Scott McTominay breaks the deadlock early, before Manchester United soak up wave after wave of Aston Villa pressure to sneak into the FA Cup fourth round!
Manchester United earned an FA Cup fourth-round encounter with Middlesbrough, as Scott McTominay’s eighth-minute header proved enough, in the end, to defeat Aston Villa 1-0 at Old Trafford on Monday evening.
McTominay raced to the edge of the Villa six-yard box, where he nodded past the helpless Emiliano Martinez in the Villa goal after Fred had cut inside and delivered a pin-point, left-footed cross to the Scotsman.
The 8th-minute goal condemned Villa boss, Steven Gerrard, to a miserable return to Manchester, where he was constantly wound up by the home supporters, because of his allegiance to Liverpool in his playing days.
The final result, however, was extremely harsh on Gerrard and his men from the West Midlands. Just after the half-time break, they had the ball in the United net twice, only for both strikes to be disallowed.
The second was a fairly obvious offside call against forward, Danny Ings, but the linesman’s flag was not raised until Ollie Watkins had subsequently slid the ball into the home side’s net.
However, the first was more controversial and involved a lengthy wait for VAR, to ask the referee to make a final decision by consulting the pitchside monitor. The referee eventually ruled that midfielder, Jacob Ramsey, was both offside and had unfairly impeded Edinson Cavani in the build-up.
Villa’s recent record in the FA Cup has been woeful. Their last win in the competition was in a third-round replay against Wycombe Wanderers back in 2016. Therefore, by next year’s tournament, unbelievably, they will have gone seven seasons without winning a single match in England’s premier cup competition!
Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick’s Red Devils will play host to Championship side, Middlesbrough, in their next FA Cup clash, on the 5th of February.