Wigan Athletic 0-2 Manchester United: Dalot and Fernandes strike to seal United’s place in FA Cup Fourth Round 

The 2013 FA Cup winners played host to the 2016 Champions in the final tie of the Third Round on Monday evening. League One side Wigan Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw at Barnsley last time out, while Manchester United suffered yet another embarrassing defeat at Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

WIG: Tickle; Clare, Hughes, Morrison, Sessegnon; Adeeko, Shaw; Jones, Godo, Aasgaard; Humphrys

MUN: Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot; McTominay, Mainoo; Garnacho, Rashford, Fernandes; Hojlund

With Manchester United in desperate need of getting the fans back onside, it didn’t help when the home side almost took the lead just five minutes in. Martial Godo got down the right hand side and delivered a teasing ball in towards Thelo Aasgaard who fired straight at Andre Onana from close range. 

After a rampaging run through United’s defence, Sean Clare was unlucky to see his stride forward abruptly halted by Raphael Varane.

Down the other end, however, Marcus Rashford cut inside and fired a low effort towards goal, only for Sam Tickle to make an excellent save at close-range. Scott McTominay then received the ball from Bruno Fernandes minutes later, but somehow steered his shot wide of the far corner from close-range.

With 22 minutes gone, though, increased pressure from Erik ten Hag’s side reaped their reward as they took the lead. Alejandro Garnacho’s cross into the box reached Marcus Rashford at the far post, and the Englishman then laid the ball off to Diogo Dalot who curled it home past Sam Tickle for the opener. 

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Marcus Rashford thought he had added a second just moments later with a strike that seemed to have crossed the line after Sam Tickle had dropped the ball, but replays showed that the ball just about stayed out of the goal. Tickle was then left unfazed by a close-range header from Rasmus Hojlund which sailed just over the bar.

Rashford could also consider himself unlucky not to find the net from a free kick which bounced just wide of Sam Tickle’s far corner. The Manchester United forward then fired a shot akin to Diogo Dalot’s opener towards goal; only this time, Sam Tickle palmed the ball out to Hojlund, who somehow couldn’t bundle the ball in from a few yards out. Alejandro Garnacho was also unfortunate to see a wonderful long-range effort kept out by the crossbar.

A fantastic ball in from Bruno Fernandes down the left hand side saw Scott McTominay latch onto it at the back post, but the Scottish international steered his header wide; much to the surprise of his United teammates.

Rashford looked dangerous at the DW Stadium, and his first attempt on goal in the second half whistled just wide of the far post from long-range. Kobbie Mainoo would also force a good save out of Sam Tickle later in the second 45.

With just under 20 minutes to go, Bruno Fernandes was brought down by Liam Shaw in the Wigan box and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the penalty spot as a result. It was Fernandes who then accepted the responsibility from 12 yards out and struck the ball comfortably past Sam Tickle to seal Manchester United’s place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

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Rashford could have made it three for United with ten minutes to go, but his tame effort was saved comfortably by Sam Tickle in the Wigan goal. Alejandro Garnacho was also thwarted by the Latics goalkeeper a few moments after.

It’s back to league action for both sides next time out, as Wigan Athletic make the trip to Northampton Town on Saturday for a 3pm kickoff, while Manchester United also make the trip down south to face Tottenham Hotspur the following day at 4:30pm.