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Scott McTominay Fires Manchester United Into FA Cup Quarter Finals

Scott McTominay has come off the bench to fire Manchester United past West Ham and into the quarter finals of the FA Cup with a superbly struck goal, settling a drab encounter at Old Trafford.

The Scott’s goal was the only highlight of an otherwise forgettable match up, one that saw Moyes men appear to be playing for penalties from the opening kick off, as nine or ten men were regularly seen behind the ball.

McTominay is having his best season in a red shirt, having scored seven goals already, with three coming in the past seven days alone.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is thrilled with the defensive midfielders output, and is ready to push him further forward.

“Scott’s a clinical striker of the ball. He used to play as a striker, we know that, and he finishes with authority.

“Like, ‘bang’, finish. No messing about. No safety. That’s something we’ve got to learn from.

“For a defensive midfielder, we’ll have to unleash him and release him forward because he’s a goal threat in the box and he’s got a good strike on him,” said Solskjaer.

While it was by no means a pulsating encounter, the manager was satisfied with a clean sheet and his teams name in the hat for the next round.

“It doesn’t really matter, it’s by hook or by crook maybe, and that’s the main thing in the cup. We’re in the hat and we bounce back after the disappointment against Everton. That last goal [by Dominic Calvert-Lewin at the weekend] could be a mental kick in the face and we’ve refocused and reset the heads and done really well.

“We’ve had clean sheets. If we look at our record, we’ve had quite a few clean sheets. In big games we’ve had lots of clean sheets and defended well. Yes, we conceded 11 goals in the first three games and that is going to be a bad on the conceded goals when you look at the table, so those 11 goals… well, we weren’t ready. We know that we weren’t ready. If we take them away, we’re not too bad,” added the manager.

West Ham only managed one shot on target all evening, which left Solskjaer to lament the fact the game went into extra time, as his side couldn’t capitalise on their dominance.

“I think we got about 15 to 17 shots in the end but we need to be more clinical. We should’ve finished the game off earlier and finished in 90 minutes but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Especially in the second half, I thought we struggled. First half, we have two or three big moments. Mason [Greenwood] had one when Anthony [Martial] laid it off, Victor Lindelof’s header that deflected, good save by the keeper. Alex [Telles] put a ball in for Donny [van de Beek] who couldn’t get a clean strike. So, first half, I think we dominated and controlled. Second half, not so happy with that one. After we scored, we should have scored two or three more, we’re too wasteful and we should have controlled the game more.”

With games being played every three days in the current climate, a home quarter final draw would suit Solskjaer, who hasn’t had much luck in cup competition draws in his time in the Old Trafford hot seat.

“It doesn’t matter at the moment with the fans. With the travelling, of course, it’s easier to be here at Old Trafford so yes please. Of course you want to win every game. We want to challenge and we want to go to the final. That’s what we’re here at Manchester United for. Sometimes you’re lucky with draws in the cup – we haven’t been that lucky – but obviously we move another step closer to the final. We got a few days to prepare. We don’t play until Sunday. Those 120 minutes will stand us in good stead, ready for Sunday,” concluded Solskjaer.

If Manchester United go on to lift the trophy at Wembley, nobody will remember tonight’s lacklustre affair against West Ham – a game that will not live long in the memory.

Wasteful Manchester United Gift Everton A Point

On a frustrating night at Old Trafford, Manchester United threw away a 3-2 lead with the last kick of the match, gifting Everton a point while shooting themselves in the foot at home once again.

In a dominant opening half United were 2-0 up thanks to a fine header from Edinson Cavani, followed by a sublime strike from talisman Bruno Fernandes.

However, as the second half began, Everton came out like a new team, applying pressure from the off.

Everton Roar To Life In Second Half

From nowhere the Toffees were given a lifeline, as United goalkeeper parried a cross he should have delt with, gifting Abdoulaye Doucoure a tap in.

Moments later Doucoure turned provider, setting up James Rodriguez to smash in the equaliser, and Everton’s second goal in three minutes.

Once back on even terms, Everton retreated into their defensive shape once more, inviting pressure from United, who duly obliged.

