London: Riding on goals by the new sensation Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini, Manchester United on Thursday edged past West Ham United 2-1 in the quarterfinal replay at the venerable Boleyn Ground to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Rashford, assisted by an Anthony Martial beauty, launched one past the West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph into the top corner. It was the teenager’s first United goal outside Old Trafford.
Praising Rashford’s goal, United’s manager Van Gaal said, “It was a great goal. I was behind him on the bench and I saw his view, and I shouted ‘shoot!’”
Fellani then added to the score sheet after a mishit from Martial landed on his knee three yard out.
“I think we controlled the game for 85 minutes and could have finished the game much earlier, but then they scored and it is very nervous till the end,” said Van Gaal.
West Ham had held United 1-1 in their first QF tie at Old Trafford. The Reds now have a date with Everton at the Wembley Stadium on April 23.
The United manager has been under a lot of criticism for his match tactics and player combinations which have not yielded results good enough to match United’s reputation in the world of football. There have been rumours of his eviction from the club only to be replaced by former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
The only way to retain his job at Old Trafford might be leading his team to the FA Cup trophy, which would be United’s first since 2004.