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MANCHESTER UNITED are through to the quarter finals of the FA Cup after their clinical edge in attack saw off Huddersfield in the fifth round.
The individual quality of United’s attacking players shone through, with Romelu Lukaku’s two shots on target bringing the two goals which were enough for the win.
Jose Mourinho praised his defence after the game, as they came up against attack-minded opposition who had more possession but couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard.
“I think they had a different approach than they did in the Premier League,” said Mourinho of David Wagner’s side.
“They were offensive, they were dangerous, they pushed us into good defensive work. Victor [Lindelof] and Chris [Smalling] were really good in a difficult match for them.”
Lukaku opened the scoring in the third minute but Huddersfield dominated the rest of the half.
Florent Hadergjonaj was a regular outlet for the hosts down the right, but their attacking players couldn’t make this dominance count.
Tom Ince, Collin Quaner, Rajiv van La Parra and Steve Mounie were all heavily involved in this offensive play, but were unable to find the net.
Huddersfield would have conceded a second just before half-time were it not for an intervention from the VAR. Juan Mata was adjudged to be offside by the narrowest of margins after consulting the technology but, even though the decision went in his side’s favour, Wagner isn’t keen on the process.
“I said this immediately to Jose: whatever the decision, whether it goes our way or not, I don’t like this,” said the Terriers’ manager.
“I don’t like this system, maybe I am too traditional. Yes it makes the game a bit more fair, but it kills emotion and I love emotion in football matches, and this is why I don’t like it.”
The decision didn’t affect the result and United doubled their lead at the start of the second half when Alexis Sanchez put Lukaku in on goal.
Mourinho’s side face Brighton in the quarter-finals, and the Portuguese is expecting another tough game.
“Like Huddersfield, when they play in [the] cup they don’t play for point[s], they play with a different spirit and different attitude,” he said.
“Imagine Brighton is one match away from going to Wembley for [the] semis. I don’t think they are too worried about relegation, so I think it will be a difficult match.”
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