English heavyweights teach fourth-tier side a lesson with 3-0 victory in fourth round encounter
Manchester: Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and James Wilson's goals gave Manchester United a comfortable 3-0 home win over fourth-tier minnows Cambridge United in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday.
Juan Mata (third from right) scores Manchester United's opening goal against Cambridge United at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
United, fielding a side that cost £231 million ($350.4 million) to assemble, survived an early scare against a Cambridge line-up that had not cost a single pound when Tom Elliott shot against the post in the first minute.
But first-half goals from Mata and Rojo put Louis van Gaal's side in control before Wilson added a third to rubber-stamp a win that sets up a fifth-round trip to Preston North End, who beat Sheffield United 3-1.
"We have done what we had to," United manager Van Gaal told the BBC. "For the club, the fans and the coach and my staff, we want to win a title this year. The biggest chance is the FA Cup, but we still have to win four games to do that."
Elliott found himself clean through on goal with just 45 seconds on the clock after an error by Daley Blind, who played the ball directly through to the former Leeds United trainee.
Elliott showed poise to steady himself and advance, but could only steer the ball against the right-hand post as diving United goalkeeper David de Gea looked on aghast.
It was hard not to imagine that would be Cambridge's best chance and although the hosts had started slowly, they took a 25th-minute lead through Mata.
Angel di Maria's left-wing cross was headed down at the back post by Marouane Fellaini and Mata was on hand to flick the ball into the roof of the net from close range. Seven minutes later, Rojo made it 2-0.
The Dutch international chipped in a cross for Rojo, who made no mistake with a strong header from six yards out to claim his first goal for the club since joining from Sporting Lisbon last year.
Man United's starting XI vs Cambridge cost them £231 million
Cost of Cambridge side that faced Utd