Manchester United beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at the Ewood Park.

Graham gave the hosts an early lead but Rashford equalised soon and Ibrahimovic grabbed the winner for the defending champions.

Jose Mourinho made seven changes to the team which beat St. Ettiene midweek with Romero, Smalling, Herrera and Martial the only survivors. On the other hand, Owen Coyle made four changes to the team that started the defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.

The crowd witnessed a very scrappy first fifteen minutes in which both the sides failed to hold on to the ball for a long period. Emnes was given space and produced a powerful shot which was straight at Romero and the Argentine saved it from hitting the back of the net. A minute later, carrying on with the momentum he got from the shot, Emnes danced past Rojo and put a pass behind the United defense for Graham whose left foot shot found the back of the net. Lingard headed the ball in the ground from a Herrera free kick which disappointingly was the first shot on target for United. Herrera put Lingard past the left back with a through ball, Lingard’s cross was blocked and fell to Herrera whose powerful shot was straight at the Rovers keeper. From a failed Blackburn set-piece, Romero released the ball quickly to Mkhitaryan who passed the ball in the path of Rashford and the young Englishman rounded off the keeper to produce a cucumber-cool finish. For the next Rovers chance, Conway received a long ball at the edge of the area but he fired over with his left foot.

United had 70-30 advantage in possession but that failed to reflect on the chances created and infact, the scoreline.

The second half saw no major chance created until Mourinho sent on Pogba and Ibrahimovic. Pogba and Herrera linked up well and Ibrahimovic’s outstretched leg just failed to reach Herrera’s cross-cum-shot. A very good passing move allowed Herrera to have a crack at the goal but his shot was deflected wide. As the match was entering its last fifteen minutes, Pogba’s pass from the halfway line found Ibrahimovic in the box and the big Swede turned 360 degree before producing a half volley which turned out to be the match-winner. As the match was approaching its climax, Mahoney cut in from the right and produced a powerful shot at Romero which he failed to catch, on the rebound Emnes’ shot was also palmed away by Romero but Stokes was on hand to put the ball in the back of the net. But, the goal did not stand as Stokes was in an offside position.

My player of the match was Ashley Young who was instrumental in both defense and attack and proved himself as a good utility player today.

United have now progressed to the quarter final stage and has drawn the league leaders Chelsea.


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