Manchester United show class to douse Yeovil Cup spirit

Sunday 04 Jan 2015
Radamel Falcao turns away from Stephen Arthurworrey

Manchester United edged through to The FA Cup Fourth Round after a hard-fought 2-0 victory against Yeovil Town.

It was a moment of Premier League quality from Ander Herrera that turned the game in United's favour on 64 minutes, before Angel Di Maria consolidated the victory with an injury-time chip. 

Yeovil 0-2 Man Utd

FA Cup Third Round
Huish Park
Sunday 4 January 2015
Winners receive £67,500

But a simple 2-0 victory for United would be far from the full story, as the Glovers put up a heroic fight for the full 90 minutes – so much so that the official 'man of the match' announced by the PA was 'the whole Yeovil team'.

In his programme notes Yeovil Town boss had called for the players to “give the fans a day they would remember for the rest of their lives”. 

And he got the start he would have wanted as his physical Glovers set about matching the guile and craft of United’s household names.

Captain Joseph Edwards – who had cancelled a family holiday to play – and Kieffer Moore both tested David Gea in the opening exchanges, while Nathan Ralph’s presence caused Rafael problems throughout the first half.

The visitors, meanwhile, had to wait until 15 minutes before they could muster their first attempt. A wayward effort from Wayne Rooney drew sarcastic cheers from the home support. Huish Park was rocking.

In the build up to kick-off the excitement had been equally palpable. 

Hundreds gathered outside the players’ entrance hoping to catch an early glimpse of their illustrious guests, and supporters filled the Home Terrace opposite the away end two hours before kick-off.

And as expected, Louis van Gaal paid Yeovil – and the competition – hearty respect as he named a strong starting lineup for the 11-time FA Cup winners.

England captain Rooney joined fellow Three Lions Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling, with Under-21s international Tyler Blackett accompanying the latter two in defence, while James Wilson got his chance to impress from the off up front alongside Radamel Falcao.

But the home side unquestionably enjoyed the better of the first half-hour.

The commitment and determination of the opening five minutes never waned. They kept United at arm’s length and hurried and hassled Van Gaal’s men into countless mistakes. They never found their rhythm.

Rooney, visibly frustrated, let his feelings be known as he turned to berate his team-mates as the game drifted towards the interval. 

Van Gaal made two changes at the break, as Juan Mata and Jonny Evans replaced wing-backs Shaw and Rafael. United switched from 3-5-2 to a tighter 4-3-3.

But it had little effect in the opening ten minutes, and Yeovil again started the brighter – and then came what instantly felt like the game’s turning point.

Moore may never get a better chance to make a Cup hero of himself. as he squandered what looked to be a tap-in. 

Evans’ inadvertently flicked the ball into Moore’s path, but he could not adjust his feet from a couple of yards out and De Gea smothered. 

And minutes later United were ahead through Herrera. The ball bounced 25 yards from goal and fell into the path of the Spanish midfielder who dropped his shoulder, swivelled onto his right and fired an exquisite strike into the top corner, giving Steer no chance.

Despite the setback the side who occupy the bottom spot in League One refused to give in. 

Di Maria, on for the ineffective Falcao, cleared a goalbound Edwards header off the line, and Moore went close again as he cut inside before firing just wide. 

But then the Argentinian drove beyond the Glovers defence and at the end of a long run, chipped Steer to seal victory.

Yeovil Town (4-4-1-1): Jed Steer; Nathan Smith, Ben Nugent, Stephen Arthurworrey, Seth Twumasi; Nathan Raplh, Joe Edwards, Sam Foley, Kevin Dawson; Simon Gillett; Kieffer Moore.

Subs: Thomas Eaves for Ralph 69; James Berrett for Dawson 89; James Hayter for Foley 89.

Subs not used: Artur Krysiak, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Ryan Inniss, Alex Smith.

Bookings: Arthurworrey. 

Manchester United (3-5-2): David De Gea; Chris Smalling, Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett; Rafael, Darren Fletcher, Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw; James Wilson, Radamel Falcao.

Subs: Jonny Evans for Shaw 46. Juan Mata for Rafael 46. Angel Di Maria for Falcao 60.

Subs not used: Anders Lindegaard, Anderson, Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj.

Bookings: Herrara.

Goals: Herrara 64. Di Maria 90.

Referee: Craig Pawson

Watch FA Cup Third Round highlights from Huish Park


By Jamie Reid Senior Writer At Huish Park