Premier League Liverpool and Manchester United have booked their places in the FA Cup fourth round after wins over Everton and Derby County respectively. Here is what happened in those Friday night FA Cup third round ties:
A feisty clash between Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton was a good way to kick-off the third round and it was the Reds who came out on top.
The first half was slightly lacklustre. However, Jurgen Klopp’s team took the lead on 35 minutes. Everton defender was rather harshly adjudged to have brought down Adam Lallana in the penalty area and referee Bobby Madley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Liverpool midfielder James Milner stepped up and coolly slotted the spot-kick past Jordan Pickford, who had dived slightly early. Everton’s attacking threat grew slightly once Wayne Rooney was withdrawn from the action.
It was Rooney’s replacement Ademola Lookman who played a key role in the equalising goal for the Toffees on 67 minutes. Lookman combined with Yannick Bolasie on the counter before the ball found its way to Everton defender Phil Jagielka in the area. The veteran star did superbly to pull the ball back to Gylfi Sigurdsson on the edge of the box and the Icelandic playmaker calmly slotted past Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius to send the away end into raptures.
In a very open last 20 minutes, both sides went for the win. However, the home side found it on 84 minutes and it was a fairytale moment for Liverpool’s new £75million man Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman rose to meet a corner kick and got there ahead of the outrushing Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to head home and send the home fans happy.
The victory means that Liverpool are now on their longest ever unbeaten run against their neighbours, which now stands at 16 games in all competitions.
Manchester United had a rather more comfortable passage into the fourth round than their arch-rivals from down the M52. However, the Red Devils had to wait until the last six minutes to make the breakthrough against second-tier Derby County.
Jose Mourinho’s side took the lead on 84 minutes through former Derby loan star Jesse Lingard. The in-form winger hit a superb effort from the edge of the area that flew into the top corner of the Scott Carson’s goal. Lingard has now scored eight goals in his last ten appearances for United. The Red Devils sealed the victory in the last minute, as good play from France international Anthony Martial led to striker Romelu Lukaku scoring on his first start since returning from injury.
Just like Liverpool, Manchester United are now one of the favourites to win the FA Cup this season. However, they face fierce competition from league leaders Manchester City, who host Burnley in one of today’s third round ties.
Pep Guardiola is set to rotate his squad in the clash at the Etihad Stadium. However, with the depth in the Citizens squad, whatever eleven the Catalan boss fields are sure to be a good standard.
Will Liverpool or Manchester United win the FA Cup this season?