Manchester United had to come from behind, but they are through to the FA Cup quarterfinal stage after a 3-1 win against West Ham at Old Trafford. The Reds came in with a bit of a rotated side, and though they fell behind in the second half they were able to switch on and take control of the game.
Manchester United created a few chances in the first half, primarily through Alejandro Garnahco on the left, but they failed to find the back of the net. Inside the first few minutes, Marcel Sabitzer fired a really good strike from the edge of the box, but Alphonse Areola tracked it well and made the save.
A few minutes later Garnacho got forward and forced a diving save from Areola. The rebound fell for Diogo Dalot, who hit it first time towards Wout Weghorst, who then shot wide of the target. Weghorst was offside anyway.
West Ham started to settle in more, and probably should have taken the lead through Michail Antonio in the 23rd minute. The forward split the centre back pairing of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire to run onto a ball over the top, but David De Gea charged out and made the save to deny him what looked a certain goal.
The rest of the first half can be summed up in this tweet:
How do I fast forward to the part where Casemiro and Rashford come on and United start scoring?— Pauly Kwestel (@pkwestel) March 1, 2023
Needless to say, the teams went into the break at 0-0.
It seemed as though Erik ten Hag was going to have to introduce his most reliable players in order to take control of the match, and that became much clearer after Said Benrahma put the Hammers in front in the 55th minute. Casemiro was introduced at the break, and Marcus Rashford came in right after the opening goal.
United immediately began pushing in attack, leaving some space in behind and nearly conceding a second goal if not for De Gea stopping Antonio again. They thought they had a goal themselves through Casemiro, but he was deemed offside and the goal was disallowed.
They finally broke through in the 77th minute, with Wout Weghorst forcing an own goal from Nayef Aguerd to draw level. It seemed from that point on it was United’s game, a feeling confirmed in the 90th minute when Alejandro Garnacho controlled a rebounded effort from Weghorst and fired a curling shot into the far right side of the goal. An insurance goal from Fred came in stoppage time, and gave United a much kinder scoreline than perhaps they deserved.
Back to Premier League action at the weekend, and a daunting visit to Anfield to take on rivals Liverpool.