Harry Maguire scored an extra time winner as Manchester United edged past Norwich, 2-1, and into the semifinals of the FA Cup.
Maguire found the net from close range with just two minutes remaining of a tight tie at Carrow Road. After a dismal first half, Odion Ighalo put United ahead before Todd Cantwell sent the game into extra time with an equaliser on 75 minutes. Norwich, bottom of the Premier League, had Timm Klose sent off for a foul on Ighalo a minute before the end of normal time, but hung on until Maguire got a scruffy winner in the final seconds of extra time.
It was a surprise when Ighalo got the call to join his boyhood club on loan in January but he’s making the most of the opportunity. He’s only started four games, but has scored each time. Despite getting very little service, he still found the net against Norwich. The decision to bring in the Shanghai Shenhua was questioned by some United fans, but it’s proving an inspired signing.
Solskjaer will be disappointed with the first-half performance during which his team struggled to create anything of note. They had plenty of the ball but aside from Bruno Fernandes, there seemed to be very few ideas about what to do with it.
Manager rating (out of 10)
6 — The United boss said he would make changes, but it was still a surprise he made so many. Luke Shaw, Maguire and Fernandes were the only players to keep their place from the win over Sheffield United on Wednesday. It might have backfired after a lacklustre first half performance and in the end, the Norwegian was fortunate to get away with it.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Sergio Romero, 6 — Unsighted when Cantwell’s swerving drive found the corner of the net. Good goalkeeping to punch away Max Aarons’ dangerous cross.
DF Diogo Dalot, 6 — A lot of Norwich attacks in the first half came down United’s right. Hasn’t played much football and only lasted an hour.
DF Luke Shaw, 7 — Brilliant recovery run to stop Teemu Pukki charging through on goal. Helped create the first goal with a surging run down the left.
DF Harry Maguire, 7 — Timely block to get in the way of Lukas Rupp’s fierce shot in the first half. Pushed forward to start the move from which Ighalo scored the opener and got the crucial winner.
DF Eric Bailly, 6 — Bustled off the ball by Cantwell near his own goal but got away with it.
MF Scott McTominay, 6 — Involved in a decent duel with Cantwell for most of the afternoon. Replaced immediately after the equaliser as Solskjaer went for a winner.
MF Fred, 6 — Clever pass to create a chance for Fernandes seconds after the break. Should have done more to close down Cantwell before the Norwich midfielder equalised.
MF Bruno Fernandes, 6 — Beautiful flick to Ighalo that led to Klose receiving a red card from Jon Moss. Always busy but not his best day.
FW Jesse Lingard, 6 — Quick feet on the edge of the box to fashion himself an early chance. Seemed to feeling effects of recent illness before he went off.
FW Juan Mata, 6 — Took up some good positions in the first half but found very few runners ahead of him. Played his part in Ighalo’s goal.
FW Odion Ighalo, 7 — Continued his streak of scoring on each of his four United starts. Smart finish with the ball dropping over his shoulder.
FW Marcus Rashford (for Juan Mata, 62), 6 — Drew a good save from Tim Krul.
FW Mason Greenwood (Jesse Lingard, 62), 6 — Added pace on the right.
DF Brandon Williams (for Diogo Dalot, 62), 6 — Run out at right-back.
MF Paul Pogba (for Scott McTominay, 77), 6 — Some good link-up play but nothing remarkable.
MF Nemanja Matic (for Fred, 77), 6 — Did little of note.
FW Anthony Martial (for Eric Bailly, 96), 6 — Helped pile the pressure on Norwich in extra-time.