Juan Mata scores the winner as Man United beat Wolves 1-0 in FA Cup tie

The 31-year-old Spanish footballer kept his calm as he was played through by Anthony Martial and chipped goalie John Ruddy to score the winner

English football club Manchester United went into the fourth round of the FACup riding on a lone strike by experienced campaigner Juan Mata beating Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The 31-year-old Spanish footballer secured a 1-0 victory for the Red Devils as he scored the only goal of the match in the 67th minute.

Mata kept his calm as he was played through by Anthony Martial and chipped goalie John Ruddy to score the winner. United received a major blow as Marcus Rashford succumbed to an injury and was there on the pitch for only 16 minutes.

Juan Mata
Juan Mata Reuters

"That backfired, but you've got to go for them once in a while," manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport. The injury left the England striker a doubt for Sunday's Premier League clash against runaway leaders Liverpool at Anfield. "It seems like he's got a knock there and he couldn't run, so let's test him in the next couple of days. Hopefully, he'll be OK for Sunday, I don't know," said Solskjaer.

In the night's other replay, Cardiff City beat fourth-tier strugglers Carlisle United 4-3 in a livelier game to set up an all-Championship (second tier) clash with Reading in the fourth round.

United will next play either Premier League rivals Watford, last year's runners-up, or third-tier Tranmere Rovers whose replay on Tuesday was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Prenton Park.

Solskjaer's side were let off the hook after 10 minutes when a VAR review showed the ball had bounced off Raul Jimenez's hand before Portuguese teenager Pedro Neto scored for Wolves.

The visitors also went close from a corner when Matt Doherty flicked his header onto the post.

Even if the score remained goalless at the break, there had still been five shots on target with United providing three of them.

"I think you can see there's two teams there that towards the end were tired. End-to-end, an open game which sometimes doesn't suit us. We wanted to control the game more," said Solskjaer. "Juan Mata is different class. He's got the skill, the composure and even pace to get through there."

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said his side had not defended the goal well but it had been a good game and he was frustrated with the outcome. "That's VAR, you cannot do anything. We are celebrating non goals. It doesn't make sense," he added.