FA Cup

Tranmere upsets Watford in FA Cup
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)

Tranmere upends Watford in FA Cup; Hosts Man Utd on Sunday

Leave a comment

Paul Mullin scored in extra time to lift League One side Tranmere Rovers over a much-weakened Watford in a FA Cup replay at Prenton Park on Thursday.

Tranmere runs out a 2-1 winner and gets a lucrative home date against struggling Manchester United on Sunday.

The pitch condition still wasn’t great nine days after heavy rains caused a postponement of the tie.

Watford didn’t have many familiar faces on the pitch due to the match being its third match in six days. Jose Holebas, Andre Gray, and Christian Kabasele did start the contest.

Tranmere out-attempted Watford 20-11 and had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Kaylen Hinds scored for Watford, his first goal coming in his first match since 2017/18 when the ex-Arsenal academy man was with… Greuther Furth II.

Tranmere took the lead after Manny Monthe swept a ball home after a half-clearance from the box (Can anything be a half-clearance? Self-reporting to the language police).

Manager Nigel Pearson playing a bevy of youth players. The first team will now get nine more days off before a Feb. 1 visit from Everton.

Of course, they would’ve featured Sunday versus Manchester United in the fourth round.

 

Watford leveled the score on a grimy goal in the 18, but Mullin delivered the goods in the 104th minute.

Solskjaer talks Rashford injury, ‘finally’ beating Wolves

Manchester United's Solskjaer talks Rashford injury
Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was going to give Marcus Rashford his first match day off since Dec. 12.

He didn’t, and he regrets it.

Solskjaer plucked his star striker off the bench in the 64th minute and removed him 16 minutes later after a back injury hobbled the 22-year-old.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

“Yes, it backfired,” Solskjaer said, via the BBC. “You got to take them once in a while. He’ll be tested in the next few days – we have to see for Sunday. He couldn’t run. He struggled a little bit with his back and got another knock. It didn’t help.”

Rashford played just 20 minutes in the first meeting between the two on Jan. 4, but started eight other matches in the last 34 days. He went 90 minutes in five of those outings.

The injury, possibly minor, threatens to overshadow a terrific Juan Mata goal as Manchester United earned a date with either Watford and Tranmere Rovers in the fourth round.

The 1-0 win is United’s first over Wolves in six tries since the latter was promoted in 2018 (three draws, two losses).

“I think you can see it was two teams towards the end that were tired. End to end and an open game – sometimes that doesn’t suit us,” Solskjaer said. “We’re delighted to beat Wolves finally. Juan Mata is different class. He’s got the skill, composure and even pace.”

Mata’s looked great in consecutive matches, and he’s gonna need to do it more often if Rashford is unable to go for any prolonged period.

FA Cup: Mata leads Man Utd win as Rashford hurt; Cardiff wins 7-goal thriller

Manchester United advances in FA Cup
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The FA Cup’s fourth round fixture list is complete, pending one water-logged reschedule, after Manchester United and Cardiff City picked up wins on Wednesday.

United’s win came at a cost, as Marcus Rashford limped off with a back injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Watford and Tranmere Rovers face a replay next week after seeing their Tuesday match moved due to an unplayable pitch.

Spurs outlasted Middlesbrough on Tuesday to headline a host of replays.

As for Wednesday…

Manchester United v. Wolves

The visitors thought that they’d gone ahead early, but an inadvertent handball was caught by VAR to keep the score 0-0.

Red-hot Juan Mata made the difference with a delightful run to meet Anthony Martial‘s through ball, dinking the ball over John Ruddy in the 67th minute.

What a goal from one of the serially underappreciated players of his generation.

Carlisle United 3-4 Cardiff City

League Two relegation candidates Carlisle showed well against their Championship visitors, taking a lead through Nathan Thomas.

Cardiff scored the next three goals of the match, but Harry McKirdy twice pulled the hosts back within a goal at 3-2 and 4-3.

It was just too big an ask of the Cumbrians, though, as Aden Flint’s double joined goals from Josh Murphy and Danny Ward to make it 4-2 before the hour mark.

FA Cup fourth round schedule

Jan. 24
Northampton Town v. Derby County
QPR v. Sheffield Wednesday

Jan. 25
Brentford v. Leicester City
Southampton v. Tottenham Hotspur
Millwall v. Sheffield United
Reading v. Cardiff City
West Ham v. West Brom
Burnley v. Norwich City
Coventry City v. Birmingham City
Newcastle United v. Oxford United
Portsmouth v. Barnsley
Hull City v. Chelsea

Jan. 26
Man City v. Fulham
Watford or Tranmere Rovers v. Manchester United
Shrewsbury Town v. Liverpool

Jan. 27
Bournemouth v. Arsenal

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford injured in FA Cup v. Wolves

Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Marcus Rashford limped off the Old Trafford pitch on Wednesday, putting a damper on Manchester United’s 1-0 lead over Wolves in an FA Cup replay.

Rashford was able to return to the pitch long enough to let Jesse Lingard warm up properly, which has to be considered a positive side.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 22-year-old held his back after getting treatment on the pitch, eventually crumpling to the turf.

Rashford has 19 goals and five assists in 31 matches this season, and would be key to any United hopes of ending Liverpool’s unbeaten season this weekend.

The Red Devils then face Burnley, Man City (League Cup semi second leg), Wolves, and Chelsea before restarting Europa League play on Feb. 20.

They’ll also meet Tranmere Rovers or Watford should they hold on to beat Wolves on Wednesday.

LIVE, FA Cup replays: Man United v. Wolves headlines

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United host Wolverhampton Wanderers in their FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday as the teams separated by just three points in the Premier League table lock horns.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

The Red Devils host Wolves after a 0-0 draw at Molineux and although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to continue to rotate his squad, he knows this competition presents a very serious chance to win some silverware this season. So too do Wolves and Nuno Espirito Santo has gone with a full strength team despite a few inconsistent displays in recent weeks.

Whoever prevails at Old Trafford will face a trip to either Tranmere Rovers or Watford in the next round, as their replay was postponed on Tuesday due to bad weather across England.

Wednesday’s other FA Cup replay sees fourth-tier Carlisle United host second-tier Cardiff City, as the winner will play away at Reading in the next round. Both games kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Click on the link above to follow all of the action from Old Trafford and Brunton Park, as a place in the fourth round awaits and both games will go to extra time and penalties, if needed.