MANCHESTER United needed extra time to clinch the match and to confirm their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup having played Norwich City to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road after 90 minutes.
United made the pressure and the man advantage pay as their captain Harry Maguire looped in a 118th-minute winner to deny The Canaries’ dreams of a first FA Cup semi-final since 1992/93. With tired legs setting in late in the match, the sheer number of forwards on the pitch for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men proved to be the right anecdote to keep the hosts wanting after defender Timm Klose was sent off in the 88th minute having been shown a straight red card.
Tim Krul showed perseverance to register a number of top-class saves between the Norwich sticks and keep his side in match contention through large parts of the encounter. This was, however, not enough to stop Maguire from scoring a late extra-time winner to secure the Red Devils’ place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 victory.
United’s on-loan forward Odion Ighalo and Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell scored with their respective sides’ first shots on target as an entertaining second half followed a forgettable first. The game looked destined to be decided by penalties but Maguire’s effort ensured that wouldn’t be the case as United booked a place in the last four at Wembley.
The first half was most notable for Maguire blocking a goal-bound Lukas Rupp effort, but both teams emerged from the break with much more improved intent before Ighalo broke the deadlock with a clever show of improvisation. Juan Mata deflected Luke Shaw’s left-wing cross into his half and Ighalo’s hooked volley beat Krul from point-blank range.
Norwich responded well to going behind, though, and Cantwell restored parity in commanding fashion with his swerving long-range drive that beat the dive of Sergio Romero. Yet their hopes of a cup shock were dealt a substantial blow when Klose correctly saw red for holding back Ighalo as the last line of Norwich defence just outside the area.
The hosts survived six additional minutes to force extra time after Krul denied Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood, who started off the substitutes bench in this one. The Canaries were again grateful to Krul in the 22nd minute of extra time as he clawed away a Maguire header and then turned behind a fierce effort from Bruno Fernandes. The final whistle finally ringed in a United victory as they continue to chase silverware.
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