The FA Cup is a tournament of football that can be categorized as one that is capable of creating matches where the algae of the lower leagues can take on and beat the dragons of the upper leagues. That notion is testament to an idea contrary to modern day football that is constantly decreasing; the distance between the stronger teams and the lower teams is becoming greater and greater. Therefore, seeing the most improbable of outcomes of football matches occur makes them more special. The FA Cup match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United had the potential to be a legendary match.
The beginning of the match was, in all honesty, a bit boring. Blackburn were trying to defend as much as they could, which is what one would expect given how much of an underdog they were. Manchester United’s attacking method appeared to be to attack as wide as possible, make the defense spread out, thus creating space for United’s players to occupy, and thereby create chances to score goals. In the attacking third, Manchester United were utilizing very short passes to one another to try to break down the Blackburn team. Manchester United seemed to be in control of the ball more often than Blackburn.
As Blackburn began playing in more of an attacking frame of mind, the game became much more even. Both sides had a fairly equal time defending and attacking.
Then, a bit of FA Cup magic happened. When Blackburn worked the ball nicely up the pitch, Emnes got the ball. He then did very well to dribble past many of Manchester United’s players, and played a through ball to Graham, who proceeded to shoot the ball right into the top corner. The FA Cup’s magic appeared to be at display again. 1-0 to Blackburn.
Afterwards, Manchester United responded how one would expect them to respond – they wanted to equalise and then score another to win as soon as possible. The attacking had been much faster in pace, which is completely different to how Manchester United were slowly passing the ball before. Herrera found the ball rolling towards him after a few mishits inside of the box, and had a shot, but it was straight at the keeper. Blackburn are defending with many people. Ashley Young is particularly doing very well attacking on the flanks.
After that, Manchester United equalised. Mkhytarian passed a majestic ball to Rashford with a lot of space, Rashford went round Blackburn keeper Steele, and just like that, the score is 1-1.
The second half commenced, and both teams were looking to attack and score the decisive goal. Ibrahimovic and Pogba were introduced by Manchester United into the match as they went in search of the winner.
The match then shifted back to how the game started; Manchester United had most of the possession. There had been little outstanding chances, however. But then, Manchester United scored the winning goal. Pogba hit a long ball up to Ibrahimovic who volleyed it into the bottom corner. 2-1 to Manchester United.
The rest of the game was a bit dull, other than one key moment. Blackburn’s attack generated a shot on goal from close range. Then Romero made a triple save and Rovers striker Anthony Stokes had a goal rightly ruled out for offside.
The match ended in a victory for Manchester United. Ashley Young played well both defensively and attacking. Pogba did well controlling the midfield and distributing the ball to his team-mates, and Emnes created some great chances. Blackburn were close but ultimately unable to beat Manchester United.