Tuesday 3 February 2015

Match report: United 3-0 Cambridge

United survived an early scare to beat League Two Cambridge and set up an FA Cup fifth round tie at Preston North End on the 16th February.

Richard Money's fourth tier outfit had defied the odds to hold Louis van Gaal's side to a goalless stalemate at the Abbey Stadium but, with the exception of the opening 90 seconds, they never looked likely to repeat the feat at Old Trafford.

Kick off had been delayed by 20 minutes due to traffic problems on the M6, but once the game got underway it was, surprisingly, Cambridge who made the early running.

U's striker Tom Elliott should have given the visitors a sensational early lead in the replay but shot against the post after a Daley Blind error in the first minute.

From that moment on, however, United took control of the contest and, after two early chances for captain Wayne Rooney, went ahead in the 25th minute.
Paddy McNair's cross picked out Marouane Fellaini and the Belgian nodded down into the path of Juan Mata, who poked in off the crossbar for his sixth of the season.

United were now in dominant mood and moved 2-0 up just past the half hour mark when Marcos Rojo headed in his first goal for the Reds from a clever chipped pass from Robin Van Persie.

It was then a case of damage limitation from a tiring Cambridge, who sit 79 places below United in the league system.

The home side continued to control proceedings after the break as van Persie skied over from close range before the Dutch striker was denied by a good save from Cambridge keeper Chris Dunn.

Angel Di Maria and Rooney also called the visiting stopper into action, before United went 3-0 17 minutes from time.

Substitute Gearoid Morrissey sshot narrowly wide for Cambridge, but it was another substitute, James Wilson (on in place of Van Persie), who fired in the third from an Ander Herrera pass from the edge of the area.

That was the last real action of a game which petered out into an attack against defence training session, although Cameron McGeehan did flash a low effort wide in injury time for the brave, valiant visitors.

Cambridge pushed United all the way and will bow out with their heads held high, but United march on to Deepdale in the last 16 and are now just two games from Wembley.

United Faithful Man of the Match: Paddy McNair
Overall Team Performance: 8/10

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