United have now lost an away match against English opposition for the first time in 30 matches, with the previous such defeat coming against Liverpool in January 2020. The Reds have now waved goodbye to the FA Cup for this season. Speaking to other United fans, it is not clear to many why the Boss felt he did not require to field from the start his best available eleven, more so when players did not need to be rested as United do not play again before the end of next week due to the international break! This was a game where after all United were vying for a place in the semi final. When Ole did make the changes, four at one go, and later a fifth, it was then too late.
Terrible defending can be said to be the main cause of the defeat in this largely one-sided evening of football. Against AC Milan, Fred continually gave the ball away yet he was not replaced. Against Leicester it was even worse and it was punished severely at his third gross give-away. Once again, even with four substitutes, Fred played on. It is sad to be critical but it reflects poorly on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he didn’t realise this and did not take him off as early as possible, leaving him on for 84 minutes. Ole, understandably, refused to condemn his players for the mistakes made, insisting that the team and staff would share responsibility for the loss.
In my view Mason Greenwood was United’s best player by some margin. He was at the heart of everything positive, he put in some nice crosses and worked tirelessly although he was starved of service. He scored his first goal in 16 games with a deliciously quick finish. Mason has in fact scored more goals in the FA Cup than any other competition for Manchester United this season (2). His last two goals have both come in this competition.