Manchester United ace their Cambridge FA Cup test
Manchester United prevailed 3-0 in Wednesday morning's (Feb 4 Singapore time) FA Cup replay against fourth-tier Cambridge at Old Trafford.
Goals from Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and James Wilson allowed manager Louis van Gaal to reiterate his determination to win a trophy in his debut season - after his side beat Cambridge United in the FA Cup fourth round.
With rivals such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur having exited the competition, United are now favourites to end an 11-year wait to lift the world’s most famous domestic cup competition.
“Every club in the FA Cup wants to win; we also.” - LouisVan Gaal
He added: “I prefer to play against lower teams because the possibility to survive is higher. The FA Cup is a title and I am living for titles as a coach, but it is always difficult.
“It is even sometimes more difficult to win against a lower team than a big team. That is good, but that is also what football is. It is what we all like, that not always the better team is winning.
“We have a real chance now. Why? We are the highest qualified team in the FA Cup, so people are maybe betting on us. I am not allowed to. I give you a tip.”
With the win, the Red Devils set up a fifth-round trip to third-tier Preston North End.
But Van Gaal admits the visit to Deepdale in two weeks will be testing, especially after Preston’s impressive 3-1 replay victory away at cup specialists Sheffield United.
“We have to beat Preston and that will not be easy. They won away against a cup fighter like Sheffield United, so it will be difficult for us to win in Preston North End.
Cambridge might have taken a sensational lead, with forward Tom Elliott missing a glorious one-on-one opening by hitting a post inside the first minute.
Juan Mata and Marcus Rojo gave United breathing room by scoring two goals at half time.
Although he failed to get his name on the scoresheet, Belgian international Marouane Fellaini impressed in a role as a striker alongside Robin van Persie, playing a part in the two first-half goals.
“Now with Fellaini, we have... an attacking player through the air,” said Van Gaal.
“We could have scored more, I think. In the second half we played a bit more forward, I believe. We created more chances. Robin van Persie had four opportunities and could have scored more.”
While Cambridge could not match the dizzying heights of their first meeting with United (a 0-0 draw at Abbey Stadium), the £1 million ($S2.04 million) in funds generated by the replay was a huge consolation.
Sources: AFP, Vine