27th January, 2020
Manchester United put smiles on the faces of their teeming supporters at the weekend by thrashing Tranmere Rovers by six solid goals as they cruised into the fifth round of the English FA Cup.
It was surely a sight to behold for the Reds as well as a reprieve of some sort for their embattled manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the night.
Manchester United coasted their way into the FA Cup fifth round with a comprehensive 6-0 win away at Tranmere Rovers on Sunday.
Having been under pressure throughout the opening ten minutes, United got their noses in front in spectacular fashion as Harry Maguire took his time on the edge of the box to unleash a thunderous effort into the top corner to stun the hosts.
Tranmere barely had time to recover as Diogo Dalot doubled the lead with a sumptuous solo effort, before Jesse Lingard curled a fine effort into the far corner to put the hosts three up after 17 minutes. They remained dominant following that, with Phil Jones’ header and Anthony Martial’s deflected strike seeing United go five goals up before half time.
Mason Greenwood then made it six from the penalty spot after Tahith Chong was felled in the box as United continued making light work of their League One opponents after the break.
No goals were to follow despite United pressing further, and the club put their name in hat for the fifth round draw with consummate ease.
A strong lineup against a struggling League One outfit? It’s fair to say it was a bold move from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to field a near-full strength side, but one that ultimately paid off.
One thing it clearly does demonstrate is that the FA Cup is high on his list of priorities this season. There is still a Carabao Cup semi-final second leg to contend with – despite that looking beyond their reach – while a top four spot and Europa League success remain in their sights.
However, while a return to the Champions League is imperative, the FA Cup must be seen as an important target in order to appease their disgruntled fans.
Solskjaer seems to agree with that, and being so comfortably in front allowed him to make early substitutions and rest key players. On the day it was a performance in which everything United did seemed to come off, whether it was shots from distance or cross-field passes.
Barring the opening ten minutes they were in cruise control, and the manner with which they coasted their way through the second half will have been hugely pleasing.
There were genuine fears ahead of kick off that an upset could be on the cards, but as soon as the first goal went in the confidence permeated throughout the team, and they’ll likely not have an easier game all season.