Mounting a stellar comeback at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, Manchester United punched their FA Cup quarter-final ticket thanks to a late 3-1 victory against West Ham.
While the Premier League heavyweights might have been chasing a 1-0 deficit as Said Benrhama produced a wonderful opening strike nine minutes after the interval, Erik ten Hag’s side showed their resolve in some style.
Ending their six-year wait to lift a piece of silverware as they were crowned EFL Cup champions thanks to a 2-0 win against Newcastle at Wembley, United are riding a real wave of momentum.
With Nayef Aguerd turning into his own net as ten Hag’s side leveled things up 13 minutes before the full-time whistle, late goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Fred eventually clinched a hard-fought victory on home soil.
However, while West Ham might feel that they missed out on the chance to spring a major FA Cup upset here, the Hammers should take plenty of positives away from a gritty display in Manchester.
On a night when Manchester United punched their FA Cup quarter-final ticket and secured a showdown against Fulham for March 18th, we have taken a look at the main talking points.
Can United secure a silverware sweep this season?
Although ten Hag might have been hopeful that his side could have put in a more routine display on Wednesday night, Manchester United have quickly gained a reputation for their mental resolve.
While the ex-Ajax boss might have opened his tenure at Old Trafford with back-to-back Premier League defeats, the English giants have come roaring back in some style.
Ending their six-year wait to lift a piece of silverware as they secured a 2-0 victory against Newcastle in last weekend’s EFL Cup final, United should now have their sights set on completing a silverware sweep in 2023.
Mounting yet another stunning comeback against Spanish heavyweights Barcelona last week as they extended on their Europa League adventure thanks to a 4-3 aggregate win, the Red Devils are still firing on three fronts.
Although ten Hag will be more than aware that his side still face a major uphill struggle if they’re to mount a genuine Premier League title charge over the coming months, they should be smelling a real chance to make more history this season.
Garnacho steals the show at Old Trafford
While Garnacho might have been an unused substitute as United were crowned EFL Cup champions at Wembley last weekend, the 18-year-old certainly took his chance on Wednesday night.
Handed a full recall and producing a wonderful whipped effort as ten Hag’s side snatched a late 2-1 lead in the 90th minute, United’s budding superstar caused West Ham a string of issues here.
Rightfully receiving plenty of praise from ten Hag following the full-time whistle and really putting in a man of the Match display, Garnacho also underlined why the Old Trafford hierarchy are desperate to get him signed down to a bumper new deal.
Now racking up five goals across all competitions and clearly playing more of a role in ten Hag’s first-team plans since returning from the World Cup break, Garnacho has been one of the Premier League’s breakout stars this year.
Although the likes of Marcus Rashford and a returning Jadon Sancho might have stolen most of the headlines over the past few weeks, Garnacho has shown that he can play a crucial role when called upon.
Hammers must take positives from defeat
While David Moyes might have been frustrated by his side’s late collapse on Wednesday night, the one-time Manchester United boss should take plenty of positives away from a rugged display at Old Trafford.
Taking a shock lead just nine minutes after returning from the half-time break, Moyes will still be ruing a pair of costly misses from Michail Antonio on either side of the interval.
However, although West Ham might have failed to collect a heavyweight FA Cup scalp away from the London Stadium, the midweek guests know that they have bigger fish to fry.
Claiming what was a crucial three points last weekend as they put in a season-best display thanks to a 4-0 romp against Nottingham Forest, Moyes’ men are now desperate to drag themselves away from a relegation scrap.
Likewise, appearing to have found some much-needed fluidity in the final third over the past week, the Hammers will also turn their attention back to Europa Conference League duties later in the month when they travel out to Cypriot outfit AEK Larnaca.
Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Malacia, Fernandes, McTominay, Sabitzer, Antony, Weghorst, Garnacho
Subs: Martinez, Fred, Rashford, Casemiro
West Ham: Areola, Johnson, Aguerd, Ogbonna, Emerson, Rice, Soucek, Paqueta, Benrahma, Antonio, Fornals
Subs: Bowen, Scamacca
Goals: Manchester United: Aguerd OG (77′), Garnacho (90′), Fred (90+5′) – West Ham: Benrahma (54′)
Yellow Cards: Manchester United: Maguire, McTominay – West Ham: Paqueta
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Michael Salisbury
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