Juan Mata scored in the second half to give United the lead and ultimately secured their progression with a chipped finish past John Ruddy. However, in what could potentially be a blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Marcus Rashford limped off in the second half having come on as a substitute following a challenge with Wolves defender Matt Doherty.
Pedro Neto’s first half goal for Wolves was disallowed for a handball by Raul Jimenez in the build-up. Here are the three things we learned as United beat Wolves 1-0 in the FA Cup.
3. Magical Mata keeps his composure and shines
Juan Mata once again showed why he is so important to this Manchester United side. He was absolutely fantastic during the weekend’s 4-0 drubbing of Norwich City, and put in an outstanding performance last evening against Wolves.
The Spaniard held his run perfectly to latch on to Anthony Martial’s through ball and chip into the goal with aplomb to ultimately seal United’s place in the fourth round. The former Chelsea man remains a highly technical player capable of breaking down any defence on his day and he highlighted this with a couple of assists last time out.
2. Rashford injury scare concerning
Solskjaer decided to rest Rashford and start Mason Greenwood in his stead, but things didn’t quite go according to plan. Rashford found himself being subbed on at 64 minutes while the score was still goalless. Moments after Mata had broken the deadlock, the 22-year-old sustained a heavy kick and looked in some discomfort.
The England striker tried to carry on gallantly but could not and was replaced by Jesse Lingard. To state that United are heavily dependent on him is merely stating the obvious, and the Red Devils’ boss would be hoping to have his striker back in time for the trip to Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
1. Magic of the Cup continues
Winning the FA Cup might be United’s best chance at silverware this season, and while Solskjaer will have one eye on Europa and a top-four finish, there’s no underestimating the importance of the Cup.
Empty seats at Old Trafford last evening might suggest otherwise and maybe fans expected more in terms of the scoreline, but there’s no denying that United got the job done.
Next up for them in the fourth-round would be either Tranmere Rovers or Watford, who will meet in another third-round replay next Thursday night, after their initial match was postponed earlier this week due to heavy rain around Prenton Park.