Sport Football Manchester United through to FA Cup quarter finals
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Manchester United through to FA Cup quarter finals

Manchester United's Odion Ighalo, right, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal with Andreas Pereira. Photo: Getty
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Loan signing Odion Ighalo helped himself to a brace as Manchester United beat Derby County 3-0 on Thursday to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals and spoil the reunion for their all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney.

Championship outfit Derby started well but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men took control when defender Luke Shaw broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute with a shot that bounced off the turf and over goalkeeper Kelle Roos.

Shaw then provided the assist for Ighalo to muscle through and poke home United’s second in the 41st minute.

The 30-year-old Nigerian striker, who arrived at Old Trafford in January on a deal to the end of the season from China’s Shanghai Shenhua, doubled his tally in the 70th minute with a left-footed shot off a rebound.

— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) March 5, 2020

United travel to Norwich City in the last eight after the Premier League’s bottom club beat Tottenham Hotspur, managed by former United boss Jose Mourinho, on penalties on Wednesday.

Rooney, who joined Derby this season after a stint with MLS side DC United, had a great chance to equalise but the midfielder’s 36th-minute free kick drew a fingertip save from United keeper Sergio Romero.

The bearded 34-year-old was then booked for a hard tackle on Scott McTominay.

Solskjaer admitted he was wary of Rooney’s quality in parts but was not surprised by the support from United’s travelling fans.

“You know, everyone loves him. All the supporters of Man United, they really appreciate what he’s done,” said Solskjaer.

“He played well. He showed class, sometimes he had too much quality and too much time on the ball for my liking.”

Derby boss Phillip Cocu praised Rooney following his strong performance and referenced his near miss at the death.

“What a save! Maybe they could have given him the goal against his old club – but Wayne also played a great game, he told BT Sport.

“His vision, his handling, passing skill is just a pleasure to watch.”

Victory extended United’s unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions, the perfect tonic before meeting rivals City in Sunday’s Manchester derby.

Goalscorer Luke Shaw said they head to the match at Old Trafford with confidence.

“We’re in a very confident period at the moment with results. We’re scoring goals and we’re keeping shut at the back so we’re very confident.”

-with agencies