Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd man blasts penalty over as Boro reach FA Cup fifth round with famous shootout win

Middlesbrough Man Utd

Manchester United winger Anthony Elanga missed the crucial penalty as the Red Devils crashed out of the FA Cup to Championship side Middlesbrough.

The Red Devils had a host of chances in the first half and early in the second, but did not manage to find the net more than once. That let Chris Wilder’s team back in and they took United to penalties before recording a memorable shootout victory at Old Trafford.

United were back in action following the Premier League’s winter break. Ralf Rangnick named a strong team which included the returning Paul Pogba, who got his first start since early November following a thigh injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho were also selected, while Dean Henderson got a rare appearance in goal.

Boro, meanwhile, had former United player Paddy McNair as part of a back-three. Young striker Folarin Balogun, on loan from Arsenal, made his first start for the Championship outfit.

Boro goalkeeper Joe Lumley looked nervous from the outset and the Red Devils nearly capitalised. Following a clash with Dael Fry, the ball fell to Sancho and he went for an audacious chip. The England winger was unlucky to see it come back off the crossbar.

Sancho was involved in another chance for the home side moments later. He played in Luke Shaw down the left flank, and the full-back did well to dig out a cross for Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar rose to meet it with an overhead kick but could not beat the keeper.

Man Utd star misses 20th-minute penalty

Pogba received the ball in the box with 19 minutes gone and turned on it sharply, drawing a foul from opponent Anfernee Dijksteel. The referee had no choice but to point to the spot, gifting Ronaldo the chance to open the scoring from 12 yards out.

Surprisingly, the attacker dragged his penalty wide, giving Boro and Dijksteel a reprieve.

Fernandes’ influence on the game was only growing and he got in behind the defence soon afterwards, after being kept onside by a dislodged backline. But the attacking midfielder lacked composure and blasted his first-time volley over the bar.

United were knocking on the door and finally got their goal in the 25th minute. Fernandes sprayed the ball out to Sancho, who got the wrong side of his marker. He showed nice footwork before beating Lumley on his left, albeit with the help of a deflection. That marked his first goal at Old Trafford since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

Ronaldo, clearly angry with his penalty miss, went through on goal eight minutes later and shot on his left. But Lumley was equal to it, racing out to block.

The chances kept on coming for Rangnick’s men in the second half. The lively Sancho was sent through down the left and put in a good cross for Rashford, who had the goal at his mercy. But the 24-year-old failed to find the net and sent his half-volley over.

Boro’s first chance came soon afterwards as the ball was pulled back to Matt Crooks in a good position. He fired at goal but Henderson palmed away for a corner.

Boro manager Chris Wilder turned to the bench in the 61st minute in a bid to find the equaliser. That saw Balogun’s game come to an end as he was replaced by boyhood United fan Duncan Watmore.

The Red Devils then paid for their missed chances as Crooks equalised for Boro in controversial circumstances. Watmore was found at the back post in acres of space, with Harry Maguire’s centre-back partner Raphael Varane caught out of position. Watmore controlled, with the ball then hitting his hand, before lobbing Henderson. His effort was off target but Crooks was there to slide in at the back post, sparking huge celebrations in the away end.


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United players complained about the handball to the referee but VAR did not intervene and the second tier club had their goal. VAR’s stance comes after the handball rules were changed before the start of the season.

United were gifted another gilt-edged chance 18 minutes from time as Lumley sold Jonny Howson short, allowing Fernandes to steal. He had a relatively simple finish but could only hit the post, letting Boro off once again.

Goalscorer Crooks was brought off by Wilder and replaced by Martin Payero, while Rangnick also turned to his bench. Anthony Elanga and Fred came on for Rashford and Pogba respectively.

With extra time looming, Fred got past two defenders before putting in a cross for fellow substitute Elanga. The wide man met it with his head but could only send the ball into Lumley’s hands.

Paul Pogba Man Utd

There were several changes heading into the first half of extra time, with Phil Jones coming on to replace Varane. For Boro, on loan forward Aaron Connolly appeared to give more energy to their attack.

There was concern for the United faithful as Sancho went down in the 94th minute clutching his hamstring. Jesse Lingard would have been a good option to replace him, but the 29-year-old is seemingly in a war of words with the club over his availability. Instead it was Spanish veteran Juan Mata who came on five minutes after Sancho initially went down.

United failed to conjure any real opportunities between 90 and 105 minutes as the away team dug deep and defended well.

The Premier League side appeared similarly flat in the second half of extra time, nothing like the creative team they looked in the first 60 minutes of the tie.

Substitute Connolly had the chance to snatch a famous winner for Boro in the 115th minute when he attempted to flick past Henderson from close range. But the former Sheffield United loanee put an arm out to block, keeping the score at 1-1.

United and Boro could not be separated in extra time and the FA Cup clash headed to penalties

Penalties reach sudden death

(MID) McNair – SCORED

(MUN) Mata – SCORED

Payero – SCORED

Maguire – SCORED

Howson – SCORED

Fred – SCORED

Tavernier – SCORED

Ronaldo – SCORED

Bamba – SCORED

Fernandes – SCORED

Watmore – SCORED

McTominay – SCORED

Fry – SCORED

Dalot – SCORED

Peltier – SCORED

Elanga – MISSED

Rangnick favourite Elanga blasted his penalty over the bar to give Wilder’s Boro a famous win at the Theatre of Dreams.

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