Manchester United saw off Cambridge United 3-0 in their FA Cup fourth round replay at Old Trafford on Tuesday, in a game that was about as comfortable as had been anticipated. Goals from Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and James Wilson set up a meeting away at Preston North End in the next round.
The game kicked off 20 minutes late courtesy of traffic problems, though when it did get underway, United's defence was still nowhere to be seen. A lousy giveaway in midfield allowed Cambridge striker Tom Elliott to charge straight through one-on-one with David de Gea, though fortunately he slipped and scuffed his shot against the post.
It was an ominously bad start from United, who followed it up with a few minutes of Moyesian crossing tactics without much success.However, eventually one did pay off. After 25 minutes Ángel Di María's ball from the left found Marouane Fellaini at the back post, with the Belgian nodding down for Juan Mata to tap in from point-blank range.
As is so often the case, the opening goal allowed United to look considerably more relaxed on the ball, and just over five minutes later it was 2-0. A brilliantly inventive dink from Robin van Persie in a crowded penalty area was glanced home by TBB's new favourite Marcos Rojo, who netted his first goal since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in the summer.
The second half started with United still looking dangerous. Within minutes of the restart van Persie looped the impressive Paddy McNair's cross wide from inside the box; shortly before Wayne Rooney stung the palms of Cambridge keeper Chris Dunn. An even better save soon followed, with van Persie's spinning effort on Di María's long ball parried to safety.
But, eventually the third and final goal did come, with substitute James Wilson lashing it into the far post with a fine strike from the edge of the box inside the final 20 minutes.