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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021


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WE’VE GOT FRIDAY night lights for the first of 16 FA Cup fourth round ties this weekend as the iPro Stadium (formerly Pride Park) hosts Derby County and Manchester United.

First thing’s first, the teams are in:

Derby: Carson, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Warnock, Thorne, Ince, Butterfield, Johnson, Blackman, Martin.


Man United: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Mata, Lingard, Martial, Rooney.

The home side, fourth in the Championship, are unchanged from the team that lost 4-1 to Burnley on Monday night meaning Irish pair Cyrus Christie and Richard Keogh start while international team-mate Jeff Hendrick is on the bench.

Louis van Gaal has brought in two players after losing 1-0 to Southampton last time out. Uruguayan full-back Guillermo Varela replaces Matteo Darmien, who is injured, and Ander Herrera drops out of the line-up for compatriot Juan Mata.

Manchester United have won four of their past five meetings with Derby, with the Rams claiming a 1-0 victory in the 2009 Carling Cup semi-final first leg thanks to this strike from Kris Commons:

Source: dlada1/YouTube

Van Gaal speaking to BBC Sport just now: “This is not new. What’s new is that stories are made up by the media and they write everything without taking responsibility.

“I hope that they (his players) shall perform what we have done in training and show a good team spirit.”

Quick pre-match poll… With continuous speculation about Van Gaal’s future at United, how do you see things panning out?

Poll Results:

He'll see the season out, then depart in the summer (352)
He'll be gone before the end of the season (146)
He'll still be in charge at the start of next season (69)

Flag 1Mins

KICK-OFF – Referee Anthony Taylor blows his whistle and we’re away. Both teams wearing their home strips.


CHANCE! We’ve played just three minutes but United should be in front. Fellaini finds Rooney, who lays off for Martial and the young Frenchman curls his effort the wrong side of the post.


Ireland defender Richard Keogh going for the super hero look tonight.


Smalling has to make a timely tackle to stop Johnson from getting a cross in. Moments later, Christie comes in onto his left and shoots straight at De Gea from distance.


Visiting fans chanting to pay tribute to former captain Nemanja Vidic, who announced his retirement from the game today.

Flag 16Mins

GOAL! Derby County 0-1 Manchester United (Wayne Rooney) 

Super finish. Martial feeds Rooney and the United captain whips the ball into the far corner from the edge of the box.


Blackman gets above Varela and heads down where De Gea can save easily. United then break in numbers and Martial’s deflected shot is collected by Carson.


Not exactly something to boast about, is it…


Just past the half hour mark and Derby have yet to really trouble their Championship opponents.

United, on the other hand, come close to finding a second after Martial brilliantly exchanges passes with Rooney and Mata but then overruns the ball at the vital moment.


Varela crosses deep to the back post where Martial volleys. The shot hits Lingard, however.

Flag 37Mins

GOAL! Derby County 1-1 Manchester United (George Thorne) 

The Rams are level! A long ball down field is knocked on by Martin, who then picks out the run of Thorne and the midfielder prods by De Gea.


Great clearance from Stephen Warnock to clear yards from the line after Martial had cut back for Rooney.


That’s a brlliant tackle from Smalling to deny Martin a goalscoring chance.


Blackman cuts inside and has a pop but his strike whistle past the post.


Martial has been giving Christie a difficult night so far. The Irish defender inadvertently handles the ball while attempting to make a challenge but referee Anthony Taylor signals a corner.

Flag 46Mins

RESTART – We’re off again. No subs during the break so it’s the same 22 players out there.


Martial causing all sorts of problems once again. The former Monaco man gets to the end line and puts a ball across the six-yard box but there’s no one there to capitalise.


CHANCE DERBY! Christie drives forward and puts in a delightful ball. Ince can’t make contact and it runs all the way to Blackman, who shoots high and wide.


Mata meets Lingard’s cross but glances a header wide. I think that might be the first time I’ve ever seen him head the ball.


Substitution – First change of the night sees Blackman make way for Abdoul Camara.


Fellaini heads on target after rising highest to connect with a corner and Carson catches comfortably.

A half hour to play.

Flag 65Mins

GOAL! Derby County 1-2 Manchester United (Daley Blind) 

The away team go in front for a second time. Lingard picks out Blind and the Dutchman sidefoots into the corner with a clinical finish.

What was he doing up there?


Keogh goes down in the box claiming he’s been the victim of a high boot but it would’ve been very harsh.

That said, Smalling was all over another Derby player too.


Michael Carrick readying himself…


Substitution – United take off Schneiderlin for Carrick.


Double change – Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick and Johnny Russell are on for Derby.

Flag 83Mins

GOAL! Derby County 1-3 Manchester United (Juan Mata) 

That looks to be the result wrapped up. Martial, who has a thorn in Derby’s side all night, leaves Christie for dead then gets the head up to feed Mata. The Spaniard makes no mistake to dispatch into the bottom corner.

Flag 90Mins

Full-time: Derby County 1-3 Manchester United 

United the first team to progress to the fifth round of the competition.

About the author:

Ben Blake