Manchester United progressed to the FA Cup quarter-finals with a clinical 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, overcoming a controversial VAR decision in the process.
- Lukaku (3′) breaks the deadlock
- Mata (45′) denied a second by VAR
- Lukaku (55′) finally doubles the lead
Huddersfield controlled much of the first half, but Romelu Lukaku’s strike separated the sides at the break after a Juan Mata goal was disallowed in stoppage time. Lukaku netted again in the 55th minute, and from there it was plain sailing for United.
Manchester United got off to the perfect start, with Lukaku breaking the deadlock in the third minute. After being played through by Mata, the Belgian held off a defender before rifling the ball past Jonas Lossl at the near post.
However, the Red Devils found themselves pinned back by the dogged Terriers for much of the opening half. The hosts piled pressure on the United defence but did little to trouble Sergio Romero during their early spell of dominance.
The visitors were convinced they had doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. Ashley Young’s pass in from the right found Mata, who took the ball round Lossl and tapped it into the net. However, Kevin Friend made use of the Video Assistant Referee and the goal was controversially disallowed due to an offside call against the Spaniard.
United finally struck again in the 10th minute of the second half. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez linked up in a lightning-fast break after a Huddersfield corner. The Chilean’s exquisitely-timed pass sent the striker through and he finished off calmly once again.
There was to be no way back from there for Huddersfield, as United marched on to the quarter-finals. Although far from polished, their performance showed the grit that has become synonymous with Jose Mourinho’s sides.