Man Utd sink Liverpool after deadly Fernandes caps five-goal thriller

Date published: Sunday 24th January 2021 6:53

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Man Utd ace Bruno Fernandes proved why he is one of the most feared attackers in world football after notching the decisive strike to dump Liverpool out of the FA Cup.

A period of back-and-forth opened the contest before sloppy work from stand-in centre-half Rhys Williams handed Man Utd the game’s first real opportunity.

Williams’ indecision allowed Edinson Cavani to pounce in midfield before feeding Mason Greenwood down the right.

The youngster’s many stepovers crafted a yard of space, but his shot flew past the near post to leave Alisson Becker untroubled.

The Reds’ lack of goals in recent weeks had become a major talking point, but a clinical passage of play in the 19th minute appeared to put those murmurings to bed.

Roberto Firmino picked up the ball in a deep position and set Mohamed Salah away. The Egyptian had evaded lax marking from Victor Lindelof, and neatly dinked the ball over the onrushing Dean Henderson to put Liverpool one up.

That lead was shortlived when Man Utd produced a trademark counter-attack at blistering pace.

Donny Van de Beek found Marcus Rashford down the left before the England international picked out a sublime 40-yard pass to the marauding Greenwood.

Opting to shoot across goal this time, Greenwood arrowed the ball beyond Alisson to level the scores.

The Red Devils continued to offer a threat from corners, but Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay’s radars were off as their efforts flew over the bar.

Pogba saw a curled strike drift narrowly wide of the post as half-time approached with the home side very much in the ascendancy.

Man Utd picked up where they left off after the break and took the lead after another Williams error.

The centre-half failed to deal with Greenwood’s ball over the top, allowing Rashford to latch on and slide his low finish inside the far post to make it 2-1.

James Milner spurned a glorious opportunity to pull his side level from close-range, but it mattered not as Salah would go one better mere seconds later.

Firmino’s cutback was dummied by Milner as Salah stroked his finish home between the legs of Henderson.

Liverpool were firmly in the ascendancy and Salah saw his attempt at a hattrick saved when squaring to Sadio Mane appeared the better option.

An increasingly rare foray into Liverpool’s half brought a free-kick on the edge of the area after Fabinho felled Cavani.

Bruno Fernandes – fresh from the bench – stepped up and fired into bottom corner with supreme accuracy.

Cavani hit the post after a pinpoint Fernandes cross, but it mattered not as time ran out on any potential Liverpool comeback.

Man Utd’s reward for advancing is a date with West Ham in the fifth round.

 

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