Captain Harry Maguire fired Manchester United into the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a winner deep into extra-time against ten-man Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The game looked to be heading for a penalty shootout after Norwich, who had Timm Klose sent off in the 89th minute, defended superbly against constant pressure from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side before Maguire’s goal two minutes from the end.
United went ahead in the 51st minute when Juan Mata flicked on a cross from Luke Shaw and Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo did well to hook the falling ball home.
But Norwich stuck at their task and drew level through a sweetly struck long- range drive from Todd Cantwell, the winger drilling into the bottom corner from 25 yards out with 15 minutes remaining.
Solskjaer threw on Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic as United looked to avoid extra- time and the momentum shifted back to his side when Norwich defender Klose was sent off for pulling down Ighalo on the edge of the box in the 89th minute.
It was one-way traffic in extra-time but Norwich’s massed defence kept United at bay with keeper Tim Krul doing well to keep out a goalbound header from Maguire at the start of the second period.
But with Norwich agonisingly close to the shootout, Maguire was able to strike a loose ball after a scramble in the box to send United to their 30th FA Cup semi-final.
Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “That’s cup football for you.
The game was not the greatest, not the spectacle, but I felt we kept the ball OK, but we didn’t threaten enough, didn’t create chances.
“But you’re delighted that you’re in a semi-final.
We’re in the last four. Good workout, we got minutes into many players, rested quite a few and some nice goals, good for Harry to get the winner.”
Norwich boss Daniel Farke:
“We’re disappointed with the outcome. We left our hearts out on the pitch in order to get into the next round. We wanted to create history.
“I have to compliment my players on their workload, commitment, desire, and quality of them and the way we handled the game. They were fantastic and we had many periods with the momentum on our side and we deserved to win it in 90 minutes.
“The red card was an unlucky situation and changed the momentum. To lose it feels harsh, but the lads can be proud of this performance.”