Manchester United Regain The Lead

In the 70th minute a Luke Shaw corner found Scott McTominay who headed towards goaland beyond the outstretched Robin Olsen who appeared to slip at the crucial moment.

Back in the ascendancy, United should have added to their lead, but Marcus Rashford was wasteful, failing to score a fourth to put the game beyond the visitors.

In his time as United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often been accused of failing to use his substitutes to change the course of a match.

Tonight he brought on defender Axel Tuanzebe to help steady the ship during stoppage time, however, the defender gave away a needless free kick in the dying moments.

Everton Snatch A Draw

The ball was swung in as time was winding down, where Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a livewire for Everton all match, pounced to stab home the equaliser with the final kick of the game.

While Solskjaer’s needless substitution – United were cruising and looked untroubled – did indeed change the game, this wasn’t the impact those in red were hoping for.

In truth, United created enough opportunities to win the game several times over, but lacked the cutting edge needed in key moments.

Solskjaer Left Disappointed

Immediately after the game the United boss cut a dejected figure. While pleased with how his team responded to giving up two goals, he was disappointed they couldn’t close out the final minute.

“Yeah, especially after the way we played the last 40 minutes. They scored two goals early on in the second half and you almost sit back and want to see the reaction, see how the players handle this challenge. They did magnificent, played some fantastic football, scored a goal, should’ve scored a few more. We didn’t really feel threatened at all down there but, of course, with the size they’ve got, you can never ever be sure. We just got a minute to play out and we did not manage it.”

“The players have got character and we played some very good football. We dominated possession, created chances and just couldn’t get the fourth goal that would’ve won us the game, even though we should’ve played this game out, of course. Last minute, that’s… that’s just something we got to learn from,” said Solskjaer.

Paul Pogba Injured

Shortly before half time influential midfielder Paul Pogba, who has been in fine form in 2021, picked up what looked to be a muscle injury and immediately signalled to be substituted.

“It looks like a muscle injury, so we’ve just got to check him up tomorrow and have a scan and get him treatment. Hopefully he’ll recover quickly,” concluded the manager.

The mercurial Frenchman is now a doubt for United’s midweek FA Cup fixture with West Ham.

Wonder Strike From Bruno Fernandes

Shortly before halftime, Portuguese genius Bruno Fernandes took a pass from Aaron Wan-Bissaka, turned, and struck an exquisite shot that fired the Red Devils 2-0 ahead.

In the 12 months since joining United Fernandes has been compared to Eric Cantona on more than one occasion, and this goal was reminiscent of the Frenchman’s superb chip against Sunderland in 1996. All that was missing was Cantona-esque celebration.

Despite the wonder goal, Fernandes was left to rue the two dropped points.

 “There are a lot of things to be disappointed with.”

“We were making so many mistakes in the last few games and we can’t keep conceding goals like that. We have to be more focused, we have to have the same desire to score and to defend our goal.”

“Every time we have to make goals and score goals it has to be the same to not concede and I think we have to learn from this.”

“It has already happened a lot of times so it is more than a bit disappointing. You talk about everything that is going on but it is about learning and make it better,” said Fernandes.

Of the equaliser, Fernandes expressed his frustration, and expects better from his teammates in the future.

“It is really bad and you can’t concede goals like that because from a full 50 yards they are a long way from our goal.”

“You can’t concede this kind of goals from that. We have to be more focused and we have to be ready and we have to be more stronger. We have to defend our goal with everything.”

“For me, it doesn’t matter how we play, we have to win the games, we have to understand the moments. In the second half when we scored the third goal we have to understand that we have to not give away nothing, not to give them chances and to keep trying to score and press them.”

“We don’t do that and unfortunately we concede the goal in the last few seconds,” added Fernandes.

A Reaction Needed Vs West Ham

With games coming thick and fast in an unrelenting season, United will need to pick themselves up once again, and make sure they continue their FA Cup run by beating West Ham on Tuesday.

“We have time. We have time to think again. Everyone knows the past is the past and you can do nothing, but the future you can do something about.”

“So everybody has to be ready and learn from his game. Everything we learn from this game we have to put in the next one and try to win. We have to win,” concluded Fernandes.

