Blackburn 1 - 2 United
It might not have been the best of performances but our players got the job done and now we’re through to the next stage of the FA Cup. No matter who you play against, the FA Cup seems to get any player pumped up and ready to challenge the game’s superstars. Blackburn are struggling in the championship but they looked like a decent side today and we were made to work hard for our victory.
Blackburn scored a great goal that had Mourinho applauding but I’m sure our manager had a word with both Smalling and Rojo who gave the goalscorer and the guy who provided the assist acres of space. You’d expect better from the two. I feared Blackburn would then just crowd their box and make life very difficult for us but, thankfully, a beautiful through ball by Mhkitaryan set up Rashford who went round the ‘keeper and scored the equaliser. Excellent from Mhki! We had a few chances here and there but, once again, we were toothless in front of goal. It is no wonder we have the worst chance conversion rate in the PL.
Mourinho had to bring on Ibrahimovic and Pogba when it started looking very likely that Blackburn were going to force a replay. Mou’s decision was vindicated minutes later when the two combined to score the winner. Incredible ball Excellent finish by Ibrahimovic; calmness personified. We passed the final 10 minutes of the game passing the ball and tiring the Blackburn players out but we did have one big scare close to the end of the game. Romero failed to catch a ball in the box and had to produce two fine reflex saves to keep Blackburn out. The Rovers did score but it was rightly ruled out by the linesman as the scorer was in an offside position. PHEW!
I was surprised by Young who showed no rustiness despite not playing for a long time. He was very good going forward. I was a tad disappointed with Darmian, Martial and Lingard though.
Our next FA Cup game is away to Chelsea. A very tough one but it will be a great test for our boys to show how much they improved from that 4-0 mauling in October.
St. Etienne next and then we’ve got a cup final to look forward to! Come on United!