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Manchester United clinch 2-1 win away at West Ham to reach FA Cup semi-finals

Manchester United qualified for the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over West Ham
Vinay Sundar
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 14 Apr 2016

Manchester United secured a well-fought 2-1 win away from home to West Ham United, in their FA Cup quarter-final replay, to claim a place in the semi-finals. Goals in the second half from youngster Marcus Rashford and midfielder Marouane Fellaini were enough for the Red Devils, as West Ham pulled one goal back through James Tomkins.

West Ham United started the first half brightly, attacking down the left, with Enner Valencia looking to exploit the space between Timothy Fosu-Mensah at right-back and Chris Smalling at centre-back. The first chance of the match fell to Valencia, who was found after a good run, and took a shot on goal, which was straight at David de Gea, who held easily. 

The next few minutes saw West Ham get two free-kicks from just outside the box, with specialist Dimitri Payet stepping up to take the setpieces, but his deliveries weren't up to scratch, and the danger was cleared out on both occasions by the United defence. 

The away side then got something going, as Marouane Fellaini intercepted the ball in midfield, before freeing up Anthony Martial, whose final pass was a little too close to Ogbonna, who cleared the danger. Soon after, in the 15th minute, Marcus Rashford got a chance to unleash a shot from just inside the penalty box, but his shot was blocked out. 

United created the best chance of the game in the 17th minute, as Jesse Lingard's hopeful run and pass found Fellaini inside the box, who toe-poked the ball goalwards, but saw his shot saved by Darren Randolph in the West Ham goal. 

Valencia was put through on the left side of the box again, but couldn't really make much of his opportunity, as the United defence held firm. The Red Devils then created another chance, as Rashford slid the ball into Ander Herrera, but his low shot was saved by Randolph again. 

The second half got off to a much more explosive start, as both teams did their best to get onto the scoresheet. Jesse Lingard took a shot from just outside the box, but his shot went just wide of the goal. United took the lead in the 52nd minute, as Marcus Rashford curled the ball beautifully past Randolph from just inside the box after being set up by Anthony Martial. 

The 54th minute saw Payet go down in the penalty box under a challenge from Daley Blind, but the referee didn't award a penalty, as replays showed that there was a fair case for a penalty. The away side then doubled their lead in the 65th minute, after a shot from Martial was deflected and the ball reached Fellaini, who diverted the ball into the goal with his thigh. 

Just as it was looking like Manchester United had done enough to ward off the danger, West Ham started putting tremendous amounts of pressure. An incredible last-ditch save from De Gea saw the ball go out for a corner. The ensuing setpiece saw Andy Carroll head the ball into the box, where James Tomkins capitalized to pull one goal back. 

With the match in its dying stages, David de Gea produced two moments of brilliance, that helped preserve United's lead. First, he saved from Cheikou Kouyate, the ball fell to Andy Carroll, whose venomous shot was saved again by the Spaniard. The rebound fell to Kouyate again, who put his header into the back of the net, but the goal was rightly ruled out for offside. 

Louis van Gaal's young side held on to their 2-1 lead for the remainder of the match, as they cemented their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, as they keep their hopes of winning a trophy this season alive. 

Manchester United will now face Everton in the semi-finals at Wembley, on the 23rd of April.

Published 13 Apr 2016
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