Ibrahimovic to the rescue as United sink Blackburn


Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal ...
Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park in Blackburn, north west England on February 19, 2017. PHOTO/Oli SCARFF / AFP

FA Cup holders Manchester United had to rely on substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic to help them secure a 2-1 win against Blackburn Rovers and book their spot in the quarterfinals of the competition.

United named a starting XI without David De Gea, Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic, while Jose Mourinho left Wayne Rooney out of the squad altogether.

And things did not start smoothly for them at Ewood Park. Casual defending by United allowed Marvin Emnes to set Danny Graham up for the opening goal in the 17th minute.

But they were back on level terms after 27 minutes when Henrikh Mkhitaryan broke and took advantage of space in the Blackburn defence to play in Marcus Rashford who finished calmly.

After that Blackburn’s organised and resolute defending stopped a subdued United side from creating many more clear-cut chances, leading to Mourinho introducing Pogba and Ibrahimovic after 60 minutes.

And the pair combined to ensure United progressed without the need for a replay when, in the 75th minute, Pogba’s long ball forward was controlled by Ibrahimovic, who guided a low right-footed finish beyond Blackburn goalkeeper Jason Steele.

-Report by ESPN FC/soccernet.com

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