Tranmere Rovers are struggling in 21stPosition in the third tier, League 1, and although they had beaten Watford in the previous round, they were not expected to trouble United, even though they were playing at home. United had only faced Rovers once previously, in the league cup second round tie, in September 1976, united winning 5-0. History was also in favour of United, United have lost just one of their last 52 FA Cup matches against sides from outside of the top-flight (W44 D7). Manchester United had also progressed from 14 of their last 15 FA Cup fourth round ties, with the exception in this run a 2-1 away defeat at Liverpool in 2011-12. In the end, it was a non-contest, United carving up the Rovers defence at will on a pitch that looked more like a potato field.
The whole team gave an impressive performance, and we had six different goal scorers. This was Anthony Martial’s 200th game, becoming the 101st player to hit the 200 game mark. He marked this was with an excellent goal. Dalot showed he can hit the target, and made it to the scoresheet. Jesse Lingard played as we knew he could, scoring one and hitting the upright with another try. Mason Greenwood scored his 10th of the season from the penalty spot. Tahith Chong won the penalty and hit the crossbar with a rasping shot.
My man of the Match would be captain Harry Maguire. He drove into the Tranmere half from the start and scored a screamer to spark the goal glut. He defended well too, but he really seized the initiative. Tranmere could not temper him in the final third. He gave the assist for Jesse Lingard’s goal.
Next up City away on Wednesday for the second leg of the League Cup Semi-Final.