The two week break afforded Man United the rare opportunity of fielding a strong first eleven in the FA Cup. This was a fourth round clash with perennial thorn in the red devils, Middlesbrough from the North East. Confident enough start from United in which they really should have put daylight between themselves and Boro. Guilty culprits. The whole team. Some might want to single out Elanga and Ronaldo for their penalty misses but hey the game should have been over in the first half. Up until Sancho’s goal, he,Fernandes and RASHFORD HAD CHANCES. The more it stayed 1-0 the more the side from Tee side came out of their cocoon. Crooks in particular got his reward for being more positive after a passive first half. Chris Wilder, who made a splash with Sheffield United in their two season ago, had his tactics spot on in the second half. He pushed up his full backs higher with Jones their number two impressive.

United looked tired and short of fitness in extra time as well. Fernandes especially poor losing the ball too many times. Pogba who had a great start also faded replaced by Fred. It seems no match passes without VAR or refereeing controversy. Crooks’s equalizer was marred by claims of handball from United players by the goal assister sub Duncan Watmore. Even Wilder thought his team was quite fortunate to have the goal allowed. The rules state that if a handball is detected in the build up to the goal BUT NOT PERPETRATED BY THE SCORER, it is open to referees interpretation as to whether it is deliberate or not. The ref here so accidental handball so he allowed the goal. That being said, the arm of Watmore was outstretched so you can understand where the United fans and players are coming from. Penalties were more or less settled for by both sides AS THE GAME FIZZLED OUT amid cramped up limbs and we all know they can go either way. Both sides put up a penalty taking clinic with perfect first 15 spot kicks. A crucial moment was Boro’s number 10 Payero’s kick was almost saved which went under United keeper Dean Henderson’s body. Other than that it was exemplary(Cameroon please learn). The unfortunate guy was Elanga who blazed over but should learn and move on quickly. United’s trophy options dwindling as the season goes on, now realistically left with Champions League as their only avenue.