Manchester United registered a comfortable 3-0 victory over second-tier club Derby County to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals on Thursday as Odion Ighalo scored a brace to guide the Red Devils home. The former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney was on the losing side as united confirmed their journey to Norwich City for the last eight clash after the latter club beat Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Ole Gunner Solskjaer's men took control of the fixture as Luke Shaw drew first blood in the 33rd minute of the match even though Derby started the match on a positive note. The United 24-year-old defender then provided an assist to Ighalo who added another goal just before the halftime.
Ighalo scored a brace
The 30-year-old Nigerian striker, who arrived at Old Trafford in January on loan till the end of the season from China's Shanghai Shenhua, doubled his tally in the 70th minute with a left-footed shot off a rebound. "As long as my team-mates believe in me, the boss believes in me and the fans believe in me, I just have to keep going," said Ighalo, who has now scored three goals from two starts.
Rooney, who joined Derby this season after a stint with MLS side DC United, had a great chance to equalise but the midfielder's 36th-minute free-kick drew a fingertip save from United keeper Sergio Romero. The bearded 34-year-old was then booked for a hard tackle on Scott McTominay.
"There were some scary moments there," Solskjaer told BT Sport. "Early on I didn't think we played particularly well but of course when you get two goals the way we did that was pleasing. "A nice goal again from Odion and fantastic save by Sergio from Wayne's free-kick.
United to City this Sunday
"It's great for us to have Odion to call upon. He's a different type of striker, he holds it up well." United, 12 times FA Cup winners and one-off Arsenal's record 13, were without captain Harry Maguire, who rolled his ankle in training. "I wasn't going to rest him today but it's one of those things that happens," said Solskjaer. "I think he'll be alright, he'll be fine."
United host local rivals City, the FA Cup holders, in Sunday's Premier League Manchester derby. England international Shaw put in a man of the match performance and was having nothing of claims the ball had gone in off Jesse Lingard. "No chance, he can't claim that. Whatever happens, I am claiming it," he said. "The most important thing is the win and another clean sheet for the boys. We are in a very confident period. Massive game on Sunday, we are looking forward to that one."
(With agency inputs)