Man Utd 3-1 West Ham: Erik ten Hag’s side produce late fight back to advance in FA Cup
Alejandro Garnacho inspired Man Utd to battle back from behind to beat West Ham to advance in the FA Cup a few days after they lifted the Carabao Cup.
Man Utd secured their first silverware since 2017 when they beat Newcastle 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final over the weekend.
Erik ten Hag’s immediate response to his players was to “get back to work” but they looked set to be brought back down to earth with a bump on Wednesday night as Said Benrahma fired West Ham ahead in the fifth round.
But Nayef Aguerd’s 77th-minute own goal sparked an impressive turnaround, with teenager Garnacho’s superb 90th-minute effort followed by a stoppage-time strike by Fred in a 3-1 triumph.
There was a sense of relief among the delighted celebrations as Ten Hag’s men progressed from the fifth-round tie despite a shaky performance, keeping their hopes of a quadruple alive.
United were cheered off the pitch at the end of a night that began with Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes parading the Carabao Cup, with Casemiro and Mary Earps’ FIFA Best awards also celebrated.
Loud cheers for Sir Alex Ferguson and De Gea followed as the United great handed the goalkeeper a trophy having recorded a club record 181st clean sheet in Sunday’s win.
United took that positivity on to the pitch. Wout Weghorst met a ball across with a cushioned touch for fellow loanee Marcel Sabitzer to unleash a fizzing 18-yard strike saw down low to his right by Alphonse Areola.
Antony missed an effort before the Hammers goalkeeper – set for a prolonged spell as starter due to Lukasz Fabianski’s fractured cheekbone – denied Garnacho.
Moyes’ men stepped up after that shaky start and had a great chance to open the scoring midway through the first half.
Benrahma fizzed a ball between Maguire and Victor Lindelof to put Michail Antonio through on goal, but De Gea spread himself well and blocked the returning striker’s shot with a strong right arm. Tomas Soucek went close from the resulting corner.
Benrahma was pulling the strings and teed up Emerson Palmieri to fizz over a tantalising cross, with De Gea then denying Antonio having given the ball away in the first place.
The Spaniard got down well to stop Soucek heading home a deep cross from Benrahma as the Hammers had the first chance of the second period, with Weghorst then striking wide at the other end.
The sides traded attacks looking for an opener that arrived for the visitors in the 54th minute.
Half-time introduction Casemiro claimed Soucek had rolled the ball out of play for a throw-in and United switched off as played continued, with Emerson cutting back for Benrahma to bend home brilliantly.
United’s appeals for it to be chalked off fell on deaf ears, with the goal given the green light by the VAR.
Pablo Fornals lashed just across the face of goal and Antonio bypassed newly-introduced Lisandro Martinez as the Hammers threatened to take the tie away from the hosts.
But Ten Hag’s substitutions boosted this mentally resilient group, leading to a belated response.
A well-hit Casemiro strike was denied by Areola and substitute Marcus Rashford hit wide from distance, before Old Trafford erupted when Casemiro headed home Fernandes free-kick in the 72nd minute.
But those celebrations were cut short as the substitute had clearly strayed offside, meaning the VAR review was needlessly dragged out.
West Ham’s travelling hordes lapped up that moment, only for their night to go downhill rapidly from the 77th minute onwards.
Again it was a Fernandes set piece at the heart of it, with players rising to meet his corner and visiting defender Aguerd inadvertently heading his own goal.
Garnacho had penalty appeals ignored and Casemiro saw a header saved as the hosts pushed for a late winner, with Fernandes seeing a dangerous cross cut out.
That intensity eventually brought two late goals as United sealed progress.
Weghorst saw a shot blocked and the ball looped up in the air, with Garnacho taking a touch before coolly striking home a right-footed curler in front of the Stretford End.
Fred added the gloss in the fifth minute of stoppage time, smashing in after Weghorst pressured Aguerd.
READ MORE: With Casemiro, Rashford and Ten Hag Manchester United basically have a quadruple in the bag
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