FA Cup: Rashford inspires Manchester United to victory over Everton
London, Jan. 7 (IANS): A Marcus Rashford-inspired Manchester United booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a 3-1 victory over Everton at Old Trafford.
Rashford was the creator for United’s first two goals before grabbing a well-deserved third late on to seal his side’s progression from a pulsating affair, reports thefa.com.
United had the perfect start after Antony slid home Rashford’s cross after just four minutes only for Conor Coady to level proceedings ten minutes later.
The winger was involved once again as United retook the lead after Coady turned Rashford’s cross into his own net, before the gloss was added with a late penalty.
It had been a nightmare start for the Toffees as they went behind after just four minutes. Rashford cut in from the left after being played through by Anthony Martial, before firing a ball across the face of goal which Antony slid in at the back post.
It was nearly two for United shortly after as Martial had time and space on the edge of the box but could only drag his shot wide of Jordan Pickford’s right-hand post.
The visitors then began to feel their way into the game, winger Demarai Gray fired a shot against the post after 13 minutes, with United goalkeeper David De Gea fortunate to see the rebound hit off him and go behind for a corner.
But Frank Lampard’s side would not be denied just a minute later as Neal Maupay’s cross crept through the legs of De Gea, with Coady on hand to stab home from a yard out.
United looked to respond immediately and nearly caught Everton on the counter. Rashford and Martial combined well to cut through the visitors’ defence before the Frenchman was well denied by the onrushing Pickford.
The contest then became a scrappy affair as both sides adjusted following a breathless start, and it was not until the half hour mark that the next chance came.
Rashford was again the architect for the hosts, as he carried the ball from inside his own half before firing a shot from range that was beaten away by Pickford.
Christian Eriksen then curled an effort narrowly over the bar as United looked to go in ahead at the break, but the Toffees defence continued to hold firm.
However, their resistance was broken just seven minutes after the restart as Rashford cut in from the left, beat Seamus Coleman in the box and flashed a ball across the six yard box which Coady could do little but turn into his own goal.
The goal gave United confidence as they looked to add to their lead, this time Antony cut in from the right wing but his shot was straight at Pickford.
As the hour mark ticked by it was Everton with the best chances, with De Gea forced into acrobatic action to deny Coleman.
The Irishman was played through in the box following a marauding run by Abdoulaye Doucoure only to be denied by the outstretched leg of De Gea, with Vitalii Mykolenko unable to scramble home the loose ball.
The Toffees then thought they had got the equaliser they were looking for with 15 minutes remaining as Dominic Calvert-Lewin forced home Demarai Gray’s cross, only for the winger to be deemed offside in the build-up.
Everton continued to push for a leveller to send the game to a replay at Goodison Park, but it was United who came closest to adding a fourth goal with Pickford forced to tip a Rashford free-kick over the bar as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes.
And Rashford added the shine on the win with a penalty in additional time after Alejandro Garnacho was fouled by Ben Godfrey.