Manchester United left the FA Cup after their penalty shootout defeat to Championship side Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.

Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough produced one of the biggest shocks in the FA Cup this year after beating Manchester United at Old Trafford to reach the fifth round in the competition. (Image: Twitter/emiratesfacup)

The fourth-round Cup match between United and Middlesbrough was no stranger to drama. Cristiano Ronaldo missed the first penalty since his return to Manchester after 20 minutes, but things looked to be on the right track for the hosts when Jadon Sancho netted the game’s opener five minutes later.

Matt Crooks leveled it up in the second half, just after the hour mark, to the shock of the Manchester United faithful. The goal stood, even though replays showed a clear handball offense was committed by Duncan Watmore in the goal build-up. VAR did not sanction the Boro player, so United went back to attacking.

Less than 10 minutes later, United’s pressing worked to perfection and provoked a massive blunder in the Middlesbrough defense. Bruno Fernandes woke up alone at the edge of the box with the entire goal undefended in front of him. The Portuguese managed to shoot, but his ball hit the post, then left the danger zone. Even though it’s just early Feb., viewers surely witnessed one of the biggest misses of the year in world football.

Elanga missed the decisive penalty for United

With the scoreboard stuck at 1-1 after 90, then 120 minutes, a penalty shootout was needed to decide the winner. Each of the two teams scored their first seven penalties, then Peltier made it 8-7 to Middlesbrough.

19-year-old Anthony Elanga couldn’t hold his nerves and missed the most important shot in his career up to this point. The devastated youngster was comforted by Cristiano Ronaldo as he was leaving the pitch, with part of the supporters also applauding him.

Manchester United is out of the FA Cup and the League Cup, but is still involved in the Champions League. The Red Devils will face Atletico in a two-legged tie to fight for access in the competition’s quarter-finals. Until then, United has four vital Premier League clashes in the club’s attempt to consolidate a top-four position in the table. United go to Burnley on Tuesday, then host Southampton (12 Feb.) and Brighton (15 Feb.), before a short trip to Leeds (20 Feb.).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *