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Other SportsWigan Athletic 0-2 Manchester United: Dalot and Fernandes send Red Devils through...

Wigan Athletic 0-2 Manchester United: Dalot and Fernandes send Red Devils through in FA Cup

Manchester United eased into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, with Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes on the scoresheet for Erik ten Hag’s men.

United came to dominate Monday’s game after a somewhat shaky start, missing a plethora of chances to further their lead after Dalot opened the scoring with a curling finish midway through the first half.

Shaun Maloney’s third-tier strugglers Wigan failed to make their visitors pay for several glaring misses, though, and Fernandes made the result certain by winning and converting a soft penalty with 16 minutes to play.

United could now face a trip to non-league Eastleigh in the fourth round, with the National League side hosting Newport County in a third-round replay next week, the winner of which will take on Ten Hag’s team on the last weekend of January.

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Perhaps fearing the repercussions of an upset, Ten Hag fielded a strong United lineup, but the visitors almost went behind within three minutes as Thelo Aasgaard was picked out by Martial Godo’s right-wing cross, only to see his low finish smothered by Andre Onana.

Wigan goalkeeper Sam Tickle got down well to tip Marcus Rashford’s strike wide in the 15th minute as United took control, while Scott McTominay steered a shot wide of the bottom-right corner after being played in by Fernandes.

The United pressure told after 22 minutes as Dalot received Rashford’s offload on the edge of the box before bending a fine finish into the bottom-right corner.

The visitors were inches away from a second goal two minutes later as Tickle spilled Rashford’s shot against the inside of his post, only to claw the ball off the line just in time, then Rasmus Hojlund wasted two clear chances, heading against the top of the bar then bundling wide from close range.

Alejandro Garnacho then saw a curling effort crash against the bar and McTominay headed wide as a fast-paced first half ended without the League One hosts suffering further punishment.

Kobbie Mainoo drew a solid save from Tickle 17 minutes into a more low-key second period, then McTominay blazed a left-footed volley over as further chances to go 2-0 up came and went for United.

But Fernandes ensured the Red Devils would not be made to pay for those misses when he went down under the trailing leg of Liam Shaw to win a 74th-minute penalty, which he calmly slotted into the bottom-left corner.

Having won the EFL Cup before losing the FA Cup final to neighbours Manchester City last term, United will now be eyeing another long cup run to raise supporters’ spirits after struggling throughout Ten Hag’s second season at the helm.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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