Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes, with a penalty, secured a 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup fourth round on a bitterly cold night at DW Stadium on Monday.
The victory over the third-tier side was a welcome relief for the 12-time FA Cup winners, who are out of Europe and the League Cup and languishing eighth in the Premier League.
“The FA Cup is all about winning, it is knockout. You want to finish the job. That is what I said in the dressing room ‘job done,'” United manager Erik ten Hag told ITV.
United will next visit the winners of the third round replay between League Two (fourth tier) Newport County and National League (fifth tier) Eastleigh F.C. in the fourth round.
Ten Hag’s side comfortably avoided an eighth defeat in 14 away matches in all competitions since last season’s FA Cup final, which they lost to neighbours Manchester City.
Dalot scored in the 22nd minute at Wigan when Marcus Rashford had a shot blocked before laying the ball off to the Portuguese, who took a touch before finding the bottom corner of the net from just outside the 18-yard box.
“It gave us more confidence,” Dalot said. “We were needing the goal so we could be more calm and not rushing to score. We created a lot and could have scored more. It’s what we missed today.”
Fernandes doubled United’s lead in the 74th with a penalty after Liam Shaw caught the captain’s foot in the box.
United also wasted a bucket load of chances.
“Oh, definitely (we should have scored more),” Ten Hag said.
“In the first half I think we created five or six very good chances. I think it was very good football. We should have taken more, but if you don’t score you have to stay focused and I think we did that tonight.”
Rashford briefly celebrated what he thought was a goal but keeper Sam Tickle dived to gather the ball on the line.
Fellow forward Rasmus Hojlund was left frustrated by a trio of near-misses before halftime, while winger Alejandro Garnacho had a shot that ricocheted off the bar.
Former United captain Roy Keane said he “would be fuming” with Hojlund if he was Ten Hag.
“They are big chances. Stop messing about. Put the ball in the back of the net,” Keane said on ITV.
Ten Hag’s side had 33 shots, 14 on target, compared to Wigan’s nine. Rashford had eight attempts, four on target.
League One side Wigan beat Manchester City at Wembley to win the 2013 FA Cup in one of the competition’s major upsets. But they were outplayed by United despite their best efforts.
“Proud of my players,” Wigan manager Shaun Maloney said. “Difficult match, but a brilliant experience for our players.”
Source website: www.thehindu.com