Man Utd beat West Ham to Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final

Wednesday 13 Apr 2016
Marcus Rashford celebrates his goal
Manchester United turned party poopers at Upton Park, as a 2-1 victory over West Ham United under the famous Boleyn Ground lights secured their place in The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final.

On an evening where romance was undoubtedly in the air as this famous old ground staged its last ever FA Cup tie, second-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini proved enough to seal progress for Louis Van Gaal's team and set up a clash with Everton at Wembley later this month.

There was a fitting late fightback from the hosts, so desperate to end on a high ahead of their summer move to the Olympic Stadium, but despite a goal back from James Tomkins and subsequent intense pressure, they couldn’t find a way past an inspired David De Gea, who played as much a part in this result as any of his team-mates at the other end.

West Ham United 1-2 Manchester United

The Emirates FA Cup
Sixth Round replay
7pm, Wednesday 13 April 2016
Boleyn Ground, West Ham United
Winners receive £360,000 from prize fund
Live on BBC

It had all started so brightly for the Hammers too, with the hosts quickly out of the traps and making an electric start to try and live up to the occasion.

Their early movement and intensity saw half-chances for both Enner Valencia and Dimitri Payet, who both tested De Gea in the first ten minutes as they forced United onto the back foot.

It was working too as Bilic, imposingly orchestrating his team from within inches of the touchline, clearly sensed an early opportunity to draw first blood.

But that early promise didn’t materialise and it was United who should’ve been ahead when Jesse Lingard fed a pass into the area for Fellaini in the 17th minute, only for the Belgian to see his shot diverted over the bar.

Lingard then had the best of the first-half chances ten minutes before the break as he broke clear on goal, but Hammers keeper Darren Randolph was out sharply to save with his feet to ensure it remained goal-less at half time.

United didn’t let the break stop their growing momentum, as they started the second half sharply with Lingard fizzing a shot narrowly wide of the top corner.

And minutes later they were in front, as a loose ball from Cheikhou Kouyate was latched onto by Anthony Martial, who quickly picked out Rashford.

The youngster turned into the area in an instant, before curling an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner to silence Upton Park.

Manchester United

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini challenges Manuel Lanzini in midfield

West Ham needed to get back into it quickly, and they had a strong shout for a penalty dismissed when Payet tumbled under a clumsy challenge from Daley Blind in the area.

A half-cleared corner then fell to the feet of skipper Mark Noble outside the area but his first-time shot flew high and wide of the target

That proved costly too, as United doubled their advantage moments later when Rashford collected a knock-down from Fellaini before digging out a cross from the right for Martial.

The Frenchman's eventual wayward shot then flew into the path of Fellaini, who had the simple task of diverting home from close range.

West Ham knew they had to find a way to get themselves back into the tie, and by employing a more direct approach, they started to ask the right questions.

That switch paid off too, as when Payet’s corner from the right was headed firmly back into the six yard box, James Tomkins was on hand to turn home and set the tie alight.

The Boleyn found its voice again and Bilic’s side were back on the front foot and frantic in their search for an equaliser.

East London was breathless, as Carroll rose in the area to meet Aaron Cresswell’s centre, but his firm and solid header was too strong as he sent the ball over the bar.

West Ham captain Mark Noble holds off a challenge from Chris Smalling

West Ham captain Mark Noble holds off a challenge from Chris Smalling

Most of the stadium then thought they’d equalised when Kouyate nodded home from close range in the 89th minute, following a spell which saw De Gea pull off an incredible triple-save to deny shots from Carroll, Kouyate and Emmanuel Emenike, only for the final passage to see Kouyate flagged offside.

And that was that, as the lights of Upton Park were turned out on The FA Cup for one last time with the sound of United fans celebrating their date with Everton at Wembley on Saturday 23 March.

West Ham United: 1 Darren Randolph;  30 Michail Antonio, 21 Angelo Ogbonna, 5 James Tomkins, 3 Aaron Cresswell; 16 Mark Noble (c), 8 Cheikhou Kouyate; 11 Enner Valencia, 27 Dimitri Payet, 28 Manuel Lanzini; 9 Andy Carroll

Substitutes: 20 Victor Moses for Valencia 62, 29 Emmanuel Emenike for Lanzini 74

Substitutes not used: 13 Adrian, 14 Pedro Obiang, 19 James Collins, 33 Stephen Hendrie, 35 Reece Oxford

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Goals: James Tomkins (79)

Manchester United: 1 David De Gea; 51 Timothy Fosu-Mensah, 12 Chris Smalling, 17 Daley Blind, 5 Marcos Rojo; 35 Jesse Lingard, 16 Michael Carrick, 27 Marouane Fellaini, 21 Ander Herrera, 9 Anthony Martial; 39 Marcus Rashford.

Substitutes: 25 Antonio Valencia for Rojo 67, 28 Morgan Schneiderlin for Herrera 76, 10 Wayne Rooney for Rashford 89

Substitutes not used: 20 Sergio Romero, 7 Memphis Depay, 8 Juan Mata, 18 Ashley Young

Manager: Louis Van Gaal

Goals: Marcus Rashford (54), Marouane Fellaini (67)

Referee: Roger East
Assistant referees: Adrian Holmes & Peter Kirkup
Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick

Attendance: 33,505

By Nicholas Veevers at Boleyn Ground, West Ham