Wednesday, 7 February 2018

United set for Huddersfield rematch in FA Cup fifth round

United will travel to the John Smith's Stadium for the second time this season after Huddersfield's extra time win over Birmingham set up a meeting with the twelve time winners in the fifth round. 
The Terriers saw off the challenge of Steve Cotterill's division lower side in the replay 4-1 at St Andrew's to arrest their awful run of form and seal their progress into the last 16. Jose and the team will travel across the Pennines to Huddersfield for the match next Saturday 17 February, for a 5.30 kick off.
The John Smith's Stadium was the scene of course, of one of the most bitterly dissapointing afternoons of the season as David Wagner's newly promoted team put United to the sword back with an assertive and energetic performance that ended our unbeaten start and put the first dent in our title bid. In one of the shock results of the season, Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored before half-time as Marcus Rashford's solitary reply was rendered merely academic.
But the dynamic is different this time around with the Terriers having lost their bite and, after a wretched run of nine games without a win, they look a side devoid of confidence, goals and inspiration. But with the scent of another giant killing in their nostrils, they should not be underestimated in what looks set to be another testing tie in the atmospheric stadium for the Reds.

The fifth-round tie will be our second meeting with the Terriers in as many weeks, after United exacted a modicum of revenge for that October reverse with Saturday's 2-0 win at Old Trafford. That sent Huddersfield into the bottom three and was the west Yorkshire side's fifth consecutive defeat. The 4-1 win over Birmingham provided a welcome fillip for Wagner's men and they scored three times in the additional 30 minutes as a Marc Roberts own goal, Steve Mounie, substitute Rajiv van la Parra and Tom Ince saw them avoid a minor shock. Lukas Jutkiewicz had equalised for the Blues.
For us, the ultimate objective remains a run to Wembley for a record-equalling 13th victory in this competition, a feat that would put us level with Arsenal who have won the famous trophy three times in four seasons. City and Chelsea block the way, but this trophy remains our most realistic chance of silverware with the league all but gone and the Champions League a long shot.
The Gunners were the biggest casualties of round three, when an understrength side were knocked out by Nottingham Forest, and another Premier League top six side have also been added to that list when Liverpool lost 3-2 at home to struggling West Brom in round four. 

This will be our third clash with Huddersfield this campaign having already faced them twice on league duty, but we've not played them in either domestic cup since a 5-0 win at Old Trafford in this competition in 1963. Perhaps it's an omen, as we went on to win the FA Cup that season following the emphatic victory at the third round stage.  For the record, ex Terrier Denis Law scored a hat-trick with further strikes from Johnny Giles and Albert Quixall.


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