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Dublin: 4°C Friday 14 May 2021


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MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE made the trip south this evening to take on fourth-tier Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium.

On paper it should be a straightforward task for Louis van Gaal’s side, but Cambridge will be keen to cause a famous upset in front of a sell-out 8,000 crowd. 

A place in the fifth round of the FA Cup is up for grabs, and kick-off is at 7.55pm.

As always, we’d love to hear from you throughout the game. Send us your thoughts and comments via e-mail, tweet us @the42_iefind us on Facebook, or leave a comment below.

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It’s Friday night FA Cup football at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium and Manchester United are in town. The visitors’ team is in…

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Januzaj, Di Maria, Wilson, Falcao. Subs: Rafael, Shaw, Van Persie, Herrera, Fletcher, Valdes, McNair.

No Wayne Rooney in the Manchester United team. What formation can we expect from Louis van Gaal: 3-5-2 or 4-4-2?

Still no sign of the Cambridge United team. We’re on the edge of our seats here.

Here it is, the one you’ve all been waiting for…

Cambridge United: Dunn, Tait, Taylor, Coulson, Donaldson, Champion, Elliott, Hughes, Nelson, McGeehan, Kaikai. Subs: Norris, Miller, Dunk, Simpson, Ball, Chadwick, Bird.

What ever happened to your man Luke Chadwick who played for Manchester United back in the day? He’s on the bench tonight for Cambridge.

No place in Cambridge’s match-day squad for former League of Ireland duo Gearoid Morrissey and Rory Gaffney.

Kick-off at Abbey Stadium is 20 minutes away, folks. Any chance of a shock tonight?

When discussing an FA Cup tie between clubs at opposite ends of the ladder, you’re obliged to point out how many places are between them in English football’s pecking order. That number is 76.

There’s not room to swing a cat tonight in the Abbey Stadium.

Soccer - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Cambridge United v Manchester United - The R Costings Abbey Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

Cambridge are available at 12/1 to win tonight. Anyone audacious enough to chance it?

Michael Carrick captains Manchester United in the absence of Wayne Rooney. Three minutes to kick-off in this one.

We’re off here at the Abbey Stadium! Manchester United are all in white, Cambridge are in their traditional gold and black strip.

Manchester United fans can never resist a pop at Steven Gerrard: “Chadwick 1, Gerrard 0″ is the chant, in reference to the Cambridge substitute’s superiority when it comes to Premier League medals.

Both sides appear to be operating with 4-4-2 formations.


Very good start by Cambridge here. A free-kick into the visitors’ box was just headed a couple of yards wide by Tom Elliot.


A Manchester United corner is cleared and Kaikai breaks before being halted Valencia. Phil Jones took the corner. Aren’t centre-halves supposed to be on the other end of set-pieces?


Another corner for Cambridge. Donaldson finds Hughes but his effort goes wide. The home team have been on top so far.

Donaldson just nutmegged Danny Blind. Cambridge are showboating now.


Falcao with Manchester United’s first decent attempt on goal but it’s well blocked by Taylor.


Twenty minutes played at the Abbey Stadium. No goals just yet but Cambridge will be the happier of the two sides.


Donaldson found his way through there but Phil Jones rescued the visitors. Really poor start from Louis Van Gaal’s men.

Di Maria has a shot for Manchester United from outside the box which goes so far off target that it’s gone out over the stand… which admittedly isn’t that high, but still.

Booking for Marouane Fellaini for a foul on Kaikai. First yellow card of the game.

Would we be going over the top by saying it’s been all one-way traffic so far? United fans, what’s the verdict?

Almost the opener for Cambridge! Goalmouth scramble after a corner and Coulson heads it just over the crossbar.

Truth be told, Manchester United are fortunate to still be level here.

Di Maria finally tests the keeper but Dunn keeps it out.

Ten minutes to go until half-time. The Manchester United players might be expecting some Fergie-style hairdryer treatment from Louis van Gaal.

This is better from United, keeping hold of the ball and knocking at the door. Di Maria’s shot is deflected into the path of Dunn.. fortunately for the Cambridge goalkeeper.

Free-kick for United in a dangerous position, just to the right and around 25 yards out after a foul on Falcao.


Di Maria’s free-kick is well wide. He’s been struggling to hit the target so far but you get the impression that he’s the most likely man to unlock the Cambridge defence.


It was better from Manchester United in the latter stages of that first half but it was a very poor 45 minutes from the visitors.


Cambridge’s Josh Coulson had the best chance of the first half.

Soccer - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Cambridge United v Manchester United - The R Costings Abbey Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


Cambridge “have got one hell of a chance” according to Alan Shearer on BBC. “Without a doubt there’s a mistake in that United back-four.”


As we prepare to start the second half, it’s looking good for Cambridge. On level terms and they’ve still got this crafty veteran in reserve.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Manchester United v Derby County Source: EMPICS Sport


Januzaj had a good effort saved by Dunn early in this second half. There’s definitely more urgency about the Premier League side now.


Harrison Dunk replaces Sullay Kaikai for Cambridge.


Luke Chadwick is warming up! Exciting development for fans of random ’90s footballers.


The weather looks rough at the Abbey Stadium. Time to find out if Falcao and Di Maria can produce the goods on a wet Friday night in Cambridge.


Manchester United are enjoying much more possession but there’s still no sign of a breakthrough.


Penalty claim from Cambridge as Elliot appears to have been brought down by Valencia but the referee waves it away.


Best chance of the game so far: Carrick plays Falcao through and his shot brings a brilliant save from Dunn.


Another yellow card for Manchester United, Wilson going in the book this time for a foul on Elliot. 25 minutes remain.


Double substitution for Manchester United: Robin van Persie and Ander Herrera replace James Wilson and Marouane Fellaini.


Cambridge United are 20 minutes away from what would be an extremely lucrative replay for the League Two club at Old Trafford.


Manchester United are getting desperate now. Phil Jones just had a shot. You probably don’t need us to tell you that it didn’t end well.


Great chance for Van Persie goes too high…


Another half-chance for Manchester United but Antonio Valencia squanders it. It’s going to be a nervy last 16 minutes or so. Another corner now for the away side.


Luke Chadwick has come on for Cambridge to replace Liam Hughes. What odds on Chadwick scoring the winner against his former club?


Cambridge are really under the cosh now. It’s like a GAA-style game of backs-and-forwards at this stage. Ten minutes of normal time left to play.


Herrera having a positive impact for Manchester United since he came on. They’re creating chances but it’s still scoreless.


Courageous defending from Phil Jones and Cambridge have a corner. Six minutes left.


De Gea punches it away and Herrera clears it from danger. Cambridge are asking questions of the United defence again, however.


Luke Shaw is on for Manchester United in place of Daley Blind.


Di Maria’s cross is headed harmlessly over the crossbar by Falcao. Three minutes to go. Are Cambridge off to Old Trafford?


The official attendance at the Abbey Stadium is 7,987.


We’re into injury time at the Abbey Stadium. A minimum of three minutes to be added.

Brilliant double save by Cambridge goalkeeper Dunn from Januzaj and then Di Maria. Drama in the dying moments but the hosts are hanging in there.

Full-time: Cambridge United 0-0 Manchester United 0

“A draw was a dream result for us and we’ve got it,” Cambridge’s Ryan Donaldson tells the BBC. Man of the match award for Donaldson too.

Cambridge have got a £1.5million trip to Manchester ahead…

So a dream result for Cambridge United tonight, but a night to forget for Louis van Gaal and his players, who were pretty dismal. Anyway folks, thanks as always for joining us. All the best!

About the author:

Paul Dollery