Last time Manchester united threw away a two goal lead to Everton at Old Trafford it cost them a Premier League title.

Although this time around nobody had booked any busses for a celebratory parade, with the trophy looking headed to neighbours City, one wonders what the cost will be for this latest aberration.

Watch Manchester United v Everton Highlights

Scott McTominay Header Fires United Into FA Cup Fourth Round

Manchester-United-v-Watford---FA-Cup-Third-Round

A Scott McTominay header in the 5th minute won a drab encounter with Watford, and fired Manchester United into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Captaining United for the first time, McTominay was strong throughout the match, but it was his headed goal that proved the difference on the night.

Connecting wit a corner from Alex Telles, McTominay’s header lacked power, but the downward trajectory meant it bounced up and over the outstretched hand of Watford keeper Daniel Bachmann.

“We started really well and then for the first half an hour we were really good, moved the ball really well and there was some good combination play.”

“When the manager told me it was a surreal moment. I’ve been here since I had just turned five, so that’s 18 or 19 years associated with the club and it is a huge honour.”

“I love this club and it has been my whole life,” said McTominay.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made nine changes to the side that lost the Carabao Cup semi final to Manchester City this week, which meant a start for £40 million pound signing Donny Van de Beek.

The manager had stated before the match that the Dutchman would get more game time, and needed to take his chance when he did.

Although he didn’t register a goal or assist, the midfielders link up play was exquisite at times, and shows the new signing could be an important cog in United’s midfield machine as the season progresses.

“I think Donny showed again his qualities,” said Solskjaer afterwards. “He’s very technically clean and he makes good decisions like the flick to play Juan through. He’s got that quality to open up tight games and he’ll benefit from this game.”

United will now turn their attention to arguably their most important week since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

First they go to Turf Moor to play Burnley with the opportunity to go top of the league before a summit showdown at Anfield.

“We’re very happy to get through,” said Solskjaer. “We started really brightly. I expected it to be the other way round, to find our rhythm later on, but after a very good start, we lost our shape and lost too many balls. We’re through, that’s the main thing.”

Manchester United Hammer Hapless Leeds

In their first Premier League meeting since 2004, a rampant Manchester United hammered a hapless Leeds United team 6-2 in a score line that somewhat flattered the visitors, who should be somewhat relieved to have only conceded six goals.

The hosts raced into an early lead, with Scott McTominay scoring two goals in the opening three minutes – the first player in Premier League history to do so.

Things got worse for Leeds who found themselves four goals adrift inside 40 minutes, when Bruno Fernandes scored on 20 minutes, followed by Victor Lindelof after 37.

Leeds United transfer target Daniel James added a fifth goal in the 66th minute, while Fernandes scores his brace with a 70th minute penalty.

For boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, celebrating his second anniversary in charge, it was a performance that harked back to the Sir Alex Ferguson days, but he isn’t getting too carried away.

“We’re one third into the season, we’re not even at the halfway point. The league position isn’t even something we’re looking at. Our fans needed that one, they should have been here. Our players will go home tonight and sleep well. I think they have worked hard enough and deserve maybe a lie in.”

“That was fantastic from the first minute. We had a plan to get after them. We found a way of getting them going. Just imagine if that had 75,000 people here, that would have gone down as one of the best Man United performances against Leeds at home.”

An end to end match finished with eight goals from 43 shots, with United scored six goals against Leeds for just the second time in their history.

“You have to earn the right to win it and it should have, could have been 12-4. You know it’s going to be frantic, hectic against them, because no matter what the result is they have a certain style. We showed we are getting a fitter or stronger team. I’m seeing more and more of a Manchester United team I like. I’ve really enjoyed the two years and really enjoyed today. We want a fit team to go to the end and they’ve proven that lately. There are details to work on and we’ll keep improving,” concluded Solskjaer.

After being out of title races before they’ve begun in the post-Ferguson years, United find themselves in third, five points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.

A Boxing Day trip to Leicester followed by a home game to Wolves will test their title credentials ahead of arguably their most important league game – away to Liverpool on January 17 – since the Scot called time on his trophy-laden coaching career.