Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY... ; Arsenal Were There for the Taking but, Instead, It Was a Former Red That Stole the Plaudits as United Were Dumped out of the FA Cup

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY... ; Arsenal Were There for the Taking but, Instead, It Was a Former Red That Stole the Plaudits as United Were Dumped out of the FA Cup

Article excerpt

AREJECTED Mancunian Reds fan wreck-eds wreck ing United's last hope of silverware was the last FA Cup storyline Louis van Gaal needed.

Longsight's very own United Academy prodigy Danny Welbeck was shown the door by the Dutchman in the summer transfer window.

EUR e boyhood United supporter's Old Traford P45 was efectively delivered when United knew they could have Radamel Falcao on loan.

Van Gaal argued that Welbeck didn't score enough goals and that was why he didn't feature in his revolution.

It was a point many United fans reluctantly agreed with and so Pounds 15m secured the England striker.

While Falcao remained glued to the subs bench, Welbeck came back to haunt Van Gaal almost a year to the day since he scored his last United goal at West Bromwich Albion.

You kind of knew the way this season's FA Cup script was being written that it was all preordained.

EUR e FA needed a shot in the arm for their famous tournament and since January they've been rewarded.

Van Gaal, too, needed the legendary tin pot to help his cause. He wasn't so fortunate.

It has been a grind of an FA Cup road as the Reds have trawled around the lower league venues.

EUR ere has been no romantic David slaying of the Old Traford Goliath at Yeovil, Cambridge and Preston they craved. Van Gaal's dogged Reds saw to that in determined if not exactly spectacular fashion.

But after the minnows came the mighty.

It was time for United to match their box o"ce appeal with a show to prove to the nationwide audience they have the weaponry to write their own glory story and create new clips instead of the constant re-runs, no matter how lip-smackingly ful"lling they were, of Ryan Giggs tearing Giggs tearing RArsenal's glori"ed rearguard to pieces at Villa Park in 1999.

You never grow tired of viewing that spectacular moment but it is time we saw the new-look United cut loose and produce new heady memories.

EUR e Premier League rat race may be the priority but this was no Mickey Mouse night and the electric atmosphere was Champions Leaguesque showing just what the fans thought of this as a piece of silverware.

EUR e value for money rating certainly rose to new heights in a United FA Cup match that "nally justi"ed their appeal to the TV bosses.

Van Gaal's philosophy has centred on possession football and has - to be honest - meant the Reds have been a pretty tough watch this season.

EUR ere's been a craving for that old vitality and front-foot football.

EUR e Londoner's style was good for the Reds as it forced them to up the tempo and test a suspect Gunners defence.

It was the brightest United have been for a long while even if Arsenal also played a major part in the entertainment.

And that cutting creativity from the Gunners secured their opener.

For once Alexis Sanchez was not involved but Nacho Monreal, Mesut Ozil and - most dangerously - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain passed a route through United's panicky defending before Monreal was freed to side foot past David de Gea. …

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