How would Man United fare against lower league opposition?
Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of the final FA Cup fifth round tie as Manchester United visit League One Shrewsbury Town.
Kick-off at New Meadow is at 7.45pm and we’ll have all the team news in the next few minutes.
Let’s get straight to it.
Here’s how Man United will line-up tonight, with Louis van Gaal naming a strong side for this evening’s tie. Sergio Romero continues in goal with David de Gea sidelined while Memphis, Mata, Lingard and Martial lead the attack once again.
Just 20 minutes until kick-off. Here is tonight’s teamsheet.
Which way do you see this one going? Will Man United have too much or will their nightmare season continue at New Meadow?
The teams are out and the pitch looks to be in immaculate condition. United are sporting their all white kit.
Kick-off! The hosts get us underway and there’s a crackling atmosphere.
United have made a fast start and Memphis looks bright. He takes a long, direct ball down and works his way inside to manufacture a shooting position for himself – but his effort is wild.
Early chance for United. Memphis wins a corner down the left and Blind trots over to whip it in. Smalling rises highest but he can’t keep his effort down when he really should have done better.
The Premier League side enjoying all the early possession and they’re likely to see a lot of it too. Shrewsbury have been happy to sit tight in their rigid formation and soak up this early pressure.
They’ve settled into the contest well and will look to keep things tight for as long as possible.
Memphis with another shooting opportunity and he’s never shy to pull the trigger but he’s yet to find his radar. The fans behind the goal are in more danger than the net itself.
Close! United’s purposeful start is nearly rewarded but they’re denied by Leutwiler. It’s Memphis again and this time he hits the target and the Shrewsbury goalkeeper gets down well to parry to safety.
The hosts are finding themselves pegged inside their own half at the moment. Sustained periods of pressure now from United.
Shrewsbury, to their credit, have held their own so far and although United are enjoying much of the possession, they’ve yet to do anything with it. Mata is the latest player to try his luck from range but it reaps no rewards.
It’s attack versus defence at the moment. The home side are sitting deep and inviting the pressure but there’s not a lot of cutting edge from United and Shrewsbury have been fairly comfortable thus far.
United win a free-kick right on the edge of the area. Memphis steps up and whips it goalwards and it deflects behind. On first viewing, it looked like a good block but it actually strikes Martial on the head and loops over.
Off the line! Nice move from United as Memphis slips in Martial. The Frenchman shifts it onto his right and his low effort is stopped by the goalkeeper’s legs – but the ball loops up and his heading in but for Ogogo’s last-ditch intervention.
It’s been an entertaining 30 minutes of football but we’re still goalless.
I wonder what Mr Woodward is making of this.
Shrewsbury are extremely well drilled and clearly have worked on a game plan. Their manager, Micky Mellon, spent a short period in the League of Ireland with Cork City in 1991.
GOAL! Shrewsbury 0-1 Man United (Smalling)
United finally find the breakthrough – and it comes from an unlikely source. Smalling is still up from an earlier corner and the ball is headed down to him by Lingard.
The United defender strikes it into the ground and it somehow finds its way into the far corner. Not a pretty goal by any means but a significant one for the visitors – and LVG nearly cracked a smile on the sideline.
A timely intervention from tonight’s skipper.
United haven’t been operating in full throttle by any means but they deserve that lead. Shrewsbury are very limited in possession and have just tried to frustrate their opponents. They’ll know need to change their tact to find a way back into this game.
Ogogo hauls down Martial right on the edge of the area and this is a very promising position for the guests. Mata and Memphis stand over it.
GOAL! Shrewsbury 0-2 Man United (Mata)
And Mata flights it beautifully up and over the wall and into the corner with the ‘keeper unmoved.
And that’s half-time! A perfect 45 minutes for Man United and they take a commanding two goal lead into the break.
United looking to kill off this tie before the break. Memphis, who has been heavily involved from the outset, cuts inside onto his right foot again but the space is quickly blocked.
And the second half is under way.
The Shrews have changed tack at the break, sending former Man United defender Cole on to make a 4-4-2 in an attempt to claw their way back into this game.
Despite the change, it’s still United who are finding space. Herrera’s shot is killed by Martial, but he’s just nudged off the ball as he shapes to place a shot from 10 yards.
Brilliant from Martial as he weaves his way in and out before squaring. Lingard is waiting to head home but it’s taken off his head at the last minute. This has been a good comeback from United.
GOAL! Shrewsbury 0-3 Man United (Lingard)
And that should seal it. Herrera exchanges with Mata down the left and the former delivers a perfect cross for Lingard to slide in and finish at the back-post.
Van Gaal making a couple of changes now. Martial and Mata are given the rest of the evening off with Will Keane and Andreas Pereira on in their place.
Shrewsbury have been disappointing this evening, although Man United have produced a very professional performance to avoid a real upset.
Should have been four and a second for Lingard but he mis-controls and the chance is gone. This has been all very easy for Man United. Shrewsbury have been very passive and it was evident from early on that they didn’t have enough about that to cause United trouble.
Off the post! Keane looks to get in on the act but his effort comes back off the upright.
At the other end, Romero is nearly caught out as he comes off his line to punch an in-swinging free-kick. He just about does enough and the danger is cleared.
Disaster for Will Keane. Minutes after coming on he goes down clutching his groin and he’s hobbling off. United are down to 10 men for the remaining nine minutes but it shouldn’t make too much difference.
So close for Shrewsbury as they look for a consolation goal at least. Larnell Cole does brilliantly to find the cross and Ogogu is inches away from connecting.
Cole stings the fingertips of Romero with a crisp drive from range. It’s been a positive response from the hosts but it’s all too little, too late.
And Ogogu should score minutes later. Grimmer with the cross this time and somehow his team-mate heads wide with the goal at his mercy.
Shrewsbury showed far too much respect and they never got into the contest. In the end it was all too easy for United and it’s they who march on into the last eight.
Thanks for joining us this evening!
Full-time! No slip-up from United as they cruise into the FA Cup quarter-finals, where they’ll meet West Ham.
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