Highlights: Preston North End 1-3 Manchester United; The away side edge into the quarters of the FA Cup
Manchester United travelled to Preston North End on the back of a 3-1 win over Burnley in the Premier League. Preston’s match at the weekend against Notts County was postponed, so they had extra time to prepare for the arrival of the Premier League side.
Louis van Gaal named a strong line-up for this match as Wayne Rooney started in his favoured position alongside Radamel Falcao with Marouane Fellaini behind the two strikers.
The first half was a drab affair as Preston sat behind the ball and looked to hit United on the counter attack. The Premier League side looked bereft of ideas in the final third as they failed to create any clear-cut chances despite Rooney getting behind the home side’s defence multiple times.
Preston, however, looked to beat David de Gea from distance as they took shots from range on quite a few occasions. The half ended level at 0-0 and that was probably a fair reflection of the proceedings at Deepdale.
The second half started with the home side taking the lead through Scott Laird. The defender’s left-footed shot from just inside the box went past De Gea and gave the home side a shock lead. United, however, levelled things twenty minutes into the half through midfielder Ander Herrera. The Preston players were protesting the legality of the goal as it looked like Rooney, who was in an offside position, had interefered with play, but the officials didn’t deem it so.
Fellaini, 10 minutes later, fired in a rebound to bring the away side into the lead after his header left goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann on the ground. Rooney got his first goal of the calendar year from the penalty spot. The referee was once again involved in a contentious decision after Rooney was adjudged to have been brought down by Stuckmann in the box.
That goal sealed the match and the Red Devils sealed a tasty home tie against Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Preston North End 1-0 Manchester United: Scott Laird (47’)
Laird gave the home side the lead with a brilliant left footer from inside the box which De Gea found too hot to handle.
Preston North End 1-1 Manchester United: Ander Herrera (65’)
Herrera’s left-footed strike creeped in to bring United level after the goalkeeper was distracted by Rooney, who was in an offside position.
Preston North End 1-2 Manchester United: Marouane Fellaini (73’)
Fellaini’s initial header was saved by Stuckmann, but the rebound kindly fell to the Belgian, who made no mistake this time in giving United the lead.
Preston North End 1-3 Manchester United: Wayne Rooney (88’)
Rooney stepped up to convert from the spot after he was fouled in the box. The Englishman powered his shot into the top corner to seal the tie.