Martial hits Hammers late to force FA Cup replay for Man Utd
Lee Gormley | March 13, 2016
Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United
- The sides go into half-time level at 0-0
- Both teams have penalty appeals waved away in second-half
- Dimitri Payet fires in delicious free-kick after 68 minutes
- Anthony Martial nets leveller within final 10 minutes
- Replay will be last ever FA Cup game at Upton Park
Martial forces replay
Anthony Martial’s 86th-minute strike spared Louis van Gaal’s blushes, as Manchester United fought back to earn a 1-1 draw with an impressive West Ham United side in their FA Cup quarter-final encounter at Old Trafford, with the Frenchman forcing a replay.
Dimitri Payet had opened the scoring in the second-half with a simply sublime long-range free-kick which gave David de Gea absolutely no chance, while both sides had penalty appeals turned down after half-time.
Slaven Bilic’s Hammers were dangerous throughout and it looked as if another quarter-final shock was on the cards, but Martial’s first FA Cup goal for the Red Devils made sure a replay would take place at Upton Park instead (6/4 with Coral to win).
Hammers look threatening
Marcus Rashford got the Old Trafford faithful on the edge of their seats within the opening moments, as the youngster raced towards goal with great pace, after Martial was clattered by Winston Reid, but Angelo Ogbonna was able to powerfully thwart his attempts.
After five minutes, Andy Carroll played a perfect pass into the path of a surging Emmanuel Emenike, as the Nigerian’s shot beat De Gea from the right but trickled narrowly wide, giving Man Utd an early warning sign.
Red Devils forward Rashford was looking his side’s most promising threat and, with 16 minutes gone in Manchester, the teenager latched onto a lofted Guillermo Varela cross from deep on the right flank, sending his header too high, while immediately at the other end Emenike forced De Gea into a save from close-range.
As the half hour mark approached, Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera was gifted an opportunity to test Irish stopper Darron Randolph, following a charging run and pull back from left back Marcos Rojo, but he couldn’t keep his effort down.
Before half-time, the home backline was involved in a frantic goal-mouth scramble, kicked off by Payet’s free-kick from the right wing, with both Carroll and makeshift full back Michail Antonio having shots blocked before Michael Carrick smashed the ball away, as a tightly contested first 45 minutes ended scoreless.
Penalty appeals turned away
The most worrying aspect of Man Utd’s opening half for the fans would have been the failure to register a single shot on target, and it was West Ham who started brightest after switching ends, with De Gea having to acrobatically intercept an Antonio cross before Carroll could pounce.
Payet was beginning to have more of an influence on proceedings and his whipped delivery after 52 minutes almost led to a great chance for towering targetman Carroll, but the hosts were able to clear, while Jesse Lingard won a dangerous free-kick instantly at the other end, which ultimately led to nothing.
West Ham’s mercurial French playmaker again produced a super pass to pick out Antonio moments later, forcing Varela to track back and clear any danger, while Herrera and his teammates furiously appealed for a penalty at the other end, with Reid having seemingly handled in the area before he went off injured.
Chris Smalling was called into action after an hour at Old Trafford, as the England international centre back thwarted the attacking run of Antonio, following a rare misplaced pass from Carrick.
With the referee having earlier waved away any penalty appeals for the hosts, West Ham were on the receiving end of the same decision, despite Argentine defender Rojo clumsily taking down a charging Payet, much to the annoyance of Bilic.
Payet class shines through
The failed penalty appeals weren’t to matter though, as Frenchman Payet clinically dispatched a beautiful curling free-kick into the top left corner to give the Hammers a second-half lead on 68 minutes, with Spain stopper De Gea simply unable to reach it.
With Chelsea having been dumped out by Everton and cup holders Arsenal suffering a stunning defeat to Watford, Van Gaal’s men were now battling to avoid another quarter-final upset, and a swift counter attack after 73 minutes initially looked promising but it turned out to be another failed move.
Man Utd thrusted World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger and wideman Memphis Depay into the action with quarter of an hour to go, and the latter Dutchman was involved in the build-up to another blocked Herrera shot, this time by left back Aaron Cresswell.
Martial strikes crucial leveller
A huge sense of relief was felt around Old Trafford after 82 minutes, as Martial pounced in the six-yard box to level the tie and earn his first FA Cup goal, instantly switching momentum back in the hosts’ favour with not long left to go.
Substitute Memphis looked ready to fire Man Utd into the semi-finals in the closing moments, as the Dutchman did everything right on the left wing to cut inside and set himself up perfectly for a shot, but instead he turned back out and wasted the opportunity.
Carrick saw his last-ditch attempt curl narrowly wide of Randolph’s left post against his former employers, as the Red Devils were ultimately held to a 1-1 draw on home soil which forced an FA Cup quarter-final replay to follow at Upton Park.