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Rooney's late penalty sees woeful United advance to next round

Sheffield United successfully frustrated the home side who only managed two shots on target in the 90-odd minutes.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

WAYNE ROONEY’S STOPPAGE-TIME penalty spared Manchester United from an embarrassing goalless draw as they edged third-tier Sheffield United 1-0 in the FA Cup third round today.

Holders Arsenal and Manchester City had little trouble reaching round four but United looked destined for an unwanted replay until Rooney struck in the 93rd minute after a foul on substitute Memphis Depay.

It was only the second shot on target that United had mustered, against a team 47 places below them in the English league system, and it is unlikely to save manager Louis van Gaal from criticism.

United’s fans made their feelings plain with mocking applause whenever their team registered an effort at goal and Van Gaal was being loudly goaded by Sheffield United’s fans until the late drama.

His side seemed to have turned a corner last weekend when they beat Swansea City 2-1 to end an eight-game run without a win but they looked desperately short of ideas on their return to Old Trafford.

It took them 69 minutes to hit the target, Matteo Darmian shooting tamely at George Long, but with injury time ebbing away, Dean Hammond was penalised for lunging in on Depay.

The United winger reacted with an exaggerated dive, but there had been contact and Rooney made no mistake by sending Long the wrong way from the spot.

© AFP 2016

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