Rooney spares Man Utd blushes after woeful Sheff Utd tie
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 9, 2016
Manchester United 1-0 Sheffield United
- First half saw just one meaningful chance from Sammon
- Crowd turned on Man Utd many times during the game
- Late Rooney penalty settled tie after Hammond fouled Memphis
Man Utd avoid Blades replay
You’d think that Manchester United could put a woeful December behind them and see off League One side Sheffield United in their FA Cup third round clash with ease but, despite boasting by far the more possession, a late penalty settled the tie.
The Blades certainly put in a solid defensive display to nearly keep a clean sheet, but also had the odd chance to cause a huge early shock. Wayne Rooney’s injury time penalty was ultimately the difference in a shoddy display.
Hosts Man Utd predictably began the game in control, but were unable to create any notable chances, and it took until the 18th minute for there to be a shot on goal.
Sammon chance highlight of first-half
That, however, came from the Blades’ Conor Sammon, who forced a save out of David de Gea from out the area.
Skipper Wayne Rooney, now just 10 goals off Sir Bobby Charlton’s record Red Devils tally, had a chance moments later as he took the ball past the defender, but in the end the attack led to nothing.
A very dull opening half finally came to an end, which featured chanting of “Jose Mourinho” from the Man Utd fans and “are you Wednesday in disguise?” from the away section, but not before Daley Blind could sky over a shot from a free-kick.
Memphis introduction brightened up performance
Substitute Memphis Depay presented Man Utd’s first chance after the break in the 65th minute, which resulted in ironic cheers from the home crowd, though couldn’t test the opposition keeper.
That did seem to spur on the hosts, however, and they carried on thier quest to finally break the deadlock. Matteo Darmian this time had an effort, despite being tame.
As if things couldn’t get any worse for Louis van Gaal, there were fears that Bastian Schweinsteiger had suffered a serious knee injury, but thankfully the German shook it off and soon returned to the field.
Anthony Martial threatened to score with just minutes to go, after a free-kick into the box, but his shot was blocked and Chris Smalling was unable to connect from the rebound.
An almost embarrassed Old Trafford did get their goal very late on in extra time, as Dean Hammond brought down Memphis in the area to give the hosts the penalty. Rooney was the man to hit home as he sent the goalie the wrong way to slot into the bottom left of the net.
Check out more from our FA Cup archive.