for a foul on Ighalo on the edge of the Norwich box.

United camped outside Norwich’s penalty box for the majority of extra-time and Krul made a brilliant save low down to his left to deny Maguire’s goalbound header from a Bruno Fernandes corner in the 111th minute.

Krul was called into action again moments later to bat away an awkward Fernandes strike. But in the final few minutes, and with Norwich tiring, United’s pressure told thanks to Maguire who bundled the ball in from close range.

They got over the line in the end, but Solskjaer’s decision to make eight changes to his team from midweek nearly backfired with United looking flat for long periods of the match.

It was not until Mason Greenwood, and particularly Paul Pogba, came on that United began to look a far more threatening, cohesive unit going forward. – Eurosport

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