FA Cup: Middlesbrough win penalty shootout to oust Manchester United
Middlesbrough stunned a wasteful Manchester United to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford. Poor finishing saw United manage just one goal in the first half after Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty. Middlesbrough were awarded a controversial goal by VAR in the second half. The game went to extra-time and penalties before Boro prevailed. They won the shootout 8-7.
Why does it matter?
- United should have put the game to bed in the first half but were too sloppy in their finishing.
- The game went alive when Middlesbrough scored a controversial goal but United saw Bruno Fernandes miss a sitter.
- United kept missing chances after chances and it hurt them as Boro stood tall to take the game into extra-time and then penalties.
How did the match pan out?
Sancho could have handed United the lead in the second half but his lobbed chip hit the post. Ronaldo then placed his penalty wide before Sancho scored a beautiful goal. United kept going forward but were too sloppy. Middlesbrough were far better in the second half and Crooks drew a big save from Dean Henderson. Crooks equalized moments later to keep Boro alive.
VAR controversy as Middlesbrough equalize
The ball hit Watmore's hand in the build-up to the goal for Middlesbrough. While bringing down Jones' cross, the ball hit Watmore's left arm before he crossed the ball for Crooks. United players surrounded referee Anthony Taylor, who signaled VAR is checking the incident. However, VAR deemed the ball hit Watmore's arm accidentally much to the surprise of one and all.
United poor in front of goal
At the end of 90 minutes, United had registered 24 shots, managing eight on target. However, their sloppiness resulted in just one goal. United also had 69% of the ball possession but it accounted for nothing as they couldn't get the job done.
How did the extra-time pan out?
Middlesbrough dug deep to keep frustrating United, whose luck in front of goal didn't change in the first half of extra-time. Joe Lumley then denied Fernandes as Boro defended valiantly in numbers. They kept the penalty area congested and cleared the balls.
Notable feats achieved in this match
Ronaldo missed his fourth career penalty for Man United in 23 attempts. Prior to tonight, he missed against Wigan (2006), West Ham (2007), and Barcelona (2008). Fernandes has now been directly involved in five goals in his last four games for Manchester United. United's fullbacks created nine of their 20 chances after 90 minutes against Middlesbrough (Luke Shaw 5, Diogo Dalot 4).
Sancho and Crooks register these feats
Jadon Sancho has now scored three goals for Manchester United this season. Notably, all three of them have come in different competitions (vs Villarreal in Champions League, vs Chelsea in Premier League, and vs Middlesbrough in FA Cup). Meanwhile, Sancho netted his first goal at Old Trafford this season. Crooks scored his first away goal this season. He netted his seventh goal in 2021-22.