Harry Maguire struck an extra-time winner as Manchester United saw off spirited 10-man Norwich 2-1 to book their place in the FA Cup semi-finals.
With penalties looming, the United captain broke the Canaries’ resistance with a drilled close-range effort with two minutes remaining at Carrow Road.
Odion Ighalo had given United the lead early in the second half but Todd Cantwell’s 20-yard drive, and an inspired performance from goalkeeper Tim Krul, forced extra-time after Timm Klose’s dismissal for a last-man challenge on Ighalo.
Krul thwarted United time and time again but the visitors found the winner with seconds remaining to book a semi-final spot for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side for the third time in six seasons.
Norwich: Krul (8), Aarons (6), Godfrey (6), Klose (4), Lewis (6), McLean (6), Tettey (6), Rupp (6), Buendia (6), Cantwell (8), Pukki (5).
Subs: Hernandez (7), Drmic (5), Duda (5), Idah (n/a).
Man Utd: Romero (5), Dalot (6), Bailey (6), Maguire (6), Shaw (7), McTominay (5), Fred (5), Mata (5), Fernandes (6), Lingard (5), Ighalo (7).
Subs: Williams (6), Matic (6), Pogba (7), Greenwood (6), Martial (6), Rashford (6).
Man of the Match: Tim Krul
How Maguire secure semi-final spot
Given there was a semi-final spot at stake there was precious little quality in a dull first half at Carrow Road, with Norwich starting cautiously against a side that had put seven goals past them in their two league meetings this season, and United disjointed after eight pre-match changes.
With a foothold established, Daniel Farke used the mid-half drinks break to issue fresh instructions to his team, and the Canaries emerged reinvigorated.
- Teemu Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia returned as Norwich made three changes from the defeat to Everton.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made eight changes from Man Utd’s victory over Sheffield United, with Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes the only players to retain their places.
Kenny McLean lashed a shot over from 20 yards after picking Juan Mata’s pocket on the half-hour before Cantwell and Teemu Pukki failed to convert a two-on-one counter-attack as Luke Shaw raced back to rescue United.
Cantwell laid the best chance of the first period on for Lukas Rupp on 43 minutes, but his fizzing effort drew a fine block from Maguire as United reached the interval unscathed.
Solskjaer resisted introducing substitutes at the break and his faith in his starting XI was repaid within six minutes of the restart. Shaw’s drilled cross was sent looping into the air by the Norwich defence before falling for Ighalo, who showed great composure to volley United into the lead.
It was Ighalo’s fourth goal in four starts for the club, but United were guilty of taking their foot off the gas as Norwich steadily grew back into contention.
Ben Godfrey had his blushes spared on 70 minutes when he appeared to deny Norwich an equaliser with a block on the United goal line, but replays showed Emiliano Buendia’s deflected free-kick was going wide before being blocked by the defender, who was in an offside position.
The pressure finally told though, with Cantwell capping an impressive individual performance with a rasping drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards that Sergio Romero, perhaps unsighted by the sun, may feel he should have saved.
Norwich kicked on for the winner as substitute Josip Drmic dragged a shot inches wide within minutes of coming on, but it was backs to the wall for the Canaries with two minutes remaining after Klose was shown a straight red card for denying Ighalo a goalscoring opportunity.
Tim Krul thwarted substitute Paul Pogba’s attempt to score the winner in the last of six added minutes, as the 10 men forced extra-time for the second tie running.
Pogba glanced a header wide with seconds of the restart and Marcus Rashford drew a fingertip save from Krul with a dipping drive from 18 yards, before Pogba ended the first period of extra-time with a thunderous drive that Krul spilled before gathering at the second attempt.
Krul clawed Maguire’s goal-bound header off the line and tipped Bruno Fernandes’ dipping strike but was beaten with two minutes remaining as Pogba’s delivery in from the left caused panic in the Norwich defence and the ball eventually dropped to Maguire to convert from six yards.
Opta stats: Semi-finals beckon for Solskjaer
- Manchester United have reached their 30th FA Cup semi-final, more than any other team in the competition.
- Manchester United have won 11 of their last 13 away games at Norwich in all competitions (L2), winning each of their last four.
- Norwich are winless in their last eight home FA Cup matches (D3 L5) since a 4-1 win against Burnley back in January 2012.
- Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the first manager to make six substitutions in a competitive match in English football.
What the managers said…
Norwich boss Daniel Farke: “We’re disappointed with the outcome. We left our hearts out on the pitch in order to get into the next round. We wanted to create history.
“I have to compliment my players on their workload, commitment, desire, and quality of them and the way we handled the game. They were fantastic and we had many periods with the momentum on our side and we deserved to win it in 90 minutes.
“The red card was an unlucky situation and changed the momentum. To lose it feels harsh, but the lads can be proud of this performance.”
Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “That’s cup football for you. The game was not the greatest, not the spectacle, but I felt we kept the ball OK, but we didn’t threaten enough, didn’t create chances.
“But you’re delighted that you’re in a semi-final. We’re in the last four. Good workout, we got minutes into many players, rested quite a few and some nice goals, good for Harry to get the winner.”
FA Cup semi-final draw
FA Cup: Key dates
- Quarter-finals: June 27/28
- Semi-finals: July 18/19
- Final: August 1
The draw for the semi-finals of the FA Cup will take place during half-time of the Newcastle v Manchester City quarter-final on Sunday.
Kick-off for that game is at 6.30pm and you can follow it across Sky Sports‘ digital platforms.
The semi-finals are scheduled to be played at Wembley and will take place across the weekend of July 18-19.
United make the trip to Brighton on Tuesday at 8.15pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League, before Norwich travel to Arsenal on Wednesday at 6pm.