Manchester United have been stunned in the FA Cup by Championship club Middlesbrough, who take their place in the fifth round after teenager Anthony Elanga missed the decisive kick in a sudden death penalty shootout.
Jadon Sancho scored his first Old Trafford goal since joining the club early on, but the game went to extra-time after Matt Crooks equalised for Middlesbrough in controversial circumstances.
Sancho and United had been bright from the start and the £73m winger hit the bar just 90 seconds after kick-off. The hosts should have gone ahead midway through the first half when Cristiano Ronaldo failed to even hit the target from the penalty spot after Paul Pogba, making his long-awaited comeback from injury, was brought down in the area.
Sancho took his goal well, beating a poor offside trap and latching onto a lofted through ball from Bruno Fernandes. Marcus Rashford thought he’d doubled the lead until an offside flag went up, while Ronaldo had an effort saved by Boro goalkeeper Joe Lumley.
Chants of ‘We want Glazers out’ hilariously rang around the stadium shortly before the interval when it was announced over the PA system that a ‘technical fault’ meant no food or drink available at half-time. Old Trafford’s infamously molten pies would have to wait for another time.
Having seen plenty of chances go begging, United were given their first warning when Dean Henderson needed Crooks, who soon afterwards gleefully turned the ball in to equalise – Duncan Watmore played the ball across the goal but it had clearly struck his hand in the build-up.
Harry Maguire then denied Boro a chance to go ahead, while Fernandes hit the post at the other end after intercepting a poor pass on the edge of the penalty area and substitute Elanga saw two headed chances go begging right at the end of normal time.
Extra-time was distinctly scrappy and lacking fluidity from either side but Middlesbrough could have snatched when Henderson’s reflexes spared blushes by stopping an Aaron Connolly flick.
Neither side gave an inch in the shootout, each scoring their first five. The score-line then 7-7, before Middlesbrough edged in front for the last time and Elanga was unable to keep his attempt on target, sending it high into the stand behind the goal.
Dean Henderson (GK) – 6/10 – Had very little to do for the first hour but made important saves in the second halves of normal and extra-time.
Diogo Dalot (RB) – 6/10 – Didn’t need to do a lot of defending. Scored in the shootout.
Raphael Varane (CB) – 6/10 – The visitors didn’t provide much of a direct threat for most of game. Withdrawn after 90 minutes.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 5/10 – Looked so lost when Middlesbrough got their equaliser and didn’t play to the whistle, stopping to appeal for handball. Scored in the shootout.
Luke Shaw (LB) – 6/10 – Did his most obvious work going forward.
Paul Pogba (CM) – 7/10 – First appearance since November. Won the penalty with a well-timed burst in the box and also won the ball back in midfield that led to the breakthrough goal. Visibly tired later on.
Scott McTominay (CM) – 5/10 – Functional rather than glamorous. Scored in the shootout.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) – 7/10 – Played a precision ball to set up Sancho’s goal and should have put United back in front but hit the post. His effectiveness waned as the game wore on. Scored in the shootout.
Marcus Rashford (RW) – 6/10 – Denied a goal by the offside flag. Got into good positions but never quite had the meaningful quality.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 4/10 – Missed the target from the penalty spot and saw other chances go begging. Things didn’t go his way at all over 120 minutes but he at least converted in the shootout.
Jadon Sancho (LW) – 6/10 – Chipped onto the bar in the opening 90 seconds but got his goal with a well-taken finish midway though the first half. Faded from the game after being very good in the first half.
Anthony Elanga (RW) – 6/10 – Involved immediately after coming on and had two headed chances at the end of the 90. A bright spark overall but skied the decisive penalty in the shootout.
Fred (CM) – 6/10 – Replaced Pogba, who appeared to be flagging. Scored in the shootout.
Phil Jones (CB) – 6/10 – Slotted in at the back for extra-time.
Juan Mata (RW) – 6/10 – Extra-time replacement for Sancho. Quite involved and scored emphatically in the shootout.