Manchester United 1-0 Sheffield United – FA Cup 3rd Round – 9th January 2016
It took an injury-time Wayne Rooney penalty to see Manchester United through a dull FA Cup clash with League One side Sheffield United at Old Trafford.
After enjoying improved displays against both Chelsea and Swansea, the United faithful would have been expecting a comfortable, goal-filled afternoon against the Blades. However, instead, Old Trafford bore witness to another toothless, moribund display from the hosts.
Nigel Adkins’ side rarely threatened in attack themselves, but their hard-work and discipline kept the Red Devils at bay for the majority of the game. Indeed, United only managed two shots on target in the whole game, with the first of those coming over half-way through the second-half. Indeed, that effort from Matteo Darmian was greeted by ironic cheers from a frustrated Old Trafford faithful.
Sub Memphis Depay was the catalyst for the victory, with the Dutchman fouled in the box buy Dean Hammond in injury-time. Despite his quiet display throughout the 90 minutes, Rooney stepped up and calmly converted the resulting spot-kick, securing a welcome win for boss Louis van Gaal.
Despite the hard-fought victory, the knives will remain out for United’s Dutch boss until his side rediscover their attacking mojo. Blades’ boss Adkins, on the hand, will rue that late spot-kick which put paid to his side’s impressive endeavour.