Shrewsbury 0-3 Manchester United: Chris Smalling scores as United cruise through to next round of FA Cup

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United have comfortably beaten Shrewsbury 3-0 in the FA Cup this evening thanks to goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.

As expected, Man United dominated possession during the opening stages but they found it tough to find a way past a stubborn Shrewsbury defence. Anthony Martial came close after 28 minutes played but the home side’s Abu Ogogo was there to clear off the line. United finally made the breakthrough thanks to an unusual source in Smalling, who smacked the ball home after latching onto Morgan Schneiderlin’s header. Mata then doubled his side’s lead with a superb free-kick just before the break.

United continued to impose themselves on the game in the second half and Lingard took the tie away from Shrewsbury when he slotted in Ander Herrera’s lovely chipped pass. Substitute Will Keane then hit the post as United saw the game out and advanced to the next round of the Cup.

Smalling

Memphis Depay

The Dutchman seemed to have been given the freedom to shoot on sight but his targeting was off as too many of his efforts went wide or high over the bar.

It was a performance which typified Memphis’ season in many ways; flashes of talent but ultimately not quite good enough. United need more from him.

Anthony Martial

Martial was his usual bright self from an attacking point of view, with his direct way of playing the game causing Shrewsbury all sorts of problems. There was a humorous moment for him early on, however, as he somehow blocked Memphis’ goalbound free-kick with his head.

Memphis Depay

This has been a terrible campaign but things could have been much worse had it not been for the prodigious Frenchman.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Making his return to the starting XI, Borthwick-Jackson continued where he left off in recent weeks, putting in an assured, promising display down the left flank before he was substituted at half-time.

The likes of Donald Love and Nick Powell have failed to cope with the pressures of first team football at points this term but 19-year-old Borthwick-Jackson doesn’t look out of place at all despite his tender years.

Juan Mata

The Spaniard’s inclusion in the starting XI raised a few eyebrows after some poor form in recent weeks but his free-kick to give United a two-goal lead was brilliantly taken.

Shrewsbury’s wall didn’t jump, for whatever reason, but it was good to see United score direct from a set-piece.

Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal

Yes, United cruised through the contest as they won easily but Shrewsbury provided little by way of resistance. Van Gaal has come under huge pressure in recent days and the situation should be no different despite the win.


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