Ighalo’s Double Seals Manchester United FA Cup Quarter-final Berth
Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says he “doesn’t care what anybody says” about his surprise move to Old Trafford after his two goals ensured an all-Premier League FA Cup quarter-final line-up and comfortable win at Derby County.
January signing Ighalo again showed why his shock acquisition in January may yet prove to be shrewd business with two smart finishes to book a tie with Norwich at Carrow Road later this month in the FA Cup Fourth Round played on Thursday.
The 30-year-old now has three goals from just two starts and he overshadowed a reunion with United’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney at Pride Park.
“As long as my team-mates believe in me, the boss believes in me and the fans believe in me, I just have to keep going,” Ighalo said.
“I don’t care what anyone says. We want to keep the momentum going and make sure we do great this season.”
Rooney had his name chanted throughout by the thousands of away fans and came close with two fine free-kicks.
But from the moment left-back Luke Shaw’s deflected opener flew in the Premier League side were able to cruise into the last eight.
United have won the FA Cup 12 times – one behind Arsenal’s record haul – while Derby have now played in six fifth-round ties since 1999 and failed to reach the quarter-finals on each occasion.
Solskjaer – twice an FA Cup winner as a player – has now stitched together a nine-game unbeaten run to move within sight of a place at Wembley and potentially a place in the Champions League.
January signing Bruno Fernandes was again clearly a step above, a constant threat at the top of their midfield, while Shaw had an excellent game at full-back.
He hit the fortuitous opener after Fernandes had a shot blocked, volleying down into the ground. The ball appeared to take a touch off the back of Jesse Lingard and loop over the head of Rams keeper Kelle Roos and in.
Another driving run from Shaw then saw him pick out Ighalo inside the area and the former Watford man got the better of two half-hearted challenges from Craig Forsyth and Max Lowe to poke home.
Shaw had a shot saved by Roos in the second half after fine play from Fernandes, and Ighalo lashed his second into the roof of the net after his initial shot was blocked to seal the win.